Print and Go Back ESPN.com: collegesMichigan [Print without images]

Thursday, January 31, 2013
The One Who Got Away: QB Beaver

By Tom Van Haaren

Every program has them. Prospects who decommit and go on to other programs to turn into star players, leaving fans wondering what could have been. It’s a part of recruiting and always will be.

Michigan is no different, but one of the biggest decommitments in the program’s history wasn’t a negative. In fact, the decommitment of quarterback Shavodrick Beaver from the 2009 class ended up benefiting the Wolverines and made room for one of the biggest playmakers in Michigan history, Denard Robinson.

Shavodrick Beaver
Shavodrick Beaver decommitted from Michigan and wound up playing quarterback for Tulsa.
At the time, Michigan had commitments from Tate Forcier and Beaver, which would have given then-coach Rich Rodriguez two good options to lead his offense.

Beaver and Forcier were planning to enroll early, but there were signs that Beaver was getting cold feet. Posts on a few social media sites and some comments made people believe Beaver was close to decommitting from Michigan.

That came true in December 2008, when Beaver decided to switch his commitment to Tulsa. He and his mother cited distance from home and a few other reasons for the decision.

The departure left Rodriguez and his staff with only Forcier as an option, which eventually led them to Robinson. Rodriguez ensured Robinson that Michigan would give him a shot at quarterback, and the future star committed to the Wolverines in February 2009.

Forcier started as a freshman, and Robinson saw time sparingly but got his shot to start as a sophomore and never looked back. Robinson went on to engrave his name into Michigan’s record books. He is No. 3 in career rushing, No. 3 in rushing touchdowns, No. 4 in passing yards and No. 4 in touchdown passes.

It seems unlikely that Robinson would have chosen Michigan with two other quarterbacks already committed. Beaver’s decommitment allowed Michigan to pursue Robinson hard down the stretch and ended up giving Wolverines fans plenty to cheer about the past four years.