You could see this one coming. Of all of the positions on this Michigan squad, there may be none deeper than running back. With any off-season, there is attrition, especially one with a coaching staff overhaul.
In this case, Hayes – who will earn his Michigan degree this spring, will depart as a graduate transfer and will be eligible to play immediately somewhere else next season. Justice leaves Ann Arbor on good terms after turning down an offer to come back for a 5th year from Jim Harbaugh.
From the very beginning of his recruitment, Hayes…a Grand Blanc native, has always been an outspoken Michigan fan. There's no doubt this was a tough decision for him, but one that probably will end up benefiting him by this time next year.
Hayes posted this message to his Instagram account.
The four years I have spent at this institution have brought some great memories that I will cherish forever. 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. I truly appreciate the offer from Coach Harbaugh to allow me to return for my 5th year, but I have decided that I will choose another college to play football as a graduate student.
Michigan returns three junior running backs and welcome another (Ty Isaac who's coming off his mandatory redshirt) on the 2015 offense. De'Veon Smith, Derrick Green and Drake Johnson will lead a rushing attack under first year coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Tim Drevno.
Hayes's Michigan career finishes with 302 rushing yards and one touchdown which came against UMass in 2012. We wish Justice well next season, wherever he ends up.