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Here’s how 41 Michigan football transfers performed at their new schools this season

Dozens of former Wolverines played across country this year

Dozens of players have transferred from the Michigan football program in the past few years. (Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Michigan football is fresh off a Big Ten championship and preparing for a playoff matchup against one of the best teams in the country.

The Wolverines went 12-1 this season, emphatically ending a long losing streak to rival Ohio State and punishing Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. It took a few years, but Jim Harbaugh has elevated Michigan to the heights many fans envisioned when he took over in 2015.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, though.

With college football evolving and the Wolverines battling through their share of recent ups and downs, dozens of players have transferred to other schools around the country. Some left to seek more playing time, while others just wanted a better fit. Either way, there were enough former Michigan football players out there this fall to field half an FBS team.

Here’s a look at 41 recent Michigan transfers who played for different teams this season.

OL Willie Allen

  • New school: UMass
  • Last season with Michigan: None (2021)

This one is a double-transfer special. Allen announced last year that he was transferring to Michigan from Louisiana Tech, but after spring practice, he bolted for Massachusetts. It ended up being the best decision for both sides, as Allen wasn’t going to start at Michigan and the Wolverines fielded one of the best offensive lines in the nation.

LB Jordan Anthony

  • New school: Troy
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

After three seasons with Michigan in which he recorded just 15 tackles, Anthony went to Troy and played in all 12 games this year. He made 35 tackles for the Trojans.

LS Matt Baldeck

  • New school: Western Kentucky
  • Last season with Michigan: 2019

The former Michigan walk-on long snapper appeared in nine games for Western Kentucky this season.

OL Zach Carpenter

  • New school: Indiana
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

It was a bit surprising when Carpenter announced his intention to transfer because he was thought to be in the mix for the starting spot at center in 2021. Instead, he ended up at Indiana and the Wolverines got an excellent season from sixth-year captain Andrew Vastardis. Carpenter started three games at right guard and played in five total games this year for the Hoosiers.

RB Jordan Castleberry

  • New school: UT Martin
  • Last season with Michigan: 2019

Castleberry was a preferred walk-on for Michigan before transferring to Maryland and playing on special teams in 2020. He ended up at UT Martin this season and carried the ball 30 times for 154 yards and a touchdown. He also caught four passes for 33 yards and made four tackles.

RB Zach Charbonnet

  • New school: UCLA
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

The most productive player on this entire list, Charbonnet scored 11 touchdowns for Michigan as a true freshman in 2019 but had a strange mix of injuries and inconsistent playing time in 2020. He ended up back in his home state of California this year and rushed for 1,137 yards and 13 touchdowns while catching 24 passes for an additional 197 yards at UCLA. Despite Charbonnet’s excellent season, Michigan’s running back room was just fine with Hassan Haskins in 2021 and is in good shape looking forward, thanks to Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards.

WR Kekoa Crawford

  • New school: Cal
  • Last season with Michigan: 2017

Yes, Kekoa Crawford was still playing college football this season. In his third year with Cal, the sixth-year senior made 40 catches for 513 yards. He finishes his career with 96 catches for 1,307 yards -- 290 of which came at Michigan between 2016 and 2017.

LB Adam Fakih

  • New school: Duke
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

The Detroit Country Day star and Dearborn Heights native spent three years with Michigan before transferring to Duke. He appeared in 18 games for Michigan but didn’t register any tackles for Duke this season.

RB Gaige Garcia

  • New school: Lehigh
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

Garcia enrolled at Michigan as a member of both the football and wrestling teams, but transferred to Lehigh this year. He appeared in three games, rushing 16 times for 73 yards. He also caught three passes for 17 yards.

RB Julian Garrett

  • New school: Pomona-Pitzer
  • Last season with Michigan: 2019

In his first season with Pomona-Pitzer, Garrett played in eight games and rushed 13 times for 47 yards. He caught three passes for 22 yards and a touchdown while making five tackles on special teams.

WR Owen Goldsberry

  • New school: Penn
  • Last season with Michigan: 2018

In 2018, Goldsberry played on Michigan’s scout team as a defensive back. He has spent the last three years with Penn, and appeared in nine games this season. Goldsberry had 18 catches for 156 yards and a touchdown and led the Ivy League by averaging 29.8 yards per kick return.

P Will Hart

  • New school: San Jose State
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

In both 2018 and 2019, Hart punted for more than 2,000 total yards for Michigan, averaging 47 and 44.2 yards per attempt, respectively. But he was overtaken by Brad Robbins in 2020 and transferred to San Jose State. This season, he punted 67 times, averaging 44.3 yards.

