Casey Hughes, Wolverine

Tag: transfers

21Jan 2018
Blog, homepage 12 comments

Casey Hughes, Wolverine

Casey Hughes (image via Zimbio)

Utah defensive back Casey Hughes has decided to transfer to Michigan as a graduate transfer for the 2018 season.

Hughes is 6’0″, 185 lbs. and started at cornerback for the Utes in 2017, when he made 35 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 pass breakup. He made 6 tackles and 1 forced fumble as a backup in 2015 and 2016 combined. He redshirted as a freshman in 2014. He has run 4.44 and 4.47 forties during his time at Utah.

As a high school recruit in the class of 2014, Hughes was a 247 Composite 3-star, the #126 cornerback, and #1595 overall. He had offers from Colorado, Nevada, Oregon State, UNLV, and Utah State, among others.

Hughes is known as a good tackler and tough player. He is expected to play nickel safety. There have been rumors since the season’s end that Michigan’s coaching staff was not happy with the safety position this past season, particularly in pass coverage. Hughes may be able to help with that as an obvious passing down substitution, and he could provide depth on the outside. However, he’s unlikely to become a starting corner since Michigan has two very good corners already in David Long and Lavert Hill.

21Aug 2017
Blog, homepage 11 comments

Keith Washington, Ex-Wolverine

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Keith Washington is transferring out of Michigan. I ranked Washington at #20 in the 2017 Season Countdown (LINK) and projected him as a starting cornerback after he looked like the best corner on the roster in the spring game.

Recent rumors suggested that David Long and Lavert Hill solidified themselves as the top corners, and Sam Webb intimated that Washington was no longer playing corner, presumably meaning that he had moved to safety. That makes sense for Michigan due to the low numbers at safety. But maybe it didn’t sit well with Washington, who would have been behind two sophomores at cornerback, a junior safety in Tyree Kinnel, and a sophomore safety in Josh Metellus. Maybe he simply didn’t see the path to playing time.

Washington was committed to Cal at one point, and Michigan flipped him out of Prattville (AL) Prattville. Remember that exciting pipeline to Prattville? Nobody is left. Washington is transferring, Dytarious Johnson didn’t qualify, Kingston Davis transferred to a JUCO in Kansas, and Cam Taylor – 2018 wide receiver who was offered – committed to Missouri this summer.

Not much of a pipeline after all.

27May 2015
Uncategorized 5 comments

Thoughts on Countess and Hayes Transfers

It has been known for a while that running back Justice Hayes would transfer, although the destination was unknown; he’s now planning to play for Southern Miss. Blake Countess somewhat abruptly announced a transfer not long ago, and yesterday he told the world that he would be ending up at Auburn.

Countess is headed to Auburn, which has a depleted secondary that might become even more depleted in the coming weeks. Jonathon Mincy graduated and got a tryout with the Atlanta Falcons. Jonathan Jones, meanwhile, made 6 picks last season and despite suffering a minor injury this spring, he will be one of the Tigers’ starting corners this fall. On the other side, Joshua Holsey is a senior who started seven games last fall, making 41 tackles and 2 pass breakups. He will probably be Countess’s primary competition to start, since no other returning players saw much action. Otherwise, Auburn is bringing in several freshmen to compete, including 4-stars Carlton Davis and Javarius Davis. If Countess transferred for playing time reasons (which is partially rumored to be the case, since the coaching staff pursued Wayne Lyons), he’s going to have to compete against Holsey and some other talented athletes in the SEC.

In Hayes’s case, Southern Mississippi returns its top four running backs from last year. None of them was very accomplished, though. The leading back was then freshman Ito Smith (536 yards, 3.9 yards/carry, 2 touchdowns), while little used freshman Tez Parks and junior Jalen Richard averaged 5.6 and 5.9 yards/carry, respectively. Hayes enters a rather crowded backfield, but Conference USA is weaker competition, and Southern Miss typically survives with 3-star and 2-star recruits. Hayes has decent speed, and while his production was never anything special at Michigan, he should be able to get some playing time in that backfield. He also offers the flexibility to be able to move out into the slot and catch some passes, and he could help on kickoff returns, although the Golden Eagles return senior Michael Thomas, who averaged over 24 yards/return and took one to the house last year.

