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Michigan's Wermers transfers, rips RichRod's staff

7/16/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

For the second straight year, a Michigan offensive lineman is transferring, and not before firing a few parting shots toward head coach Rich Rodriguez and his assistants.

Kurt Wermers' words weren't as pointed as those of Justin Boren in 2008, but he made similar statements about the changes in the Michigan program as he prepares to join Ball State. Wermers was initially recruited by Lloyd Carr's staff but never played for Carr. 

"I really didn't get along with the new coaches," Wermers told The Times of Northwest Indiana. "They were bringing in a lot of different kids that were not my kind of crowd. Coach Carr's staff was a whole different ballgame. It was like a family. But when Rodriguez came in it was a whole different feeling. It was more of a business.

"I figured I'd get out while I could."

Wermers' departure comes on the heels of offensive lineman Dann O'Neil transferring to Western Michigan. The program has lost a portion of players since the new staff arrived, and the offensive line has seen the most attrition.

It's clear that Rodriguez's methods don't work for everybody, and that's fine. But it's interesting to see all the departures on the offensive line, a position that demands toughness and, in the spread option offense, an improved conditioning level.

This is big-boy football with big-money stakes, and some of the best coaches are the nastiest toward their offensive linemen. Plus, the offensive lines who are pushed the hardest often perform the best. 

But then there's Boren, a player who, by all accounts, brought a much needed edge to Ohio State's offensive line after transferring from Michigan. He doesn't seem like the type of player who needs to get meaner.

In the big picture, Wermers isn't a major loss, but his comments could momentarily fuel the hate toward Rodriguez and his staff.