OL Mahdi Hazime

  • New school: Monroe College
  • Last season with Michigan: 2021

Hazime, out of Fordson High School in Dearborn, was listed on Michigan’s official roster in the preseason, but he has since joined the offensive line unit at Monroe College.

QB Ren Hefley

  • New school: Presbyterian
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

Most people heard about Hefley, a former Michigan walk-on, throwing an FCS record 10 touchdown passes for Presbyterian against St. Andrews on Sept. 22. That was one of three games this season in which Hefley threw for more than 500 yards. He finished the season with 3,933 passing yards, 39 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.

WR Giles Jackson

  • New school: Washington
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

Michigan fans got a chance to see Jackson in person earlier this year, when he rushed for nine yards and caught three passes for 49 yards in Washington’s blowout loss at the Big House. Jackson caught a career-low eight passes this season for 87 yards. He also averaged a career-worst 23.3 yards per kick return and didn’t reach the end zone in any capacity.

DB Jaylen Kelly-Powell

  • New school: Akron
  • Last season with Michigan: 2019

A member of the loaded 2017 recruiting class, Kelly-Powell never really found his footing in Michigan’s defense. He made 18 tackles for Akron last season, but had a much more productive year in 2021: 73 tackles, one sack and one interception.

DL Aaron Lewis

  • New school: Rutgers
  • Last season with Michigan: None (2020)

Lewis never dressed for a game at Michigan, enrolling in January 2020 but entering the transfer portal before the start of the season. He made 31 tackles and 2.5 sacks for Rutgers this year, but didn’t register any stats when the Scarlet Knights visited the Big House.

WR Oliver Martin

  • New school: Nebraska
  • Last season with Michigan: 2018

For the first time in his four-year career, Martin was at a school for multiple seasons. The former Michigan and Iowa wideout was more productive in his second year with Nebraska, making 11 catches for a career-high 183 yards and one touchdown.

LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse

  • New school: Davenport
  • Last season with Michigan: 2016

Mbem-Bosse tweeted threatening messages toward Harbaugh in April 2018, including, “Michigan is open carry, let’s not forget.” In his second season with Davenport University, he made 54 total tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks.

QB Dylan McCaffrey

  • New school: Northern Colorado
  • Last season with Michigan: 2019

It was no surprise to see McCaffrey depart after Joe Milton won the quarterback competition before 2020. McCaffrey went to play for his father at Northern Colorado and completed 160 of 265 passes (60.4%) for 1,332 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions.

WR Kyle McNamara

  • New school: Western Kentucky
  • Last season with Michigan: None (2020)

The younger brother of starting quarterback Cade McNamara was briefly enrolled at Michigan as a wide receiver before transferring to Western Kentucky. He appeared in two games this season, making one tackle.

QB Joe Milton

  • New school: Tennessee
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

When Milton won the starting quarterback job in 2020, nobody could have envisioned it going as poorly as it did. Milton completed just 56.7% of his passes for 6.9 yards per attempt, four touchdowns and four interceptions before losing the job to Cade McNamara. He transferred to Tennessee this season, but lost the starting job there, too. He completed 32 of 61 passes (52.5%) for 376 yards and two touchdowns with the Volunteers.

LB William Mohan

  • New school: Tennessee
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

The defensive coordinator change after 2020 really hurt Mohan’s chances of playing at Michigan, because he was recruited to fill a viper position that no longer exists under Mike MacDonald. He played in all 12 games for Tennessee this season, making nine tackles.

QB Brandon Peters

  • New school: Illinois
  • Last season with Michigan: 2018

This was the third season at Illinois for Peters after Shea Patterson transferred in and took over for him at Michigan. Peters played in nine games this season, completing 91 of 170 passes (53.5%) for seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

DB Hunter Reynolds

  • New school: Utah State
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

Reynolds spent four years with Michigan from 2017-2020 before heading to Utah State as a grad transfer. He was excellent for the Aggies, making 83 tackles, four tackles for loss and an interception that came against Oregon State in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.

OL Nolan Rumler

  • New school: Kent State
  • Last season with Michigan: 2021

Another casualty of the loaded offensive line room at Michigan, Rumler announced his decision to move on midway through the 2021 season. He was one of four four-star offensive linemen in Michigan’s 2019 class, but hasn’t seen much playing time. Trente Jones and Trevor Keegan have carved out important roles, and Karsen Barnhart is a candidate for playing time next season.