Neither player is walking into a situation where he will be guaranteed a starting gig, and he won’t necessarily be the most talented guy at his position, either. In recent years we have seen players like Josh Furman, Thomas Rawls, and Richard Ash leave Michigan only to flourish elsewhere immediately. It will be interesting to see whether Hayes and Countess continue that trend. Personally, I have always been high on Countess and I think he’s better than Holsey – but I also think he’s better than Wayne Lyons. Meanwhile, Hayes was uninspiring during his time at Michigan and struggles to run through contact, but he should bring a little speed to the Southern Miss backfield and get a fair chance to shine.

14May 2015
Uncategorized 17 comments

Blake Countess, Ex-Wolverine

Blake Countess

Rising fifth-year senior cornerback Blake Countess has elected to play his final year of college ball elsewhere. The 5’10”, 185 lb. corner was expected to compete for a starting job this fall after having a disappointing 2014 season.

Coming out of Olney (MD) Good Counsel, Countess was a Rivals 4-star and the #133 player nationally in the 2011 class. I gave him a TTB Rating of 84 (LINK) and was pleased with his commitment (LINK), which took place shortly before Rich Rodriguez was fired. I thought he would be Michigan’s next good corner after Donovan Warren departed in 2009.

Countess played immediately as a freshman in 2011 and started six games that year, finishing with 44 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 6 pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble. ESPN and the Big Ten Network included him on their conference all-freshman teams. Entering the 2012 season as a starter, Countess got injured playing special teams in the season opener against Alabama and missed the rest of the year with a torn ACL. He came back with a vengeance in 2013, making First Team All-Big Ten with 46 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions (1 touchdown), and 4 pass breakups. Big things were expected, but his production fell off (24 tackles, 3 pass breakups) and he saw diminished playing time in 2014.

Rumors started to pop up about Countess potentially transferring around the same time Wayne Lyons appeared headed to Michigan. Essentially, the defensive backfield was getting crowded with talented and/or veteran players – Countess, Lyons, junior Jourdan Lewis, sophomore Jabrill Peppers, and senior Jarrod Wilson are all starting-caliber players, and a couple other guys are pushing for playing time. Countess is not a physical corner, and new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin’s preferred style of defense did not seem primed to mesh with Countess’s. Even so, Countess would have seen plenty of playing time even if he didn’t start.

But a 4-star guy in his fifth year – a guy who had 6 picks in one season a couple years ago – should probably be starting somewhere. A player of his caliber has an eye on the NFL, and the NFL doesn’t draft many college backups. It’s somewhat understandable that Countess would look to transfer to a more amenable situation.

Unfortunately, this transfer comes at the expense of Michigan’s quality depth. There’s likely no question that the two front-runners for the cornerback jobs are Lewis and Lyons, but the only experienced backup is junior Channing Stribling, who has yet to make a significant play despite a fair amount of time on the field. The position is supplemented by redshirt junior Terry Richardson, redshirt sophomore Ross Taylor-Douglas, redshirt sophomore Reon Dawson, and redshirt freshman Brandon Watson, none of whom have registered a single stat. Furthermore, the lone cornerback in the 2015 class is lanky project Keith Washington. There appears to be a serious deficit in cornerback talent when you get younger than Lewis, although Watson has some potential.

Five years later, linebacker Desmond Morgan is the only player remaining from the 2011 class, which was the Rodriguez-to-Hoke transition year. Attrition can be expected from classes with that kind of instability, but too many players played early and exhausted their eligibility this past season.

9May 2015
Uncategorized 20 comments

4 Potential Grad Transfer Wide Receivers

Could Valdez Showers be coming home to Michigan to complete his college career?

If you’re doing some late Mother’s Day shopping, please consider doing some shopping on Amazon (LINK). Thanks!

