Benjamin St. Juste was a top-100 recruit, nationally, when he came out of high school. He committed to the University of Michigan as a future cornerstone to their DB group and played 12 games (mostly special teams) his Freshman year… After sitting out the first four games of his Sophomore season with a lingering hamstring injury, Jim Harbaugh announced he’d be out the rest of that season, because of that bad hamstring.

Now, he will be hopping on a short plane ride, due northwest, to wear a different yellow “M” on his uniform. After apparently taking some college courses in high school, getting medically redshirted last season, and then (clearly) being an academic overachiever… St. Juste was able to avoid NCAA transfer restrictions that would have forced him to sit out a year after arriving in Minnesota, by leaving via the “graduate-transfer” clause.

However, because he was redshirted and then only stayed for one season afterward, he’s a graduate transfer who has 3 YEARS REMAINING on his eligibility. You won’t see that very often.

But, why is Juste available. A freak athlete with a ceiling through the roof? Why is he transferring from Michigan? Well, that’s where things get weird (like they tend to do around Jim Harbaugh..). In March, it was announced (by Michigan Football) that Juste would be “medically retiring” from football and would no longer be with the team.

But then, more questions evolved when Ben entered into the “Transfer Portal” in early May. When forced to answer questions about St. Juste, Michigan said that he was “never cleared medically to play for Michigan“. Never cleared to play medically after an entire year…. because of a HAMSTRING injury??? I have a hard time believing that Harbaugh and Co. care that deeply about the future of Benjamin St. Juste’s hamstring…

Here is St. Juste’s post from instagram, regarding his graduation and football future (it’s a bit long so I’ve copied the part regarding football above the post):

 “… To clarify things on my situation, I NEVER RETIRED FROM PLAYING FOOTBALL, I had no power in that decision so stay tuned to my next announcement this week…”

I did some digging (obviously over at among other places) and have pretty much come to this conclusion…

There are a lot of ways to get a kid out of a scholarship, that you want to leave open for someone else… including a medical retirement… but luckily for St. Juste, he knows the world isn’t fair and he did what he needed to do, to make sure Michigan had ZERO control over what he did with his football career after 2018-19.

Now, he’ll go from a shitty Michigan culture (say what you want about rankings… it’s shit) that’s in the news WAY more often for the negative than it is for the positive these days, and jump into the arms of PJ Fleck and what is quickly becoming one of the best cultures in all of college football. Sure, there have been some kids who haven’t lived up to the expectations (off the field) that Fleck would have hoped when the got on campus, but this team is quickly becoming a brotherhood and you’ll see that show itself on the field this season….

…no matter what the national outlets are predicting.


Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan