Michigan football nabs Eyabi Anoma, ex-Alabama top 5 recruit with checkered past

·2 min read

Eyabi Anoma strongly considered joining Michigan football out of high school.

Four years later, he'll finally be sporting the maize and blue.

Anoma, who could have been a Wolverine as the No. 4 prospect in the nation in the 2018 high school class out of St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) but enrolled at Alabama, has joined Michigan as a graduate transfer Thursday. A source within the U-M athletic department said Anoma is eligible to play this season.

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Alabama linebacker Eyabi Anoma (9) during the second half in the Alabama A-Day spring football scrimmage game at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday, April 13, 2019.
Alabama linebacker Eyabi Anoma (9) during the second half in the Alabama A-Day spring football scrimmage game at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

Anoma has been a nomad the past four years, spending time at three different schools. He previously transferred to FCS-level Tennessee-Martin before the 2020 season, and spent the 2019 season at Houston.

He was dismissed for team violations by both Alabama and then Houston, according to AL.com, including tardiness, skipping class, clashing with teammates and insubordination. Anoma had been coach Nick Saban's highest-rated defensive recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite.

"Blessed to be in this position greatful (sic) for all the positive and negative remarks dedicating the rest of my football career to my grandma she would have been happy I graduated and turned things around," Anoma tweeted Thursday morning.

"Adding a player with a checkered past is risky for Jim Harbaugh, who raves about the healthy culture at Schembechler Hall," Free Press Michigan beat writer Michael Cohen wrote on Twitter after news of the move. "Yes, teams are always looking for talent. But this kind of move calls into question how much confidence #Michigan has in its current edge rushers."

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At 6 feet 6 and 270 pounds, Anoma played as a defensive end/linebacker hybrid. He had 36 tackles — including 9½ for loss — and six sacks in 12 games (eight starts) last season for the Skyhawks in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Anoma played in 12 games as a freshman with Alabama in 2018, recording nine tackles and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team by league coaches. He redshirted in 2019 after joining Houston and sat out 2020 due to transfer rules.

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Free Press sports writer Michael Cohen contributed to this report.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan football nabs Eyabi Anoma, ex-Alabama top 5 recruit