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Michigan running back Justice Hayes elects to not return for fifth year of eligibility

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Michigan running back Justice Hayes announced on Instagram that he will transfer this season to play his final year of eligibility elsewhere.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

ANN ARBOR -- Michigan's returning stable of running backs got a little bit smaller on Monday.

Despite an offer to return as a fifth-year player from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, redshirt senior Justice Hayes announced via his Instagram account on Monday that he will not return to Michigan and will play his final season elsewhere.

"The four years I have spent at this institution have brought some great memories that I will cherish forever," Hayes said on his Instagram post. "The fact that I will be graduating from the University of Michigan in April will be meritorious. I have earned team captain on numerous occasions, won respect from coaches and players, and most importantly played my heart out every Saturday."

Hayes finished his career at Michigan with 302-yards rushing and one touchdown.

Michigan returns familiar faces at running back with Derrick Green, De'Veon Smith and Drake Johnson, who is recovering from a torn ACL, expected to return. Ty Isaac, who missed last season due to NCAA transfer regulations, will also be added to the mix.