Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey is opting out of the upcoming season and is looking to transfer, a source close to the situation confirmed to The Detroit News on Wednesday.
This news comes on the heels of the Big Ten announcing it will start a nine-game season Oct. 23-24.
McCaffrey, who was competing for the starting job with Joe Milton and Cade McNamara, will graduate from Michigan in December and have two years of eligibility remaining.
He is not the only Michigan player who has opted out. Receiver Nico Collins, who returned to play his final season rather than head to the NFL Draft after the bowl game earlier this year, reportedly has signed with an agent. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported Wednesday that Collins signed with agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Right tackle Jalen Mayfield and cornerback Ambry Thomas already have declared for the NFL Draft, and running back Christian Turner was the first Michigan player to announce his plans to opt out.
McCaffrey had the most experience of the returning quarterbacks at Michigan. In seven games last season, he was 10-of-20 for 116 yards and one touchdown as Shea Patterson’s backup, while Milton was 3-of-7 for 59 yards and a touchdowns. McCaffrey played in six games in 2018 behind Patterson and was 8-of-15 for 126 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown last season and had 99 yards on 10 carries in 2018.
With McCaffrey opting out, Milton is expected to be starting quarterback when the season opens Oct. 24 — the Big Ten is expected to release the schedule later this week.
During the parents-backed “#WeWanttoPlay” protest on Sept. 5 at Michigan Stadium, the day the Wolverines would have opened the season, McCaffrey marched along with several teammates. He said the team would be ready to play the next day if the Big Ten decided to play.
“We’ve been going at it for as long as we can,” McCaffrey said at the time. “Mentally, I think our team is sharper than ever, physically we’re probably more in shape than ever because we’ve been training for so long. I was really proud of the whole team the way it came back from quarantine, in shape and ready to go.”