Michigan football lineman Jalen Mayfield cleared to play, says Jim Harbaugh

Tribune Content Agency

Michigan football’s star offensive lineman, Jalen Mayfield, recently opted back in to playing this college football season after declaring for the NFL draft.

And it appears any hurdles regarding his eligibility have been cleared.

“He did submit a waiver to be able to come back and play, and that waiver has been granted,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said on the “Inside the Wolverines” radio show with Jon Jansen on Monday night. “I think there’s a few stipulations that he has to do, but I think that waiver has been granted that he can return.”

Mayfield, a redshirt sophomore who started all 13 games at right tackle last season, left the program in mid-August shortly after the Big Ten postponed fall sports. He signed with an agent and planned to move out to California to begin training for the 2021 NFL draft, for which he has been considered a potential first-round prospect.

Mayfield changed his mind and opted back in when the Big Ten announced Sept. 16 the college football season would begin Oct. 24. His return was significant for an offensive line that would’ve otherwise been replacing all five starters from last season. The only question was whether he would be able to regain eligibility after signing with an agent.

“Well, Jalen had opted out, and he’s chosen to come back, and he’s working through the process of what he needs to do there,” offensive line coach Ed Warinner said. “But he’s back on campus, he’s in school, he’s enrolled, he’s going to class — well, Zoom class.

“He’ll be participating with us in meetings and practice. Everything should work out where he’ll be able to get back in there. We’re excited to have Jalen back.”

Next on the list: Getting Mayfield ready for the season as Michigan begins padded practices this week.

“A returning starter that played really well at the end of last year, and we’ve just got to get him back into that same routine,” Warinner said. “Get him going again. The last time Jalen had pads on was Jan. 1 against Alabama. So we all know that takes a while.

“But we’ll get him up to speed and get him ready for the first game. And we’re excited to do it.”

The Wolverines had two other players reportedly sign with agents in receiver Nico Collins and cornerback Ambry Thomas. As of now, the two have not opted back in.

“Right now, at this point, Jalen is the only one who submitted that waiver to opt back in,” Harbaugh said, when asked about Collins and Thomas.


©2020 Detroit Free Press

Visit the Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.