Tru Wilson, Ex-Wolverine

Tru Wilson, Ex-Wolverine


January 9, 2020
Tru Wilson (image via Michigan Daily)

Rising fifth year senior Tru Wilson announced on Twitter that he plans to become a graduate transfer at another school in 2020. Wilson is listed at 5’11” and 200 lbs. He was tied for the third-most carries on Michigan’s team in 2019 (44 carries, 221 yards, 1 TD).

Wilson came to Michigan as a preferred walk-on in the 2016 class after being named a Semper Fi All-American. It’s rare that an All-American of that sort has to be a walk-on, but he spurned offers from the service academies to pay his own way to Ann Arbor. He found his way onto the field by being a solid pass blocker and a dependable runner (107 attempts, 586 yards, 2 TD), even though his speed was lacking. One of the best things he did was spell Michigan’s top backs during blowouts or against lesser teams, so the top guys could get a breather and stay healthy.

Heading into his fifth year, Wilson’s talents were somewhat redundant. Michigan has the pass blocker in Zach Charbonnet, who will be just a sophomore. Michigan has the reliable between-the-tackles guy in Hassan Haskins, who will be a redshirt sophomore. Add in potentially dynamic freshman Blake Corum, a Chris Evans returning from academic issues, and scatback Christian Turner, and the Wolverines have decent depth at the position.

Still, it was an odd career arc from Wilson:

  • High school All-American
  • Walk-on
  • 1 carry for 1 yard in 2016
  • Redshirt in 2017
  • Key backup role in 2018
  • Declared starter going into 2019
  • Broken hand in 2019 pre-season
  • T-3rd most carries on team
  • Transfer

Here are some highlights of Wilson’s 2018 season for those of you yearning for some football video:

9 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1721
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jan 09, 2020 at 9:58 PM

    There’s a lot of negativity about these transfers, but if you take them individually, none will be greatly missed, and all were either obviously (JKP/Wilson) or potentially (Spanelis) passed up. Speaks well to our younger guys

    Good luck Try!

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1721
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Jan 09, 2020 at 9:59 PM

      Stupid spell check:

      *Good luck TRU

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 5716
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 10, 2020 at 12:39 PM

    The Wolverines have EXCEPTIONAL depth at the position. One spot has 5 guys not even including sometimes RBs Ben Mason and Giles Jackson.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5716
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 12, 2020 at 6:09 PM

      Thunder astutely noted that the Tennessee Titans 3rd string RB had 11 carries this year. He played in 2 games. So an NFL team, and one of the best rushing offenses in the league at that, only needed 2 RBs over 18+ games.

      Tru Wilson matched or exceeded the YPC production of multiple 4 and 5-star backs over the last 2 seasons at Michigan. He was even better in pass protection.

      Michigan continues to have far more RBs than it needs on the roster.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 5716
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 12, 2020 at 6:09 PM

    Thunder astutely noted that the Tennessee Titans 3rd string RB had 11 carries this year. He played in 2 games. So an NFL team, and one of the best rushing offenses in the league at that, only needed 2 RBs over 18+ games.

    Tru Wilson matched or exceeded the YPC production of multiple 4 and 5-star backs over the last 2 seasons at Michigan. He was even better in pass protection.

    Michigan continues to have far more RBs than it needs on the roster.

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 5716
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 12, 2020 at 6:13 PM

    Thunder astutely noted that the Tennessee Titans 3rd string RB had 11 carries this year. He played in 2 games. So an NFL team, and one of the best rushing offenses in the league at that, only needed 2 RBs over 18+ games.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 5716
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 13, 2020 at 12:06 PM

    Thunder astutely noted that the Tennessee Titans 3rd string RB had 11 carries this year. He played in 2 games. So an NFL team, and one of the best rushing offenses in the league at that, only needed 2 RBs over 18+ games.

    Tru Wilson matched or exceeded the YPC production of multiple 4 and 5-star backs over the last 2 seasons at Michigan. He was even better in pass protection.

    Michigan continues to have far more RBs than it needs on the roster.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3479
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 13, 2020 at 9:41 PM

      Yes, Tennessee and its 25-year-old, 6’3″, 247 lb. running back didn’t need much contribution from the backups…

      What about the Philadelphia Eagles, who had 5 different players in double digits in carries (Sanders, Sproles, Ajayi, Howard, Scott)? There’s no free agency in college football. Once the season starts, you have what you have. If a guy tears an ACL or another guy transfers, there are zero options.

      There’s also the whole issue of colleges have 85 scholarships and NFL teams having 53-man rosters, so naturally, there are more spots on college rosters for a variety of positions. NFL teams also only typically carry 2 active quarterbacks and an emergency guy (like a backup TE or WR) and 7 or 8 linemen. Since the NFL does it, I guess George Johnson should be Michigan’s third-string QB.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5716
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jan 14, 2020 at 1:02 PM

        “There are zero options” – never happened.

        If a slew of guys get hurt you will run into trouble. That goes at every position. If the unlikely happens you move a guy over from another position, like anywhere else.

        The difference between QB and RB is how important the position is.

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