James Hudson is leaving the Michigan football team, U-M spokesperson Dave Ablauf confirmed to multiple sources on Monday night. The redshirt freshman offensive tackle saw action in three games this season.
After switching from defensive line, Hudson seemed like a potential replacement for fifth-year senior Juwann Bushell-Beatty as a starter along the Wolverines’ offensive line in 2019. But when Bushell-Beatty left Saturday’s game against Michigan State with a left leg injury, sophomore Andrew Stueber — not Hudson — substituted in.
Harbaugh, during his weekly press conference, explained his decision Monday.
“(Stueber) has done a good job,” Harbaugh said. “He’s progressing well. He went a little bit ahead (on the depth chart). James had dislocated a finger in a previous ball game, Andrew had more reps and went ahead on the depth chart this week.”
Hudson is the Wolverines’ second departure of the past week. Last Wednesday, redshirt freshman linebacker Drew Singleton announced his intentions to transfer, joining defensive lineman Deron Irving-Bey, tight end Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and receiver Eddie McDoom as previous exits in 2018.
The Toledo, Ohio, native was a heavily-hyped prospect “in the ballpark” of a starting role according to Harbaugh. Offensive line coach Ed Warriner echoed Hudson’s improvement on Sept. 12.
“His growth over the summer and then this fall has been tremendous,” Warriner said. “He’s fully invested now as an offensive lineman. In the spring he was putting a toe in the water to see what he thought. He gave us a good effort and showed some talent, but there were times it was frustrating for him because it was just so new. To go against our defensive ends every day, it’s challenging. He’s way beyond that. He’s gained confidence in himself and his ability to do the job, knowing what to do when he’s out there.”
Hudson will have three years of eligibility remaining once he chooses a new school.