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Michigan RB Leon Franklin enters transfer portal

The veteran ballcarrier is headed elsewhere

Connecticut v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images
Daniel Plocher Dan Plocher contributes to Maize n’ Brew in several areas including podcasts, game previews/recaps, and various YouTube videos.

Michigan Wolverines running back Leon Franklin announced on Wednesday that he would be entering the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining:

Franklin saw most of his playing time in the past three seasons on the special teams unit. He has also been named the Scout Team Player of the Week multiple times throughout his tenure with the program.

He’ll finish his Michigan career with the team as they continue this National Championship run, but will be looking for a new home, and likely a place with more playing time available, for the 2024 season and beyond.

In Ann Arbor, Franklin ran for a career 75 yards on 23 carries. He reached the end zone twice in his career, the first on a 20-yard touchdown pass late in the 59-0 win over UCONN in 2022. He also scored one on the ground against Minnesota in the Wolverines’ big win in Minneapolis, 52-10.

On the field, this may not seem like a huge deal to fans, but Franklin was seemingly a team guy, which is hard to find these days. He is a veteran on a team that won three Big Ten Championships and prepped the defense to face some of the best backs that the conference had to offer.

Franklin is now the second running back from Michigan to answer the transfer portal. The other was sophomore CJ Stokes, who lost playing time to Kaleel Mullings and others this season. With the solid recruiting that Mike Hart has done in the running back room, the Wolverines continue to pull in big-time recruits like Cole Cabana (a freshman this year) and Jordan Marshall (Mr. Ohio, who signed with Michigan on Wednesday).

Playing time is becoming hard to come by in Ann Arbor, especially in a running back room that is loaded with talent. Franklin earned his degree, still has a shot a national title this season, and then will have a chance to earn some more playing time elsewhere come 2024.