Cullen Christian's departure doesn't make for another cornerback crisis for Michigan football team
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 SuperPrep.com, “I think it is best that I move on and finish my career elsewhere.”
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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 SuperPrep.com. “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 AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.