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Central Michigan defensive end Mike Danna transfers to Michigan


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Junior defensive lineman Mike Danna celebrates after sacking the Toledo quarterback on Nov. 23 at the Glass Bowl Stadium.

Central Michigan defensive end Mike Danna was in the NCAA transfer portal for less than a month before making his decision to transfer to the University of Michigan.

Danna officially visited Michigan from Feb. 1-3 and picked up an offer in the process. Just 16 days later, he announced his decision to join the Wolverines.

"I felt like Michigan would be the most beneficial spot for me for my last year of eligibility and academics," Danna said. "I picked Michigan because it's an outstanding platform for me to display my talents and abilities."

Since Danna plans to graduate at the end of the semester, he will be eligible to play immediately for coach Jim Harbaugh in 2019 as a graduate transfer.

"The coaches and players were all great when I came to visit, and I can't wait to get to work in Ann Arbor," Danna said.

The 6-foot-2, 257-pound star defensive lineman made 65 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two touchdowns for the Chippewas in 2018. He was a member of the All-Mid-American Conference First Team defense.

"I'm very thankful for the CMU community," Danna said. "It was truly a blessing and honor to be here. I'll never forget the memories and relationships I made."

Danna's primary recruiter from Michigan was tight ends coach Sherrone Moore, who worked in the same capacity for CMU in 2017 under John Bonamego.

Those to transfer from Michigan to CMU in recent history includes quarterback Shane Morris, defensive end Deron Irving-Bey, offensive tackle Ja'Raymond Hall and kicker Ryan Tice. CMU also nabbed former Michigan wide receivers coach Jim McElwain as its new head coach.

Since Irving-Bey's transfer, he has been academically dismissed from the university.

Running back Tru Wilson, an old teammate of Danna's at Warren De La Salle, currently plays for Michigan.

Danna joins Kwity Paye, Aidan Hutchinson, Luiji Vilain, Julius Welschof, David Ojabo, Ron Johnson, Gabe Newburg and Reuben Jones at the defensive end position for Michigan. Paye, a junior, is expected to anchor the group.

Following the 2018 season, Michigan lost its top two defensive ends – Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich. Gary, in nine games, picked up 38 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. Winovich, participating in the full 13 games, logged 59 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, one pass defended and one fumble recovery.

In Mel Kiper Jr.'s 2019 NFL mock draft, the ESPN analyst has Gary going No. 4 overall to the Oakland Raiders. He pegged Winovich as a second round selection.

"Expect coach Jon Gruden and new [general manager] Mike Mayock to target a pass-rusher with one of their three first-round picks," Kiper said. "Gary (6-6, 283) has some versatility to kick inside and play tackle, but he has a high ceiling as an end. When he's locked in, he can dominate a game."

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