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What Keith Washington’s transfer would mean for Michigan’s secondary

If Washington transfers, his departure would have an immediate impact on the secondary

David Noe/ Maize N Brew

Keith Washington has decided to seek a transfer from Michigan, according to a report from The Michigan Insider on Monday.

The redshirt sophomore was in a position to build off getting playing time in nine games last year and a great opportunity to compete for a starting position with such a young secondary.

What would this transfer mean for the secondary?

If he does end up transferring, the depth will not be as strong and someone will have to take on the opportunity that’s right in front of them, whether it’s an extremely early opportunity or not. Washington is a tall defensive back (6-foot-2) and has all the potential to fit in well with what Don Brown has cooking on defense.

Lucky for the Wolverines, true sophomore Lavert Hill is making great strides in camp and setting himself apart from the competition as Coach Zordich eluded to on Monday when talking with local media.

But regardless of how one player is looking in practice, the potential loss of Washington would immediately hurt the secondary’s depth.

Sophomore David Long, freshman Ambry Thomas and redshirt junior Brandon Watson all have had their moments in practice, but would be called on more often than not and would have to step up if Washington isn’t around.

Jim Harbaugh gave some positive insight on Detroit native Ambry Thomas back on Aug. 11.

"He's been sensational. I love him. Not too many guys on the team I get along better with than Ambry. He's mature beyond his years — I love that about him. There's no softness whatsoever. Out there every single day. The people in the area should be pretty proud of him, he's a real ball player."

If Washington ends up transferring, look for Thomas to be a key factor on special teams, at the very least, this year. Washington was primarily on special teams last season and did fairly well for being a redshirt freshman at the time. Thomas and other younger players would have the challenge of stepping up to replace Washington in both the secondary (depth-wise) and in special teams.

Another true freshman is Jaylen Kelly-Powell at safety that has shown "flashes" with the opportunity to make an early impact. While Coach Zordich would like more guys to have experience, he’s doing everything he can to get this group to mature quickly and be ready.

The youth is talented and this coaching staff will do everything they can to put the best and most prepared guys out there against Florida. This group was already one of the biggest question marks and concerns, but it is even a bigger concern with this news.

The good news is that the best offense Michigan’s defense will see is Penn State on Oct. 21. The Florida offense will be a good test with several other weeks to prepare for those tough conference tests.

Based on Coach Harbaugh’s recent tweet, the full roster will be made public on Aug. 30, so we will all learn how this shakes out and if Washington does indeed transfer before the season opener in Arlington, Texas.