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Posted on Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 10:30 a.m.

Cullen Christian's departure doesn't make for another cornerback crisis for Michigan football team

By Pete Bigelow

A breathtaking rash of transfers, injuries and other assorted departures crippled the Michigan football team at cornerback throughout last season.

The curse continues in 2011.

That much is certain following the announcement this week that Cullen Christian plans to transfer. The highly touted recruit played in 10 games for the Wolverines as a true freshman last year, but told, “I think it is best that I move on and finish my career elsewhere.”


Terrence Talbott, shown against Michigan State last season, and Courtney Avery were ahead of Cullen Christian on the depth chart.

Melanie Maxwell I

The question now is whether his departure afflicts Michigan like the ones that contributed to the school’s worst defensive season in history in 2010. Short answer: This might be a curse, but it isn’t a crisis.

Five defensive backs played as true freshmen last year. Christian finished behind CB’s Courtney Avery and Terrence Talbott on the team’s depth chart. He didn’t make the impact that safeties Carvin Johnson or even Marvin Robinson made in the secondary.

It’s not necessarily fair to ask a true freshman to immediately contribute - see last week’s thoughts on Will Campbell - but clearly others made the most of their chances.

In spring practices, early enrollee Greg Brown impressed Michigan’s coaches. Three more freshmen corners - Delonte Hollowell, Blake Countess and Tamani Carter - arrive this summer. Two starters, Troy Woolfolk and J.T. Floyd, ostensibly return from injuries.

“Coach (Brady) Hoke is a great guy, and I have no issues with him at all,” Christian told “I had meetings with my others coaches, and I just didn’t like the direction that they had me going in.”

That direction? Down the depth chart.

No, this is not a crisis. That will come if Woolfolk’s not recovered from his injury by September.

Pete Bigelow covers the Michigan football team for He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

I expect at least four transfers, counting Christian. If they can keep the number that low, it will be great for a regime change year. Since no alums are sabotaging the program from within anymore, there shouldn't be an exodus this year. I am hoping for the best-case scenario: all of the transfers are nice kids who don't badmouth the new staff on the way out who would have struggled for playing time anyway. It's a great recruiting year in the midwest, especially Ohio. With impending "troubles" at TSIO which should affect their recruiting, somewhere between 4-6 more schollies for Michigan to spend this year certainly wouldn't be a bad situation.


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

I don't think this transfer will do much to hurt Michigan's team. They will be deeper at the CB position and he knows hit. He knows the liklihood of getting off the bench and on the field is getting slimmer each day. It's best he transfers and opens up a scholarship for another athlete in the next recruiting class.

Nic schweigert

Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

Theo, U need to get over your man crush on your queen. He brought in Greg Robinson, who the year before led Syracuse to their worst defense in school history. Hmm ya good idea let's bring in a coach who just made a school not even close to michigans talent be the worst defense ever. And then the NCAA sanctions, and the crying at the banquet to your other man crush Justin bieber? Really? That's the kind of toughness we want here? Hell no, the man hoke and mattison will get them were they are supposed to be. Top of the big ten and back in national championship contention. Not crying to Justin bieber tracks


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

The defense has many challenges ahead and needs all the quality depth it can get. However, it is normal for teams that just went through a coaching change to have some transfers for one reason or another. In this case, it appears he didn't like moving down on the depth chart. If you can't move up the depth chart on arguably one of the worst defenses in the country after playing as a freshman, it leads me to believe that the defense is improving but Cullen wasn't.


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

I think you are wrong but only time will tell They will have to play plenty of zone


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

I know this one guy at Dooley's bar in Ann Arbor and he said Cullen had academic issues. Another great recruit for the hero of the MCC. 2,4,6,8, ten Meangoblue is back again Thosewhostay, Theo and dusty An easter poem for you...I'm feeling a little crusty MEEEEEEEANchigan football will return from the muck Happy Easter to all................................. I shall cluck!! Remember to play Edgar Winter's Frankenstien while eating your ham will taste better.


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

Mean......did you pen this in your Easter Bonnett! Go Blue!!!


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

Right, Pete. We WERE crippled by non-coaching factors last year (injuries, etc.) Our new coach now reaps the return and development of a wealth of Crystal-bound athletes. Let the faithful now all join hands to celebrate The Real King. Happy Easter. Go Blue.

1st Down

Mon, Apr 25, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

log out and revote for yourself much Theo? Its amazing how some few here are still brainwashed by 6-18 Rodriguez.. the worst coach, and worst recruiter in Michigan football history... lol but think what you want... you types will be here claiming victory for Rod when Hoke turns Rods mess around...just like you blamed 122-40 Carr for Rods total failure... Its pure spin... Crystal Spin if you like.