Zach Gentry declares for NFL Draft, becomes fourth Michigan player to leave early

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 - 8:22pm

Zach Gentry declared for the NFL Draft on Wednesday.

Zach Gentry declared for the NFL Draft on Wednesday. Buy this photo
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Zach Gentry came to Michigan as a quarterback, the first recruited by Jim Harbaugh. On Wednesday, he announced he’ll leave early for the NFL, as a tight end.

“The last four years have held some of the greatest moments I will ever experience, and I have been a part of many things that I will remember for the rest of my life on campus and in the Big House,” Gentry wrote in an Instagram post.

“After prayer and careful consideration and discussion with family, friends and coaches, I have decided to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.”

Gentry becomes the fourth player from the Wolverines to declare for the draft early following David Long’s announcement earlier on Wednesday. Rashan Gary and Devin Bush announced they will go to the NFL prior to the Peach Bowl.

In Atlanta, before Michigan’s 41-15 loss to Florida, Gentry dodged questions about his impending decision, saying he wasn’t leaning one way or the other and would make a decision after the game.

At times this season, he functioned as junior quarterback Shea Patterson’s security blanket, catching 32 balls for 514 yards. Despite that, his season will partially be remembered for three key drops on the biggest stage — in Columbus against Ohio State.

His absence leaves a noticeable void at the tight end position, where the 6-foot-8 redshirt junior was the Wolverines’ most physically daunting presence in the passing game.

Sean McKeon, a senior in 2019, will likely get the bulk of playing time after catching 14 balls in seven games this season. Nick Eubanks, who contributed several big plays for Michigan this year, could see a bigger role as well.

Those two will come into spring ball the clear favorites to lead the two-deep. Behind them, a group heralded by Mustapha Muhammad, who redshirted in 2018; Luke Schoonmaker, who played just one game; and Erick All, a four-star recruit, will compete for playing time.