Top running back Chris Evans no longer on Michigan football team

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Chris Evans

Running back Chris Evans, expected to be a strong contender to start heading into his senior season at Michigan, is no longer on the team.

“Chris Evans is not a member of the football team at this time,” David Ablauf, associate athletic director for football communications at Michigan, said in a statement Tuesday.

Ablauf could not share specifics regarding Evans’ status.

“Privacy laws prohibit us from commenting further,” Ablauf said.

Evans indicated on Twitter that he plans on returning to the team.

"I am going through some academic issues right now," Evans wrote. "I’m working through it now. I will still continue my career at the University of Michigan."

Evans, an Indianapolis native, would have been the veteran in the running backs room this fall. He played behind Karan Higdon last season and rushed for 423 yards and four touchdowns on 81 carries, while Higdon led the way with 1,178 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

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It is unclear what the running back competition in the spring and preseason camp will reveal, but Evans was easily the most veteran of the group. Now, developing the running backs this fall could take on added importance.

Returning with game experience are Tru Wilson, a former walk-on, who had 364 yards on 62 carries last season and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman Christian Turner played in three games last season, including the Peach Bowl, and gained limited experience. From all accounts, Turner had strong showings in bowl practices.

Then there’s freshman Zach Charbonnet, the Los Angeles Times running back of the year last season. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder gained 1,770 yards and 13 touchdowns last season while averaging 8.2 yards a carry.