Michigan Football's Offensive 'All-Decommit Team' Of The Last Decade
The Michigan Wolverines' football program has lost some outstanding high school prospects to decommitments over the last 10 years, and we've decided to take a look back at the top offensive recruits who signed elsewhere after once being committed to the Maize and Blue, in this edition of the "All-Decommit Team."
We based our selections on how the prospects eventually performed throughout their collegiate careers, and not the kind of high school tenures they had or where they were ranked during their prep days.
The rules to qualify for this list are simple: the prospect had to be committed to Michigan at one time before eventually signing with a different college (Cass Tech offensive lineman David Dawson doesn't qualify as a result, since he wound up signing with the Wolverines in 2013 after originally having decommitted).
Quarterback — Victor Viramontes (California, Riverside City College and UNLV)
He was primarily seen as an 'athlete' who was expected to play quarterback at Michigan, with his eventual collegiate career taking some similarly surprising twists.
Viramontes redshirted as a freshman at California in 2016, before transferring to Riverside City College (a JUCO) for the 2017 campaign and throwing for 2,100 yards and 27 touchdowns, while rushing for another 1,868 yards and 22 scores.
He then signed with Minnesota and was set to become a Gopher for the 2018 season, but instead decided to return Riverside City College as a redshirt sophomore … and was then switched to linebacker.
The move was a success, with Viramontes racking up 66 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception in 2018, before transferring to UNLV and appearing in nine games at linebacker and racking up 20 tackles as a redshirt junior in 2019 with the Runnin' Rebels.
Despite now being a linebacker, we went with Viramontes for the quarterback spot on this list due to the fact that U-M has only had three other signal-callers decommit over the last 10 years, each of whom made very little or have yet to make an impact in college — Kevin Sousa (signed with Wake Forest in 2011), Kevin Doyle (signed with Arizona in 2018) and Messiah deWeaver (signed with Michigan State in 2016 before transferring).
Running Back — A.J. Dillon (Boston College)
This was the most significant loss of Michigan's decommitments on this entire list, with Dillon having been committed to the Wolverines from March through December of 2016.
He quickly turned into one of the game's best running backs and perhaps even one of the best rushers in ACC history, compiling 1,589 yards and 14 touchdowns as a freshman in 2017.
Dillon then racked up 1,108 yards and 10 scores in just 10 games as a sophomore in 2018, earning first-team All-ACC honors along the way.
The New London, Conn., native turned in his best collegiate season last year when he racked up 1,685 yards and 14 touchdowns, before entering the NFL draft early and becoming a second-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers.
Running Back — Damien Harris (Alabama)
We included a second slot for running back decommits on this list, due to the number of outstanding rushers Michigan has had committed in high school but eventually lost (Ohio State's Mike Weber also fits the bill, but failed to appear here).
Harris committed to U-M on July 29, 2013, when Brady Hoke was the head coach, but wound up decommitting the following January after a disappointing 7-6 campaign for the Wolverines.
The Berea, Ken., native made a minimal impact at Alabama as a freshman in 2015, only rushing for 157 yards and a score while averaging a dismal 3.4 yards per carry.
Harris exploded for 1,037 yards and an impressive 7.1 yards per touch as a sophomore in 2016, however, before rushing for another 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2017.
He concluded his Alabama career with an 876-yard, nine-touchdown campaign in 2018, finishing as the school's all-time leader in yards per carry (6.4).
The New England Patriots then selected him in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, where he only appeared in two games with them last season.
Wide Receiver — Jeremiah Holloman (Georgia and Florida International)
Listed as an 'athlete' when he was committed to Michigan from December of 2015 through February of 2016, Holloman went on to play the first two years of his collegiate career at Georgia.
He only caught one pass in five games as a freshman in 2017, but then reeled in 418 yards and five touchdowns while earning five starts with the Bulldogs in 2018.
Head coach Kirby Smart kicked him off the team in the summer of 2019, and he transferred to Florida International and sat out the 2019 season as a result.
Holloman will play for the Golden Panthers as a redshirt junior in 2020.
