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Posted on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 3:58 p.m.

Michigan linebacker Brandon Smith misses team meeting, may look to transfer

By Dave Birkett

The Michigan football team's already thin defense might take another hit.

Receiver Roy Roundtree confirmed an Internet report from earlier this month that linebacker Brandon Smith is considering a transfer.

Roundtree, one of about 10 players and staff members to volunteer at The Salvation Army of Washtenaw County’s toy shop for needy families Wednesday, said he hasn’t talked to Smith recently, but Smith missed a team meeting earlier this week and it’s “looking like” he’ll leave.


Brandon Smith

Smith, a redshirt freshman from New Brunswick, N.J., made 14 tackles in 11 games this year, playing mostly as a backup and on special teams.

He made one start, when Michigan went to a 4-4 defense in a November loss to Wisconsin, and had 4 tackles and assisted on a tackle-for-loss against the Badgers.

In an e-mail last week, Smith said he was not willing to do any interviews.

A Michigan spokesperson declined comment, and Smith’s grandmother referred all questions to Smith when reached at her home on Wednesday.

Recruited as a safety as part of Rich Rodriguez’s first class, Smith moved to outside linebacker last year. He finished the season third on the depth chart at weak-side linebacker behind Jonas Mouton and Kevin Leach.

Regardless of Smith’s decision, Michigan will have to replace 2 of its most productive defensive players next year in defensive end Brandon Graham and linebacker Stevie Brown. Junior cornerback Donovan Warren also is considering entering the NFL draft.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 7:18 p.m.



Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 10:29 a.m.

This happens to everyschool bring on Carvin or Marv way better fit for S then he was he is to small for LB i bet he was gonna be on special teams more and dident like it this is still a team game. Gl brandon were ever you go wish you would stay to help the team not just about you but thats how kids are these days not about the team just themselfs.


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 9:28 a.m.

Smith didn't commit until 1/5/2008 at the US Army All-American Bowl, after RR was hired... he made his visit during LC's last season and remained interested through the coaching change... he prolly wanted to play safety all along and not get moved to LB..


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 2:55 a.m.

Reading Rich Rodriguez's comments on B. Smith an AHOLE Rich Rod is. He is totally clueless about how to handle his players. He and his lackeys ruined B. Smith's potential. I totally dont blame B. Smith for tranferring. Rich Rod has torn down Michigan football. He is 100 per cent CLUELESSS. What a jerk. He needs to go. Now.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 8:37 p.m.

goblueinnPA -- "rodriguez's first class' is a misleading phrase. rich rod took the job in mid december and the recruiting was finished in early february -- this was not a rich rod recruit -- this was an LC recruit. he may or may not have been a good fit for what rich rod was doing, but he definitely was not a rich rod recruit. that said, i wish the kid well.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 7:21 p.m.

To me, the story here is that this is one of RR's kids. This isn't a LC guy who has sour grapes. Look, every school goes through this, but listening to RR's supporters here and elsewhere, the only reason kids leave the program now is that they are talentless hacks brought in by Carr. Not so this time around. Brandon, I wish you luck in whatever you chose to do.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 7:07 p.m.

Some people need to leave their obsessive MSU hatred to other forums - this is a UM board. This is going to be a major hit. As hard as it is to believe, that defense is sure to take a step back next year.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 6:08 p.m.

Why does Smith want to transfer?? Is it he is unhappy about playing time or is he unhappy about the move to linebacker??


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 4:42 p.m.

Well, this is not much of a story, but the reporter did try to do some research.