A series exploring the commitments (and subsequent decommitments) of Michigan’s lost members of the class of 2009.
When searching for dual-threat quarterbacks for the class of 2009, Michigan fans stumbled upon one Shavodrick Beaver. He’s tall, he can run, and his passing is certainly good enough that he could start at a school like Michigan with a little training. Beaver, along with Kevin Newsome and Tate Forcier, was in the group of three prospects that Michigan seemed to have a really good chance at. When Newsome committed, the race appeared to be on between Forcier and Beaver. Shavodrick took control of his own destiny, and committed to Michigan on April 29th, 2008.
Despite having commitments from 2 top QBs, many Michigan fans found it curious that Rodriguez continued to recruit Tate Forcier. As Newsome decommitted in late August, Forcier snagged the empty slot, and Michigan’s QB situation appeared to be set. Beaver seemed to be very solid in the class, telling anyone who would listen that he welcomed the competition, and seeming to mock Kevin Newsome for fearing it. Fast forward to December, when BEaver was still saying all the right things about Michigan. However, he apparently had shut out the Michigan coaches for a couple weeks by the time he withdrew his commitment on December 19th, switching to Tulsa. Rumors flew about the actual reason (afraid of competition, wanted to be a big fish in a smaller pond, wanted to stay closer to home, etc.), but nobody ever really heard a plausible reason straight from Beaver’s mouth. In January, he enrolled at Tulsa, and that was that.
No sugarcoat, this decommitment hurt Michigan, at least in the short term. At the time of his decommitment all the way to Signing Day, Michigan only had 1 QB in the class when they urgently needed two. Landing Denard Robinson softened the blow, because he is a running threat similar to Beaver. However, you can’t teach Robinson to be 6-4, and he will always have slightly less potential than Beaver as a passer. Robinson is considered a faster runner, and has the ability to play multiple positions. This helps Michigan because it gives them 2 quarterbacks with slightly different skillsets, and gives them the ability to move Robinson to defensive back in the future to make the depth chart more attractive to future recruits (if necessary).