It’s not really a secret at this point that Michigan is looking for a receiver or two to supplement the current wide receiver corps. The Wolverines do not have a clear option to be the #1 guy for the upcoming season, and at this point, all current players are complementary at best. I mentioned a couple days ago that we would probably be hearing about some potential transfers soon, and Michael Spath from The Wolverine dropped a few receiver names today. I can say that only one of these players was a name I had heard connected to Michigan the other day, and this is the first time I’ve heard of A.J. Legree (Chris Gallon, Josh Grady, and Valdez Showers were all familiar to me from when they were high schoolers).

Here’s a look at each of the potential transfers:

Chris Gallon – WR – Bowling Green State University: Gallon is a 6’4″, 229 lb. wideout who is a cousin of former Wolverine wide receiver Jeremy Gallon. While Jeremy went to Apopka (FL) Apopka, Chris attended Orlando (FL) Dr. Phillips, which produced players like Demetrius Hart (Alabama/Colorado State), Hasean Clinton-Dix (Alabama), Kenny Shaw (Florida State), and Trey Griffey (Arizona). Chris was a Rivals 3-star and the #65 wide receiver in the 2011 class. He redshirted as a freshman and then led the team with 54 catches, 720 yards, and 6 touchdowns in 2012. His last two seasons have been interrupted by injuries (24 catches, 232 yards, 2 touchdowns in 2013), including a total washout of 2014. Gallon is a big target without a lot of speed. On a mostly unrelated note, Gallon was at one time a teammate of former Michigan wide receiver Je’Ron Stokes at BGSU.

Hit the jump for more.

Josh Grady – WR – Vanderbilt: Grady is a 6’0″, 202 lb. player who attended Seffner (FL) Armwood, a powerhouse school in Florida that also produced running back Matt Jones (Florida), wide receiver Alvin Bailey (Florida), and safety Leon McQuay III (USC). Grady was a Rivals 3-star and the #45 athlete in the country. Grady arrived at Vanderbilt as a quarterback, moved to wide receiver, moved back to quarterback, and then returned to the receiver position. He has 7 career catches for 89 yards, all of which came as a redshirt freshman during that 2011 season. He has also completed 3/7 passes for 27 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions, plus carrying the ball 11 times for 20 yards.

Alphonso “A.J.” Legree – WR – USF: Legree was a Rivals 3-star coming out of Fort White (FL) Fort White in 2012, when he signed with Kentucky. He caught 12 passes for 113 yards as a true freshman. As a sophomore in 2013, he started two games and caught 7 passes for 97 yards, but he left Kentucky in the spring of 2014 to transfer to South Florida, where he had to sit out the year due to transfer rules. Now entering his fourth college season and listed at 6’1″, 194 lbs., he is reportedly graduating and potentially looking for a new situation. South Florida head coach Willie Taggart is a former Jim Harbaugh assistant coach. UPDATE: Rivals says Legree is likely not an option since he will probably not have enough credits to graduate this summer.

Valdez Showers – WR – Florida: Showers is listed at 5’10”, 188 lbs. Originally from Madison Heights (MI) Madison, Flowers spurned Michigan and Rich Rodriguez/Brady Hoke in the 2011 class to play corner at Florida. He was a Rivals 3-star and the #40 cornerback. He redshirted during his first year down in Gainesville, and he made 2 tackles playing special teams as a redshirt freshman. Going into 2013, he switched to running back/wide receiver for Will Muschamp. That season he ran the ball 12 times for 103 yards, and he also caught 18 passes for 102 yards and 1 touchdown. This past year he had 1 carry for -5 yards and 2 catches for 31 yards.

None of these names are particularly exciting, but that’s the nature of grad transfers. Usually, these guys are transferring because they’re not getting playing time and want some. (It’s the same reason that Richard Ash, Josh Furman, Mike Jones, Thomas Rawls, etc. have left Michigan recently.) Some new names are likely to pop up, but here’s my pecking order of these four guys:

1. Valdez Showers – Speedy, fairly experienced hometown kid.
2. A.J. Legree – Decent sized kid with fair combination of skills.
3. Chris Gallon – Big possession receiver whose body type and skill set are similar to players already on roster. History of knee injuries.
4. Josh Grady – Fairly inexperienced and largely unproductive.