Wide Receiver — George Campbell (Florida State and West Virginia)
Yet another five-star prospect that Hoke lost, Campbell pledged to U-M on July 27, 2013, but backed off that commitment on Dec. 17.
His collegiate career wound up being very underwhelming, however, especially during his first four years at Florida State.
Campbell caught three passes for 42 yards as a freshman in 2015, redshirted as a sophomore in 2016, and then was then limited to just four games due to injuries as a redshirt sophomore in 2017.
Finally returning to full strength, the Tarpon Springs, Fla., native didn't make much of an impact in 2018, catching just four passes for 42 yards.
Campbell then transferred to West Virginia for his fifth-year senior campaign, where he compiled 19 receptions for 469 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.
After going unselected in the 2020 NFL draft, the wideout signed a free agent deal with the New York Jets.
Tight end — Leonard Taylor (Cincinnati)
There weren't many tight ends to choose from for this category, with Carter Dunaway in the 2017 class standing as the only other player Michigan has lost at the position in the past decade.
Taylor was originally recruited as a defensive end before switching to tight end, but has made a minimal impact on the offensive side of the ball during his first two years at Cincinnati.
The Springfield, Ohio, native reeled in three catches for 31 yards in 11 games as a freshman in 2018, before compiling just four grabs for 37 yards in head coach Luke Fickell's offense this past year.
Offensive Line — Devery Hamilton (Stanford and Duke)
The versatile lineman headed out west to Stanford after playing for former Michigan assistant Biff Poggi at Gilman High School in Baltimore, and enjoyed a successful four-year run with the Cardinal.
Hamilton redshirted as a freshman and played in 12 games off the bench in 2017, before starting six of the 11 outings he appeared in as a redshirt sophomore in 2018 — three at left guard, two at right guard and one at left tackle.
The 6-7, 301-pounder then started the first four games of 2019 before he was lost for the year due to injuries, and announced in February he would be transferring to Duke to finish out his collegiate career as a fifth-year senior.
Offensive Line — Erik Swenson (Oklahoma)
His decommitment from Michigan became quite a fiasco in January of 2016, especially when Chicago Tribune writer Teddy Greenstein wrote an article slamming Harbaugh for the fact that he may or may not have processed Swenson, a practice that — like it or not — is employed by almost every FBS coach in America.
The Downers Grove, Ill., native's Oklahoma career got off to a bit of a slow start (played in just 10 games during his first three years on campus), but then took off in a big way this past season.
Swenson started eight of the 10 outings he competed in in 2019 before missing three of the final four due to injury, and is presumed to once again be a staple on the Sooners' offensive line as a fifth-year senior in 2020.
Offensive Line — Emil Ekiyor (Alabama)
He has only been at Alabama for two years, but the choices for proven offensive linemen for this list were few and far between following the aforementioned Swenson and Hamilton.
Ekiyor was committed to Michigan for a full year, pledging in October of 2016 before decommitting the following October.
He redshirted as a freshman for the Crimson Tide in 2018, and appeared in eight games off the bench last season.
Offensive Line — Jalil Irvin (Auburn)
His time as a Michigan commit was a short one, pledging to the Maize and Blue in June of 2016 after tabbing U-M as his dream school. He decommitted just two and a half months later though.
Irvin's collegiate career has followed a similar path to that of the aforementioned Ekiyor's so far; after redshirting in 2018, the Stone Mountain, Ga., native appeared in just four games as a backup right guard for the Tigers this past season.
Offensive Line — Kai-Leon Herbert (Miami)
He committed to U-M on July 6, 2016, but decommitted the following January.
Herbert has gone on to endure an underwhelming career at Miami (FL), having played in just 12 games during his first three years on campus.
The Plantation, Fla., native has yet to start a game with the Hurricanes, and will be a redshirt junior in 2020.
• Talk about this article inside The Fort
• Watch our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel
• Listen and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes
• Learn more about our print and digital publication, The Wolverine
• Sign up for our newsletter, The Wolverine Now
• Like us on Facebook