Potential Roster Attrition at Michigan

By: Garrett Elliott

Block MThe Michigan football season has come to an end and fans are already overwhelmed with excitement for the 2016 season. Sadly, there are 244 long days to wait before Hawaii comes to the Big House.

There is good news, though, for college football fanatics – National Signing Day (2/3/16) is one month away and spring football begins in mid-late March.

The Michigan football roster is guaranteed to look quite different in the next few months with multiple recruiting analysts expecting approximately 27 scholarships to be given out to the 2016 class.

While I can’t tell you which recruits will be joining Michigan over the next month, I can tell you that the scholarship total for this class means attrition from the current roster must occur – Michigan only has 22 scholarships available at this time.  There will likely be some attrition from within the current 2016 recruiting class – a couple of names have already been discussed by recruiting analysts.

In this article, I’ll provide you the names of the current players on the roster that are eligible for a fifth year. We will then evaluate the names to watch that will not be back next year as a fifth year senior or underclassmen that could transfer. (NOTE: I have no insider information. This is all conjecture).

Players eligible for a fifth year:

Jeremy Clark (CB)

Terry Richardson (CB)

Drake Johnson (RB)

Dan Liesman (OL)

Ryan Glasgow (OL)

Ben Braden (OL)

Kyle Kalis (OL)

Erik Magnuson (OL)

Blake Bars (OL)

Allen Gant (LB)

Kenny Allen (K/P)

Amara Darboh (WR)

Jehu Chesson (WR)

Matt Godin (DL)

Willie Henry (DL)

Chris Wormley (DL)

Tom Strobel (DL)

There are obvious names on this list that are guaranteed to be back in 2016 – Clark, Johnson, Glasgow, Braden, Kalis, Magnuson, Allen, Darboh, Chesson, Godin and Wormley. Henry’s name would be on this list, but he is still deciding whether or not to enter the NFL draft. There is a very strong likelihood of two or three of the players I did not name – Richardson, Liesman, Bars and Gant – may not be back next season.

There will also be attrition from underclassmen looking to transfer. Here are names that fans should keep an eye on in the coming weeks to see if they stay with the program:

Derrick Green (RB)

Wilton Speight (QB)

Alex Malzone (QB)

Freddy Canteen (WR/CB)

Jaron Dukes (WR)

Ross Taylor-Douglas (RB)

Brandon Watson (CB)

Reon Dawson (CB)

Each of these players seem likely to be buried on the depth chart with little chance to see playing time in 2016 and beyond. However, before any player transfers, he must weigh the benefits of being forced to sit out an entire season before being eligible to play again. While that may be fine for a young player, those close to graduation (Green, Taylor-Douglas, Dawson and Dukes) may find it not worth leaving the education a school like Michigan provides.

A player that I left off the list that may surprise some is Shane Morris. He has already said that he will be back for the 2016 season and that he plans on graduating in 2017. Morris will have a chance – although it’s unlikely – to win the starting quarterback competition in 2016. If he does not win the job, it benefits Morris to wait and be a graduate transfer for the 2017 season.

Again, none of this is based on inside information and is all conjecture. However, attrition is guaranteed to occur in the next few weeks and months and this article is only to provide fans with names to keep an eye on in that time.


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