FB Stephen Hopkins, who began season as starter, leaves Michigan football team
ANN ARBOR -- One-time starting fullback Stephen Hopkins has left the Michigan football team.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke wouldn't comment on when or why the junior left, saying only "you'd have to ask him."
"I love the University of Michigan and everything it means to be a Michigan Man," Hopkins tweeted Monday. "I look forward to getting my degree."
The announcement of Hopkins' departure comes one day after the Wolverines earned a bid to face South Carolina in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. Redshirt freshman walk-on Joe Kerridge is expected to start at fullback in that game.
Hopkins arrived at Michigan as a tailback, but moved to fullback in the middle of last season after then-starter John McColgan suffered an injury, and ascended to become the full-time starter.
He lost his handle on that role this year, though, after missing multiple games with a hamstring injury. Kerridge started for Hopkins when he was hurt, and has continued to play even after Hopkins' return to health.
Hopkins, from Double Tree, Texas, finishes his Michigan career with 48 carries for 194 yards and four touchdowns.
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson said he was "a little" surprised by Hopkins' exit, "but that's Hop. We support him, and that's still a brother to me. I would never say anything bad about him because that's my brother."
Michigan now has 23 scholarships available for its 2013 recruiting class. It currently has 22 commits.