Pretty much consensus this would happen anyway, but Rodriguez was pretty blunt about it....
WOLVERINE EXODUS: Rich Rodriguez says Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington and Ryan Mallett gone
January 9, 2008
BY MARK SNYDER
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
Say good-bye to Michigan's three high-profile question marks.
Football coach Rich Rodriguez confirmed Tuesday night that junior wide receivers Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington and freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett will not be on U-M's team.
He said Arrington text-messaged him earlier in the day to say he was entering the NFL draft, and Manningham and Mallett didn't attend the first team meeting, held Monday.
That was enough for Rodriguez, who said he didn't need to hear from Manningham that he was leaving for the NFL or that Mallett was transferring.
In Mallett's case, Rodriguez said he is not interested in listening or waiting.
"I don't care," Rodriguez said. "He's not playing for Michigan. I'm concerned with who's playing for Michigan."
The NFL early-entry deadline is Jan. 15, though players who declare have 72 hours to remove themselves after filing. Manningham's grandfather, Gerald Simpson, disputed Rodriguez's impression.
"Mario's still undecided and continuing his studies in Ann Arbor," Simpson said. "Honestly, he hasn't made a decision. I can't speak for Mr. Rodriguez. Mario hasn't heard specifically from (the NFL advisory committee). ... Once he gets that information, his mother, grandmother and myself will sit down with him and discuss it. That information is just one component. You've got a lot of other stuff you need to consider."
Messages left with Mallett's family were not returned.
Mallett, who played in 11 games this season as Chad Henne's backup, would have had to adjust to Rodriguez's spread offense, and Rodriguez tried to keep him in Ann Arbor.
"I did it a couple times (with Mallett)," he said earlier Tuesday on the Jim Rome radio show. "I recruited him once, I recruited him twice, and after the third call, I'm thinking, 'OK, three calls is enough for me.' It's a great institution, and if somebody doesn't want to be here that's already here, you wish them well and move on."
Manningham and Arrington were Michigan's leading receivers last season.
The Wolverines would be left with one wide receiver, Greg Mathews (39 receptions), who played significant snaps. Freshmen wideouts Junior Hemingway and Toney Clemons saw a bit of action.
The biggest problem, though, would likely be at quarterback, where Mallett was projected to be next season's starter.
He played quite a bit this season when Henne was injured, completing 61 of 141 passes for 892 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions.
Without Mallett, Michigan would be left with David Cone, who threw one pass last season, and Steven Threet, who sat out the season after transferring from Georgia Tech.
Rodriguez said Tuesday he plans to sign a couple of quarterbacks in the upcoming class.
Michigan is heavily recruiting Jeanette, Pa., quarterback Terrelle Pryor, Rivals.com's No. 1 high school player. Due to NCAA rules, Rodriguez is not allowed to discuss unsigned recruits.
He and his staff will go on the road beginning this weekend.
"Our numbers are down at a couple key positions, quarterback and wide receiver," he said. "The system may have something to do with that. In our system, we need to have a few more wide receivers. Those are two areas we certainly have to address in recruiting."
? Rodriguez said there are a few players who will not continue with the team due to injury concerns but would not identify them.