Gary, a third-year player, would still have one more year of eligibility after this season, but decided not to pass up a projected first-round ranking in the upcoming draft. He is ranked No. 8 on Mel Kiper’s most recent Big Board.
— Rashan Gary ® (@RashanAGary) November 26, 2018
“I would like to thank my higher power, my family, the University of Michigan, the students and the fans, but I will be forgoing my senior season to make a dream come true to declare for the draft,” Gary said in the statement.
Gary was the highest-ranked recruit to sign with Michigan as the No. 1 prospect in the 2016 class — Jim Harbaugh’s first full recruiting class with the Wolverines. From Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey, Gary followed his former head coach and current Michigan safeties coach, Chris Partridge, to Ann Arbor.
The decorated lineman played in 12 games as a true freshman for the Wolverines, recording 23 total tackles and five tackles for loss in that first season and was a first-team All-Big Ten player after his 2017 season. Over his three-year career, Gary accounted for 136 total tackles and 10 sacks.
As a preseason All-American, he only played in nine games this season due to a shoulder injury, but the injury is not lingering and Gary is still regarded as a top-end NFL draft prospect. ESPN’s Todd McShay currently has Gary as the No. 5 prospect eligible for the upcoming draft, behind fellow defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Ed Oliver.
It is not yet known if Gary will participate in Michigan’s upcoming bowl game.