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Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Michigan wideout Clemons leaves program

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Michigan junior wide receiver Toney Clemons is leaving the program and has been granted his release.

Clemons appeared in 19 games for the Wolverines, starting two games as a true freshman in 2007 and one last fall. He has 12 catches for 106 yards in his career.

Concerns about fitting in with Michigan's spread offense proved to be the deciding factor for Clemons, who is a cousin of former Michigan star wideout/return man Steve Breaston.

"It's time for me to make a change and go in another direction than what I am needed for," Clemons told the Valley News Dispatch. "I still love Michigan. It's still my No. 1. Athletically, this is the right move for me. I want to take my blessings and gifts elsewhere."

Clemons wants to transfer to a Pac-10, ACC or SEC school, though he said he hasn't ruled out Big East members Pitt and West Virginia, both of which are close to his hometown of New Kensington, Pa. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Clemons appears on Michigan's roster for spring ball but had not practiced.

"I had a long talk with [head coach Rich Rodriguez] and he wasn't too happy with me leaving," Clemons said. "I just don't want to play in a spread offense. This is best for me as an athlete."

Clemons becomes the third offensive player who started a game last season to transfer from the team. Running back Sam McGuffie left for Rice, and quarterback Steven Threet hasn't announced his next destination.

The Wolverines seem to be featuring smaller, quicker receivers in the spread and have decent depth with Martavious Odoms, Greg Mathews, Darryl Stonum, LaTerryal Savoy, Junior Hemingway and others. Former quarterback Justin Feagin also is working as a slot receiver, and Michigan in February signed Je'Ron Stokes, an ESPNU 150 prospect.