|Josh Furman blocked this punt against Nebraska in 2011|
Furman committed to Michigan in December 2009 over teams like Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. I did not write a commitment post for him at the time, as the blog was still in its infancy stages. However, I did write a scouting report on him the previous month. At the time, I assumed he would bulk up and turn into a linebacker, and once he signed with the Wolverines, I thought he would play on the weakside. You may notice that I questioned his coverage abilities and said he would be too stiff to play defensive back in college. Players who move back in a defense (from DE to LB, or from LB to S) tend to struggle more, and Furman is no exception. He had the potential to be a quality linebacker for the Wolverines, but he turned into a below average safety.
Furman never added the weight to become a linebacker and finished his Michigan career as a 6’2″, 202 lb. safety. With starting safety Thomas Gordon suspended to begin the year, Furman made his first career start in the opener and went on to start three games this past season. Altogether, he finished with 11 tackles and 1 pass breakup on the season. In 30 games played over his career, he totaled 29 tackles and the 1 pass breakup. Most of those tackles came on special teams coverage, which was perhaps the best trait he provided to Michigan during his career.
It is unclear where Furman will end up, but most players end up transferring closer to home. Perhaps he’ll end up at Maryland or Temple, or he might even move down a level to play in the FCS. He’s the 19th member of the 27-man 2010 class to depart before running out of eligibility.
Michigan is left rather thin at safety with Furman’s departure and the graduations of Thomas Gordon and Courtney Avery. The Wolverines return one starter in the form of junior Jarrod Wilson, but other contributions will have to come from untested players like redshirt sophomore Jeremy Clark, sophomore Dymonte Thomas, sophomore Delano Hill, position switchers, or freshmen. My initial expectation is that Wilson and Thomas will be the starters at safety next season.