Ondre Pipkins and the Michigan Wolverines have been involved in a very public and acrimonious split in recent weeks when the defensive tackle announced that he would be transferring after a clash with Jim Harbaugh and the new coaching staff in Ann Arbor. Now, it appears the Pipkins will begin a new chapter of his career after announcing that he will transfer to the Texas Tech Red Raiders for his final year of eligibility in 2016.
Pipkins was a five-star prospect in the 2012 recruiting class and one of the top defensive recruits in the nation at the time. However, he never lived up to his potential at Michigan, suffering numerous injuries over the years that kept him sidelined. In three seasons, he played in just 23 games, accumulating 23 tackles. His time at Michigan came to an end when he says that Harbaugh and the Michigan training staff tried to force him to sign a medical scholarship, effectively making him retire to free up a scholarship before he was ready to hang it up.
While Pipkins has confirmed doctors found arthritis in his knee following a torn ACL injury in 2013, the defensive tackle says that his doctors told him he should not be medically disqualified because of that. He was advised to take six months of rest to really let the knee heal properly but Michigan wanted him to hang it up for good.
At Texas Tech, Pipkins will join a defense that is constantly in need of defensive talent. The Red Raiders ranked second-to-last in the Big 12 last season for total defense, allowing 512.7 yards per game. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury, a noted offensive mind, has been constantly on the lookout for talent to add to the defense to give them a boost, often inserting junior college transfers into the mix. With Pipkins, he’ll have a player with major college experience and a wealth of potential to throw into the rotation in 2016.
The move is a win for all parties involved it seems as Pipkins gets an opportunity to continue his playing career somewhere that wants him while getting a season off due to NCAA transfer rules to rest his knee and get 100 percent healthy. Meanwhile, Texas Tech gets some talent to add to their defensive line and Michigan frees up that scholarship they were hoping for.
Will Ondre Pipkins prove to be a difference-maker for Texas Tech in 2016 or have the injuries taken their toll on a talented prospect?