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Former Valley star Clemons leaves Michigan

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

As he continues to progress as a major-college wide receiver, Michigan's Toney Clemons wants to do more than run dead-end routes and watch teammates catch all the passes.

He wants to be more involved offensively.

But the Valley graduate doesn't believe that will happen at Michigan, so he is leaving Ann Arbor.

Clemons, a sophomore, was been released athletically by Michigan and plans to transfer to another Division I school at the end of the spring semester.

He has not decided where he'll play next.

"It's time for me to make a change and go in another direction than what I am needed for," said Clemons, a two-year letterman who has 12 career receptions for 106 yards and no touchdowns. "I still love Michigan. It's still my No. 1. Athletically, this is the right move for me.

"I want to take my blessings and gifts elsewhere."

Clemons has not practiced with the Wolverines this spring.

NCAA regulations call for athletes who transfer from one Division I school to another to sit out one year. Clemons (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) will use the year as a redshirt season, so he'll have two more years of eligibility when he returns to football with his new school.

Clemons said he would love to play for a school in the Pac-10, Southeastern Conference or Atlantic Coast Conference, but he has no intentions to remain with a team from the Big Ten.

He hasn't ruled out Pitt or West Virginia.

"Pitt's always on your mind," Clemons said. "I'm not sure where I'll end up. I am open to everywhere. I am going to take some trips. It's crazy; like the whole recruiting process is starting over again."

Clemons' sister, Mycaiah, is a senior track standout at Pitt.

Clemons was recruited by former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr, and current coach Rich Rodriguez courted him at West Virginia.

With Rodriguez spreading the field and running the ball more at Michigan, a la his Pat White/Steve Slaton days at WVU, Clemons thinks he may be left on the shelf come game days.

"I had a long talk with (Rodriguez) and he wasn't too happy with me leaving," Clemons said. "I just don't want to play in a spread offense. This is best for me as an athlete."

Clemons came to Michigan soon after his cousin, Steve Breaston, left for the NFL.

Clemons said he has told Breaston, a receiver for the Arizona Cardinals who played against the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII, about his decision.

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