ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan football announced linebacker Charles Thomas has entered the transfer portal as the position becomes more and more crowded heading into future seasons.
Thomas was a three-star recruit from Fairburn, Georgia, in the 2019 recruiting class. He was the No. 26 inside linebacker, No. 5 player in Georgia and No. 507 prospect overall.
As a true freshman last season, Thomas appeared in two games, meaning he qualified for a redshirt and didn’t burn a year of eligibility. If he misses the 2020 season due to the late transfer decision, he will have three more seasons of eligibility starting in 2021.
The first sign that Thomas was no longer on the team popped up Monday morning, when he was removed from the official roster and his player page was completely removed.
He was listed on the roster as recently as Friday.
Thomas' decision comes three days after Michigan received a commitment from another elite linebacker prospect for the 2021 class. Four-star Branden Jennings joined four-star Junior Colson, four-star Jaydon Hood and three-star Tyler McLaurin in the class.
All four of Michigan’s starting linebackers for 2020 will be eligible to return for another season: redshirt sophomore Cam McGrone (MIKE), redshirt junior Josh Ross (WILL), redshirt sophomore Michael Barrett (viper) and redshirt sophomore Ben VanSumeren (SAM).
There’s a chance at least one of these starters -- particularly McGrone -- will declare for the NFL draft. But it still creates great depth for Michigan at the position.
Kalel Mullings, a member of the 2020 recruiting class, was a four-star linebacker ranked among the top 10 at his position and No. 1 in Massachusetts. Nikhai Hill-Green has also been mentioned as a possible contributor as a true freshman, while William Mohan is also in the mix.
Anthony Solomon, a member of Thomas' class, played in 11 games on special teams and has been competing for a starting role, as well.
Thomas is the second Michigan linebacker to transfer this offseason. True freshman four-star Osman Savage announced he was seeking other opportunities before his first game with the Wolverines.
This is the first departure from Jim Harbaugh’s 2019 recruiting class, which was ranked eighth in the nation and No. 1 in the Big Ten.