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Tracking Top Michigan Transfers

Many players transferred from Michigan recently. These are the top Michigan transfers from 2021 and how they are doing at their new schools.

Tracking Top Michigan Transfers

Michigan transfers made some headlines in the Mitten State last season. Unlike its in-state rivals, the Michigan Wolverines have not been fully utilizing the transfer portal to add talent to its roster. This offseason, however, they landed a huge transfer in center Victor Oluwatimi. Oluwatimi is a Rimington Award Finalist from Virginia who will seriously elevate Michigan’s offensive line as it loses multiple starters.

Despite this pickup, Michigan has seemed to lose more players than it has gained from the transfer portal. While many of these transfers do not make headlines at their new schools, there are certainly some with stories worth following. These are the top Michigan transfers from 2021 and how they are doing at their new schools.

A Former Promising Running Back

Zach Charbonnet joined the Wolverines as a freshman in 2019. His speed and athleticism were immediately apparent, and he earned significant playing time in his first season. His contribution declined in 2020, with the rise of Michigan’s “thunder and lightning” duo of Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum. Charbonnet transferred to UCLA after the 2020 season.

Charbonnet, a Los Angeles native, took over the starting running back position with UCLA in 2021. He used his time there to wrack up a 1,000 yard rushing season and 13 rushing touchdowns. Despite last season’s success, Charbonnet has shockingly decided to forego the draft and return to the Bruins next season. Chip Kelly and his crew are undoubtedly excited to be welcoming this Michigan transfer back for his senior season.

Top Transfers That Played Against Michigan in 2021

Another former Michigan running back, Ben VanSumeren, hit the transfer portal last year. VanSumeren redshirted his freshman year in Ann Arbor before being converted from running back to linebacker by Jim Harbaugh’s staff. He shook up the state of Michigan when he transferred to Michigan State after two years with the Wolverines.

This season’s game between Wolverines and Spartans was the first time VanSumeren suited up in green and white against his former team. Prior to the matchup, Michigan’s star edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson was asked how he felt playing against Vansumeren. Hutchinson stated that he and Vansumeren were roommates at one point and that he hoped the Wolverines could get a win against the Spartans. The Spartans won that game, but it was Michigan who ultimately won the Big Ten.

The interesting twist in this story is Alex VanSumeren, Ben’s younger brother and a four-star defensive tackle in the 2022 class. Alex had originally committed to Michigan while his brother was there. He then switched his commitment to the Spartans when his brother transferred. Unfortunately, these brothers will not have the opportunity to play together, as the older Vansumeren has entered the transfer portal yet again.

The Wide Receiver

VanSumeren was not the only former Wolverine that played against the maize and blue this season. Giles Jackson made his homecoming to Ann Arbor this season as a wide receiver for the Washington Huskies. Jackson had three receptions for 49 yards. This was not enough for Jackson and the Huskies. They ultimately lost to Michigan under the lights at the Big House.

Jackson showed electric speed as a Wolverine and became Washington’s primary punt and kickoff returner last year. His contribution to the Washington program was primarily with the special teams. Despite starting only three games, he returned the vast majority of Washington’s kickoffs and punts throughout the season.

Back in Ann Arbor, Michigan’s primary kickoff and punt returner was AJ Henning. Henning had an incredible season with the Wolverine’s exceptional special teams. This included a kickoff return for a touchdown against Maryland which was set up by an impressive cross-field lateral pass from Michael Barrett. Henning will be returning next season and is expected to make a big impact on special teams and on offense.

A Quarterback

Dylan McCaffrey came into Ann Arbor as a four-star quarterback and entered his freshman season with no shortage of hype. McCaffrey’s older brother, Christian McCaffrey, was a Heisman Finalist and is an elite athlete. The Michigan faithful took note of this and were excited at the potential that the younger McCaffrey had to bring success to the Wolverines. McCaffrey ended up spending most of his time on the sideline as the backup to Shea Patterson. After his third year with the Wolverines, McCaffrey opted to transfer to the University of Northern Colorado where his father is the head coach.

The 2021 season was McCaffrey’s first season at Northern Colorado and it proved to be a challenge for him. His team won only three games last year and he threw more interceptions than touchdowns. Injuries have been an issue for him throughout his entire career and this remained true last year. The silver lining is that McCaffrey continues to enjoy playing for his father.


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