RB O’Maury Samuels

  • New school: New Mexico State
  • Last season with Michigan: 2018

Samuels was dismissed from Michigan after an alleged incident in December 2018. After he sat out the 2019 season, New Mexico State didn’t play during the pandemic in 2020. So his return to the field in 2021 came after two full seasons off. Samuels rushed for 224 yards and one touchdown on 66 carries.

LB Osman Savage

  • New school: Alabama A&M
  • Last season with Michigan: None (2020)

The situation with Savage was very similar to that of Lewis. Savage enrolled at Michigan the summer after signing his letter of intent, but transferred before the start of the season. He appeared in two games this season at Alabama A&M, making two tackles and one sack.

K Alan Selzer

  • New school: Indiana State
  • Last season with Michigan: 2019

Selzer entered the transfer portal as a graduate transfer in January 2020, and landed with Indiana State. He converted six of 12 field goal attempts this season, with a long of 48 yards in the opener against Eastern Illinois.

LB Adam Shibley

  • New school: Notre Dame
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

The former walk-on appeared in 18 games during his Michigan career before transferring to the Fighting Irish. During the shortened 2020 season, Shibley made 23 tackles and three tackles for loss at Michigan. He made just three tackles in six games for Notre Dame this year.

DB Myles Sims

  • New school: Georgia Tech
  • Last season with Michigan: 2018

Sims came to Michigan as a highly regarded four-star prospect and redshirted as a true freshman. He then moved back home to Atlanta, citing personal reasons, and joined Georgia Tech. His third season with the Yellow Jackets turned out to be the most productive -- 21 tackles, three passes defended and two fumble recoveries.

LB Drew Singleton

  • New school: Rutgers
  • Last season with Michigan: 2018

He was mostly a special teams player for Michigan, but Singleton made a great decision transferring to Rutgers after 2018. The former four-star recruit became a leader for the Scarlet Knights and registered a career-high 50 tackles in 2021.

DL Aubrey Solomon

  • New school: Tennessee
  • Last season with Michigan: 2019

Nobody was surprised to hear of Solomon’s decision to transfer after 2018. As a five-star high school prospect, Solomon committed to Michigan, de-committed, posted a cryptic video slamming the university and then eventually enrolled anyway. His playing time has steadily decreased at Tennessee, and it bottomed out this year, with eight tackles in four games.

RB Christian Turner

  • New school: Wake Forest
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

There was a point in 2019 when Turner looked like he could have a significant role in the Michigan running game. But when the opposite proved true in 2020, he joined a Wake Forest team that went on to play for an ACC championship. Turner was a big part of that dangerous offense, rushing for 463 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games.

LB Ben VanSumeren

  • New school: Michigan State
  • Last season with Michigan: 2020

VanSumeren went north to join the rival Spartans this season after moving from running back to linebacker at Michigan. He had 12 tackles in seven games this season.

DL Ryan Veingrad

  • New school: Florida Atlantic
  • Last season with Michigan:

After walking on at Michigan, Veingrad spent three seasons on Florida Atlantic’s defensive line. This season he made 16 tackles in eight games.

DL Luiji Vilain

  • New school: Wake Forest
  • Last season with Michigan:

Vilain was also a big part of Wake Forest’s surprise turnaround, making 34 tackles, nine tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2021. This was the first true breakout performance for the former top-50 recruit, who dealt with injuries his entire Michigan career.

RB Kareem Walker

  • New school: South Alabama
  • Last season with Michigan: 2017

Walker has bounced all over college football after committing to Michigan as a five-star way back in 2016. He couldn’t carve out a role at Mississippi State in 2020, but earned 86 carries for South Alabama in 2021, gaining 295 yards and scoring four touchdowns. Walker also caught 12 passes for 43 yards and a score.

LB Cornell Wheeler

  • New school: Kansas
  • Last season with Michigan: None (2020)

Michigan landed Wheeler out of West Bloomfield High School in 2020, but he entered the transfer portal before the season began. He landed at Kansas and made one tackle this season.

RB Tru Wilson

  • New school: Northern Colorado
  • Last season with Michigan: 2019

When he joined Michigan as a preferred walk-on in 2016, Wilson was a two-star safety ranked outside the top 2,000 recruits nationally. Between 2018 and 2019, he gained 585 yards on 106 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns as part of a strong running backs trio. Playing alongside McCaffrey at Northern Colorado this season, Wilson gained 228 yards on 56 rushing attempts and caught 23 passes for 121 yards.

DB J’Marick Woods

  • New school: Duke
  • Last season with Michigan: 2019

Woods had his best season as a redshirt senior for Duke in 2021, making 27 tackles and two tackles for loss while defending two passes in 10 games.


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.