Ian Bunting announces departure from Michigan
Written by Matt Pargoff   

At the conclusion of the regular season, the Wolverines saw several players announce plans to head elsewhere as graduate transfers, and that list grew on Tuesday evening with tight end Ian Bunting revealing his intentions on Instagram.

“This has been a very difficult decision, but I have decided to forgo my 5th year at the University of Michigan in order to play football and earn a graduate degree elsewhere. I have obtained my release,” he announced. “To my family, teammates, coaches, Michigan fans, and the University of Michigan, I will forever be thankful for the support you’ve given me over the years here in Ann Arbor. This place will always be a special one for me and it has been the experience of a lifetime. Michigan has given me the opportunity to grow not only as an athlete and a student, but as a man. Thank you, Michigan.”

Bunting entered 2017 with high expectations on his shoulders after filling in for an injured Jake Butt in the Orange Bowl the previous season, pulling in three receptions for 40 yards in that game. He failed to match those numbers over the course of the entire year that followed though, making just one grab for six yards in 13 games.

In place of Bunting, Michigan saw the emergence of true sophomore Sean McKeon and redshirt sophomore Zach Gentry, who each eclipsed the 300-yard mark on the season, and were the only players to make multiple touchdown catches.

In addition to those two, the Wolverines will also return Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Nick Eubanks on scholarship at the position. They will be joined by incoming true freshmen Mustapha Muhammad and Luke Schoonmaker, with in-stater Ryan Hayes coming in as a tight end, while possessing the potential to grow into an offensive lineman.

In addition to Bunting, quarterback Wilton Speight, quarterback Alex Malzone, wide receiver Maurice Ways and wide receiver Drake Harris also revealed that they will head elsewhere upon receiving their degree from Michigan. Speight has since opened the door to a possible return, pending the outcome of Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson’s appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility.

 

 
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