Ex-Wolverines Oliver Martin, Aubrey Solomon, Myles Sims eligible to play this year

Detroit News staff and wire services
Oliver Martin

Former Michigan receiver Oliver Martin, defensive lineman Aubrey Solomon and defensive back Myles Sims have been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA to play for Iowa, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, respectively, this season.

Martin, who was redshirted at Michigan in 2017 and appeared in all 13 UM games in 2018, transferred to Iowa this past offseason, a decision that surprised UM coach Jim Harbaugh.

Martin will not have to sit out a year with the Hawkeyes.

“I am ecstatic that the NCAA and the Big Ten have approved our waiver request,” Martin said in a statement. “I want to thank my coaches and my teammates for their help as I work to get ready. I have been dreaming of running out of the tunnel wearing the black and gold ever since I decided to join the program. I can’t wait to contribute to this team on the field.”

Iowa’s season opener is Saturday at home against Miami (Ohio) at 7:30 p.m. (FS1).

“Oliver is a tremendous young man who has been working hard since the day he set foot on our campus this summer,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “His teammates are excited to have him on the practice field and in the weight room, and we look forward to Oliver being able to contribute to our team.”

More: A capsule look at the football teams in the Big Ten East

More: A capsule look at the football teams in the Big Ten West

Aubrey Solomon

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt confirmed during the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference that the NCAA had granted Solomon’s waiver request.

“I’m beyond excited to be playing football this season,” Solomon said in a statement released by the university. “I can’t wait to suit up with my brothers.”

Solomon announced in December he was transferring to Tennessee. The former five-star recruit played five games and made six tackles for Michigan while struggling with injuries last season. He played 13 games and had 18 tackles in 2017.

Solomon’s availability provides a giant boost to a Tennessee defensive line that has no returning starters. Tennessee’s defensive line lost its most experienced returning player when Emmit Gooden tore his right anterior cruciate ligament this month.

Solomon had been practicing with Tennessee while awaiting word on his eligibility for this season.

“He’s really improved from the first day of practice — I’m talking about in the spring — until now,” Pruitt said. “He’s really elevated his game. To me, he’s a guy that can play all three downs. He can play inside. He can play outside. He got banged up a little bit some during the spring and early in fall camp but has pushed through and really had a really good fall camp.

“We’re excited he’s getting an opportunity to play the game that he loves.”

Tennessee opens the season Saturday at home against Georgia State.

Like Martin and Solomon, the NCAA granted Sims’ appeal for immediate eligibility, making him available for the Yellow Jackets’ opener at Clemson on Thursday.

Sims transferred to Georgia Tech in May. The Atlanta native redshirted as a true freshman at Michigan last season. He will have four seasons of eligibility remaining.

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said in a statement the ruling on Sims was “the right decision for the young man.”