The postseason roster shifting has begun for the Michigan football team.
Junior defensive end Rashan Gary announced Monday that he will forgo his senior season with the Wolverines to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
“I would like to thank my higher power, my family, the University of Michigan, the students and the fans,” Gary said in his video. “But I will be forgoing my senior season to make a dream come true to declare for the draft. Thank you. Go Blue.”
The announcement, which came via a 30-second YouTube video posted to Gary’s Twitter, does not come as a surprise, as he has been unanimously projected as a first- or second-round pick in the draft.
Really, Gary has always been a highly-coveted prospect, no matter the level. He first came to Ann Arbor as the No. 1 recruit in the 2016 class, out of Paramus, N.J. His recruitment came down to the wire on National Signing Day, and his choice to come to Michigan gave coach Jim Harbaugh arguably the biggest recruiting win of his tenure.
Since then, Gary has never looked back.
He amassed 166 tackles, 10 sacks and a forced fumble, helping the Wolverines to a 28-10 record in that time, and any time he got the chance, he expressed his love for Michigan and his teammates.
“I just like seeing my brothers, man, just seeing what my brothers are able to do,” Gary said after the Wolverines blew out Rutgers, 42-7, on Nov. 10. “It’s ridiculous. I’m just happy to see my brothers eat. That just shows us as a team — looking at the stat sheet — that we’re improving individually and as a team.
“… It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine.”
Perhaps Gary’s resume at Michigan would have been a bit stronger had he not suffered a shoulder injury this season, which kept him on the sideline for games against Maryland, Wisconsin and Michigan State.
The declaration is the first in what could be a large group of Wolverines to do so. Junior linebacker Devin Bush, junior cornerbacks Lavert Hill and David Long, junior safety Josh Metellus, junior guard Ben Bredeson and junior quarterback Shea Patterson are the big names that have realistic options to move on from Ann Arbor, though most of their draft projections aren’t as strong as Gary’s.
Gary’s video did not clarify whether he plans to play in Michigan’s bowl game or not.