Attrition is expected in college football, and the Michigan Wolverines experienced it when two players decided to leave the program. Reserve linebacker Mike Jones and reserve safety Marvin Robinson will not be returning to the team for their senior years. Though neither of them were expected to start in the upcoming season, their departures impact depth at their respective positions and special teams.
Jones came to Michigan as a defensive back prospect under former head coach Rich Rodriguez but quickly outgrew the position and moved to linebacker. He played in seven games as a true freshman, mostly on special teams, recording three tackles. He was challenging for a starting linebacker position in his sophomore year before suffering a leg injury in the Wolverines’ second game of the season against Notre Dame. The injury caused him to miss the rest of the season, and he used a red-shirt to preserve a year of eligibility. He would come back from the injury in his red-shirt sophomore season, appearing in eight games and last season he played in all 13 games on special teams. He had been passed on the depth chart by younger players brought in by Brady Hoke, which is what likely led to his decision to leave the team. He has one year of eligibility remaining if he chooses to transfer and continue his football career.
Robinson arrived at Michigan with a lot of hype after an outstanding high school career. He was a highly ranked safety prospect that was expected to contribute immediately, but he played sparingly as a freshman, recording three solo tackles in 11 games. As a sophomore he played in five games, including one start against Notre Dame in which he set career highs in tackles with seven and solo tackles with five. Last season he appeared in every game, mostly on special teams, recording nine tackles. He struggled to pick up Michigan’s defensive schemes and concepts and thus was unable to parlay his physical abilities into steady playing time. Like Jones, he likely transferred due to lack of playing and also like Jones he has one year of eligibility.
Michigan likely won’t feel much of a burden from their departures as Jones and Robinson were not expected to contribute much other than on special teams. It will, however, put the pressure on some of the younger players to step up and become dependable backups and special teams players.