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1 high-profile Michigan football transfer already excelling with new team -- 2 others are not

Zach Charbonnet helps lead UCLA to No. 13 in AP poll

Former Michigan running back Zach Charbonnet (24) runs for a 35-yard gain as Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman (11) pursues in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.
Former Michigan running back Zach Charbonnet (24) runs for a 35-yard gain as Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman (11) pursues in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – More than a dozen players transferred out of the Michigan football program this offseason, but three in particular stood out as high-profile losses.

So far, through two games, one of those players is off to an excellent start at his new school. The other two -- not so much.

Zach Charbonnet

Michigan could afford to lose a player from its running back room, but it still stung to see someone as talented as Charbonnet head back to California.

So far, through two games with UCLA, Charbonnet has rushed for 223 yards on 17 attempts -- an average of 13.1 yards per carry. He’s scored four rushing touchdowns and also caught two passes for 49 yards.

Most importantly, Charbonnet has been a major factor in UCLA rising from unranked to No. 13 in the AP poll with wins over Hawaii and (then-No. 16) LSU.

Luckily for Michigan, the combination of Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins has been plenty good enough so far out of the backfield. Corum has rushed for 282 yards and four touchdowns and was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after gaining 171 yards and scoring three times against Washington.

Haskins, meanwhile, is as consistent as ever, averaging 5.6 yards per rush across 40 carries for a total of 225 yards and two touchdowns.

Joe Milton

Like the Joe Milton era at Michigan in 2020, the Tennessee version got off to a hot start last week. Milton helped the Volunteers jump out to a big early lead against Bowling Green and showcased his incredible arm strength and all-around raw ability.

But overall, the first two weeks have been a struggle. Milton has completed just over 50% of his passes (18-for-35) for 189 yards and one touchdown. In the team’s home loss to Pittsburgh, Milton overthrew a handful of open receivers and finished with just 50 passing yards.

Milton’s first two weeks haven’t been all bad, but he was outplayed by backup Hendon Hooker after leaving the Pittsburgh game with an injury. Hooker threw for 188 yards with two touchdowns and one interception and might have the inside path to the starting job.

Giles Jackson

Saturday night was rough for Jackson.

In his return to the Big House after a not-so-amicable split during the offseason, the new Washington receiver was booed mercilessly every time his name came over the public address system.

Jackson finished the game with three catches for 49 yards, which was an improvement over his four-catch, 15-yard performance against Montana, but still not enough to keep the game close. In the end, Jackson was forced to spend most of the game on the sideline, watching Michigan’s offense slowly hammer away at the Huskies’ defensive front.

Aside from his slow start offensively, Jackson has also started the season 0-2 after Washington lost to FCS opponent Montana in the opener.

Bonus: Dylan McCaffrey

Unlike the three players above, McCaffrey never really had his chance to be a full-fledged starter at Michigan, and his transfer to Northern Colorado was a bit less surprising after he lost the quarterback competition to Milton in 2020.

He’s had mixed results so far in two games, racking up 299 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 33-for-58 (56.9%) passing. Northern Colorado opened with a blowout loss at Colorado, but then bounced back to crush Houston Baptist.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.