Freshman tight end Chris Barnett becomes 3rd player in 4 days to leave Michigan football team
When Michigan football coach Brady Hoke took over in January, he did a remarkable job of avoiding the kind of attrition that afflicts many programs in transition.
Now, he's lost three players in four days with the Wolverines' season opener looming next week.
An athletic department spokesman confirmed Thursday morning that true freshman tight end Chris Barnett has left the Wolverines, becoming the third player to do so since Monday. The Hurst, Texas, native originally announced the move on Twitter.
"No longer at the university of Michigan," he tweeted.
Michigan also lost true freshman linebacker Kellen Jones last month.
A reason was not given for any of the departures.
Hoke talked about attrition at his news conference Tuesday after losing Posada and Stokes this week.
“To be honest with you, it was the right thing for them and how they felt," he said. "We wish them the best, and they’re great kids. But, sometimes kids move on for different reasons - homesick or whatever it might be.
"I’m not going to get into that, but it usually works out for everybody.”
Barnett's departure won't have much of an impact on Michigan this year, since he wasn't expected to receive playing time behind seniors Kevin Koger and Steve Watson.
Tight end will be more of an uncertainty next year, when the only returners are redshirt freshman Ricardo Miller and junior Brandon Moore. Miller has yet to play a down at Michigan, and Moore has played in five career games.
The Wolverines also have two tight ends verbally committed to their 2012 class: Farmington Hills Harrison's Devin Funchess and Cincinnati's A.J. Williams.
One result of the move could be the size of Michigan's 2012 class. Hoke said last month at the Big Ten media days in Chicago he hoped to sign about 25 or 26 players. That could grow to 27 or 28, once the departures are accounted for and the program decides who will receive fifth years.
Michigan's class is at 22 now.
“I don’t know, I haven’t really thought about that," Hoke said Tuesday after Posada and Stokes left the team. "If there’s more scholarships that we can give, then we’re going to try and fill them. But I haven’t thought about it yet.”