Update: Graduate Transfers To Keep An Eye On

Brandon Brown

There was initially a handful of seven players in the transfer portal that Michigan was courting to bolster its roster next fall but a few of them have chosen their future destinations. All seven players outlined carry graduate transfer status, meaning they'd be eligible to play during the 2020 season. Five of the seven had a Michigan offer before committing elsewhere, but all of them were worth monitoring for various reasons. Could any of the remaining players sport a winged helmet next fall? Here's what we know...

Off The Board

Devery Hamilton - OT (Stanford Cardinal • 6-7, 301) - Committed to Duke

Xavier Kelly - DT (Clemson Tigers • 6-4, 305) - Committed to Arkansas

Mike Williams - DT (Stanford Cardinal • 6-2, 290) - Committed to SMU

The Board

Nigel Knott - CB (Alabama Crimson Tide • 5-11, 182)

The Backstory: Considered a consensus 4-star prospect out of Madison, Miss., Knott never visited Michigan but he did have an offer and was recruited on some level. He committed to Alabama as a pretty coveted recruit but never made much of an impact in Tuscaloosa.

The Player: Per BamaCentral.com, Knott played in two games in 2017, and 10 games for the Crimson Tide in 2018, when he listed as a redshirt sophomore. He made his first and only career tackle for the Crimson Tide on special teams against Arkansas. Knott was medically disqualified to continue playing last year, and Nick Saban announced during a September press conference that the defensive back would stay in school but no longer play for the Crimson Tide.

The Situation: Knott was medically cleared and is looking for a new home. Michigan defensive line coach Shaun Nua followed Knott on Twitter, which is at least worth paying attention to. Knott is aware that Nua followed him and is at least giving the Wolverines a look at this point. The lanky corner is being most closely linked to Florida State, with Ole Miss and Ohio State also seemingly in the mix. Just four days ago, Knott tweeted out, "Eligible for two years of play," indicating that maybe his search isn't going so well.

Brian Polendey - TE (Miami Hurricanes • 6-6, 245)

The Backstory: Originally from Eugene, Oreg., Polendey finished his prep career in Texas but grew up a die hard fan of the Ducks and all things Pac-12. That made his recruitment interesting but Michigan got involved very early. He routinely mentioned the Wolverines as a team he was interested in and was a big fan of Jim Harbaugh and his usage of tight ends, but it never materialized into much. He obviously ended up at Miami, but there was interest in U-M.

The Player: As a true freshman, Polendey saw action in six games, largely on special teams. In 2018 he saw action in two games before suffering season-ending injury, and last year, Polendey saw action in six games and made his first career start in Miami's bowl game. He finished his career at Miami with one catch for 14 yards.

The Situation: Because of his injury and lack of production, Polendey is getting attention from mostly smaller schools, at least in terms of who has followed him on Twitter. Programs like West Florida, North Alabama, Clarion, Bryant, Texas State and Missouri Southern are monitoring the tight end as are Division I programs like Arizona State, UAB, Louisiana, Maryland, Colorado State, Arkansas, Tulane and Texas Tech. I can confirm that Michigan tight ends coach Sherrone Moore is keeping an eye on Polendey, but the one-time Hurricane doesn't seem like a top priority for U-M.

Jovan Swann - DT (Stanford Cardinal • 6-2, 271)

The Backstory: Swann one of two players on this list that didn't have a Michigan offer coming out of high school, but probably had the most interest in the Wolverines, even with Hamilton being a former commit. Per an article from TheWolverine.com, Swann was born in Michigan and grew up a massive U-M fan. He moved to Indiana at a young age, but never lost sight of his background. Swann ended up reeling in 20 offers as a recruit and heavily considered Indiana and Northwestern before committing to the Cardinal.

The Player: Swann played in all 12 games and made nine starts this past season. He finished the year with 32 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He also broke up a pass, forced a fumble and blocked a kick. As a junior he was All-Pac-12 honorable mention and a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic performer in the classroom. He's undersized in terms of his weight, but he's extremely quick off the ball and athletic.

The Situation: As an Indiana kid, Swann has a couple of Wolverine friends in running back Chris Evans and linebacker Cam McGrone, which never hurts. He's also been followed by director of recruiting Matt Dudek and defensive line coach Shaun Nua. Several people in the Michigan media market are also following Swann, which seems to indicate that he's a pretty serious target. He also recently tweeted that "there's no place like the Midwest," which seems to indicate that he likes the idea of coming back home. Iowa is one school that seems to be giving him a lot of attention but he's remained pretty quiet about who is pursuing him. Other schools like Tulane, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Texas, Memphis and Illinois are on the radar but it's unclear if any of them are pursuing Swann aggressively.

Chibueze Onwuka - DT (Buffalo Bulls • 6-0, 290)

The Backstory: There actually isn't much of a Michigan backstory here but Onwuka checks a lot of other boxes for the Wolverines. Onwuka originally walked on at Buffalo and developed into a solid defensive tackle. He's a former wrestler, so he doesn't have much of a recruiting backstory, but does explain why he's been so good as an interior defensive lineman at 6-feet tall.

The Player: Last year, Onwuka started all 13 games at defensive tackle and was named All-MAC Third Team. He ranked sixth on the team in tackles with 43 and also recorded eight tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He finished his career at Buffalo with 68 tackles and six sacks.

The Situation: Onwuka entered the portal about three weeks ago and hasn't really been very vocal about his plans or interests but I can confirm that Michigan is monitoring the productive defensive tackle and will be keeping an eye on him to see how things play out. It looks like Boston College is making the biggest push for Onwuka based on almost the entire staff following him on Twitter but there's not much actual news out there on Onwuka yet.

Which player would you like to see at Michigan the most? Which player do you think is most likely to come? Comment below!!!

Comments (1)
Steve Deace
Steve Deace


It doesn't seem like this is a priority for Michigan right now.