Erik Swenson, an offensive tackle from Illinois, has been committed to Michigan’s 2016 class since 2013. The Michigan Wolverines it appears are no longer committed to him. Swenson due to “unforeseen circumstances” has reopened his recruitment.
Swenson looked like a top OT prospect early in his high school career. While he was named a second-team high school All-American by USA Today, he has taken a tumble outside the Top 300 in the 247 Composite. The 247Sports rankings have him as the 55th ranked offensive tackle.
The most rational interpretation is Michigan had a better option and have decided to take it. Swenson will likely end up elsewhere in the B1G. Predictions from this morning have him heading to Northwestern.
This doesn’t make Jim Harbaugh look great. (Look over here! He’s doing something zany on social media.) It fits along with some recent developments. Michigan pulled an offer from RB Matt Falcon after an injury (though they did offer a free academic ride) earlier this year. Falcon, who also fell in the rankings, committed to Western Michigan.
Former Michigan DT Ondre Pipkins accused Harbaugh of trying to force a medical redshirt on him last summer. Though shedding Pipkins, a senior, offered Michigan no strategic advantage. Fifth-year players who have graduated at Michigan have to try out to make the team.
Michigan is taking a professional approach to roster management. Paying lip service to the academic degree doesn’t mask what has been going on.
College football fandom comes with cognitive dissonance. It’s a loud distraction from the university’s true purpose. It’s kids sacrificing their long term physical (and potentially mental health) without getting paid, while many others profit handsomely. It’s not a moral endeavor.
Michigan aspires to compete on an elite level. Competing on an elite level comes with casualties. Things will happen that make Michigan fans feel proud. Operating under the presumption their football program has a superior moral impetus is a sad delusion.
It’s one thing if kids are kept informed. The university itself waitlists less desirable students in case it has room. Two weeks away from Signing Day, that does not appear to be the case here.