Jordan Morant, Ex-Wolverine

Tag: Ex-Wolverines


16Apr 2022
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Jordan Morant, Ex-Wolverine

Jordan Morant

Rising junior safety Jordan Morant has entered the transfer portal. Morant played eight games in 2021 and made 1 tackle on special teams.

Morant committed to Michigan in the 2020 class out of Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic. At the time he was coming off of a stellar junior season where he made 60 tackles and 4 interceptions. He was an Under Armour All-American and seemed headed for stardom. Unfortunately, he suffered a lower body injury early in his senior year that was rumored at the time to be potentially career-ending and led him to redshirt as a freshman.

By the time Morant got on the field in 2021, he was behind in his development, having been passed up by classmates (R.J. Moten, Makari Paige) and at least one younger player (Rod Moore). He has a lot of physical talent at 6’0″ and 210 lbs., but competition is stiff for playing time at Michigan. It’s unfortunate for him – and for someone like defensive end Braiden McGregor – that injuries during their senior year have hampered their development here at the next level.

Michigan has plenty of safeties left on the depth chart, so this is not a huge factor for the program. It also frees up a scholarship for Michigan, as the Wolverines currently have 88 scholarship guys slotted to be on the roster in the fall and need a few guys to disappear before then.

Eight players from the 2020 class have entered the transfer portal, where Morant joins Andre Seldon (New Mexico State), Darion Green-Warren (Nevada), Cornell Wheeler (Kansas), Dan Villari (Syracuse), Osman Savage (Alabama A&M), William Mohan (Tennessee), and Aaron Lewis (Rutgers).

4Feb 2022
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Kevonte Henry, Ex-Wolverine

Kevonte Henry (image via SI)

Lawndale (CA) Leuzinger outside linebacker/defensive end Kevonte Henry committed to Oklahoma on National Signing Day after having been committed to Michigan. Henry committed to Michigan back in June 2021, but the departure of recruiting coordinator Courtney Morgan was a big development. After Morgan left to lead Washington’s recruiting department, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Henry would not be in the class, and Michigan did not pursue him very much over the past month or two.

I gave Henry a TTB Rating of 82 when he committed (LINK). He ended up ranked as a 3-star, the #33 edge player, and #396 overall. I think Henry has a chance to be a pretty good player, but recruiting kids from California is tough because a lot of them get homesick. If Morgan wasn’t going to be a part of Michigan’s program to give him an anchor, then even if Henry had stuck with Michigan initially, he very easily could have ended up in the transfer portal and closer to home in a year or two, anyway.

Michigan signed a total of 22 players in the class, including a couple defensive end/outside linebacker types in 4-star Derrick Moore and 3-star Micah Pollard.

17Jan 2022
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Joel Starlings, Ex-Wolverine

Joel Starlings (image via On3)

Richmond (VA) Benedictine defensive tackle Joel Starlings decommitted from Michigan on Sunday.

If you read my commitment post, you know I wasn’t a huge fan of Starlings (LINK):

With that review, I’m sure you can guess that I’m not sold on Starlings. He has a lot of potential because of his athletic profile, but if he were to go up against a college line right now, he would get donkeyed 15 yards down the field and planted on his back. Whether he becomes a good player or not seems entirely dependent on how much he buys into coaching, and it would be nice if he starts that buy-in during his senior year in 2022

One reason could be that defensive line coach Shaun Nua left for USC, but another reason could be that Starlings just wasn’t that determined to attend Michigan. After all, he tweeted shortly after committing that his recruitment was open, and that was when Nua was still seemingly firmly entrenched in Ann Arbor. So the writing had been on the wall for a couple months.

Michigan now has zero defensive linemen committed in the 2023 class, but there’s plenty of time to address the position group.

8Jan 2022
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Chuck Filiaga, Ex-Wolverine

Chuck Filiaga

Offensive guard Chuck Filiaga has entered the transfer portal. Filiaga started four games at guard in 2021 and eight throughout his career on the way to appearing in 39 total games.

Filiaga was a class of 2017 recruit and could have returned in 2022 for a sixth year, considering the 2020 COVID year was a free year of eligibility. Instead he’ll play the year elsewhere. He was a 4-star, the #13 offensive tackle, and #112 overall. I gave him a TTB Rating of 86 (LINK). It turns out I should have paid more attention to my red flags:

On the negative side, it’s a bit of a red flag that Filiaga doesn’t have more film as a big-time recruit. His junior highlights are just over two minutes long, and his senior highlights last 38 seconds. It may be an issue with the film or technology or the coach, so it’s not necessarily a lack of highlight-worthy plays, but it’s still a question mark. That dearth of highlights also shows up when it comes to pass protection, because there’s not a whole lot that shows his ability to fend off edge rushers. I think Filiaga shows some weaknesses when it comes to footwork and needs to be more consistent in that area. Another inconsistency is his stance, where he frequently seems to telegraph run vs. pass or even the direction of his block. If defenders get underneath him or slant across his face, he sometimes has trouble adjusting.

Filiaga did okay at Michigan, but he was pretty much always the weak link when he was starting. His lateral quickness was lacking, which made him a liability in pass protection, and he seemed to be a step late to identify blitzes and stunts. He played decent at times and starting at a big program is no small feat with all the 4-star prospects Michigan has landed, but it seemed like the competition in Ann Arbor was just a little too good for him. He could certainly go somewhere else and start next year, and that includes for plenty of other teams in the Big Ten. In general, it seems like a high percentage of transfers head closer to home, so the Texas native could very well end up closer to SEC/Big 12 country.

The only remaining 2017 signees are offensive tackle Andrew Stueber, punter Brad Robbins, tight end Joel Honigford, and defensive tackle Donovan Jeter. I use the word “remaining” loosely because I expect most of them to also jump to the NFL, except perhaps Honigford. Honigford came in as an offensive lineman and transitioned to tight end, losing a bunch of weight in the process. I will be interested to see whether he tries to hone his skills at that position for one more year, make an attempt at the NFL as is, or perhaps bulk back up to play offensive line now that Michigan is losing a couple guys.

I’m projecting next year’s offensive line to look like this:

  • LT: Ryan Hayes (RS Sr.)
  • LG: Trevor Keegan (Jr.)
  • C: Olu Oluwatimi (6th)
  • RG: Zak Zinter (RS So.)
  • RT: Trente Jones (RS Jr.)
7Jan 2022
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2021 Ex-Wolverine Updates: Coaches Post-Season Edition

Don Brown (image via The Athletic)

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With all the news surrounding coaching movement in the off-season, there’s a lot to cover. First of all, though, I want to mention that former defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who worked under Rich Rodriguez in 2009-2010, passed away from Alzheimer’s complications at the age of 70.

FORMER COACHES

Don Brown (Head Coach, UMass): UMass hired Brown to be its new head coach. This is actually his second stint as the head coach of the Minutemen; he was there from 2004-2008 and went 43-19, the best five-year record in school history. But that was when the program was in FCS (DI-AA), so this is a level up in competition.

Erik Campbell (Wide Receivers, Bowling Green State): Campbell finished up his third season as BGSU’s wide receivers coach.

Tony Dews (Running Backs, Tennessee Titans): Dews had been the running backs coach for the Titans since 2018.

Hit the jump for more.

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