The Wolverine

February 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 31   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SEVERAL MORE WOLVERINES LEAVE THE PROGRAM Michigan's staff isn't the only part of the program getting a makeover this winter. Several more players are entering the transfer portal as well. Running back Zach Charbon- net was the most noteworthy, as of Jan. 25. Charbonnet had a disap- pointing sophomore campaign this past year, rushing for only 124 yards and one touchdown while playing in five of the team's six games. His yardage total still finished second on the team, behind only redshirt soph- omore Hassan Haskins' 375, though 70 of Charbonnet's came on one run in the opener at Minnesota. The Camarillo, Calif., native ar- rived in Ann Arbor as's No. 60 overall player in the nation, and he made his presence felt early. He rushed for 726 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman in 2019, averaging 4.9 yards per carry, while his 11 scores on the ground were the most by a freshman rusher in school history. C h a r b o n n e t b a t t l e d i n j u r i e s throughout the 2019 season but was thought to be fully healthy once the 2020 slate kicked off. He struggled to get touches, however, and as a result averaged only 3.8 carries in the five games he played, never getting more than seven touches in any contest. Haskins will likely be the clear- cut frontrunner to win the starting job for the 2021 season, while rising redshirt freshman Blake Corum and incoming rookie Donovan Edwards will be expected contributors as well. Senior defensive end Luiji Vilain entered the portal a day after Char- bonnet, on Jan. 19. Vilain, a former four-star recruit ranked No. 74 in the country out of Alexandria, Va., notched 11 tackles and one sack at Michigan. He suffered two serious injuries that cost him time and never materialized as the pass rusher many expected him to be. Vilain was healthy for the first time in three seasons in 2020 but never really regained his confidence af- ter back-to-back knee surgeries that sidelined him for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He notched two solo tackles and two assists in five games played this season. Several other Wolverines have an- nounced their intentions to pursue their NFL dreams. Fifth-year senior Quinn Nordin, who made only two of his five field goal attempts in 2020, started his U-M career in impressive fashion, making four of six field goals against Florida in the 2017 opener, including kicks of 55 and 50 yards. He would later tie the school record for longest field goal when he made a 57-yarder against Alabama in the January 2020 Citrus Bowl. Nordin finished his first year go- ing 19 of 24 on field goal attempts and 35 of 38 on extra points in 2017. He made 11 of his 16 attempts the following year before giving way to Jake Moody, with whom he'd share time the next few seasons. He made 10 of 13 kicks in 2019. Senior Moody and incoming fresh- man Tommy Doman will vie for kick- ing duties during the 2021 season with Nordin's departure. Tight end Nick Eubanks also an- nounced he wouldn't be coming back for a sixth year, choosing to make himself eligible for the NFL Draft. "It was my utmost pleasure to play the last five years at the University of Michigan," Eubanks said via Insta- gram. "I am determined and excited to see what is in store for me in this next chapter." The 6-5, 256-pound Eubanks played in five games this season, making 10 catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. He finished with 45 catches for 578 yards (12.8 yards per reception) and six touchdowns in his U-M career. Eubanks was set to play in the East- West Shrine Bowl, but that all-star contest has been canceled. The event organizers are hosting virtual train- ing for the players in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the roster also included for- mer Michigan players Chris Evans, Ben Mason, Carlo Kemp and Nordin. — Chris Balas SAFETY BRAD HAWKINS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES HIS RETURN Safety Brad Hawkins announced his return to Michigan for a fifth year on Jan. 11. "This past year has been unlike any that we have ever seen before, filled with many challenges, yet it was a learning experience for me," he wrote on social media. "I have learned so much about myself and where I see myself going in the coming years. "I was so excited for the oppor- tunity to play this season to be able to sharpen my skills and be the best player I know I was meant to be, but due to unforeseen circumstances, our season was cut short. There is so much work left to do. After careful consideration and discussions with my loved ones, I have decided to come back for the 2021-22 season." An honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the league media this past season, Hawkins was the fourth-leading tackler for U-M with 39 stops, including 25 solo tackles. He broke up two passes with one tackle for loss. Hawkins, a 2019 All-Big Ten first- team selection as a flex defender by Pro Football Focus, has appeared in 42 career games and notched 118 tackles with four pass breakups. — Chris Balas Hawkins finished fourth on the team with 39 tackles in 2020. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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