Michigan Football Recruiting: Scholarship, Roster Breakdown and Looking at Next Year — with Signing Day Approaching
National signing day is just a mere two weeks and two days away, and Michigan has put together a nice class ranked by the pay sites #1 Scout, #5 Rivals, #6 24/7, and #8 ESPN for an average of the 5th ranked recruiting class overall – if you believe there star ranked, biased, or certain conference enamor in certain instances. At 26 commits we are already over by one (limit is 85) scholarship at 86 (Despite what some pay site will spew) offers for 2013 through 2016, and with talk of taking possibly two more recruits VA RB Derrick Green and Texas TE Durham Smythe scout will potentially end up with 3 over – meaning three current players will not be coming back. Only way that can be swung period!!! The bottom line is Hoke and Company has pulled in some huge classes (talent and size) as the class was 31 commits last year. So 2014 will be a very selective class of 13ish players of which they have two verbal presently OT Denzel Ward (though he is wavering already) and LB Michael Ferns. So, less more attrition which will always happen we will use the 13 as the number.
Three scholarship players Gardner, Bellomy, and Morris are on the roster (and three walk-ons). This is a woefully thin area, but the staff seems content to one at a time it, and in fact have yet to offer a 2014 QB but there will definitely be one taken here, though I would like there to be two. UNDER FILLED.
This becomes a bizarre position because of who we have on the roster, and who we have coming in. At RB UM have seven committed (possibly eight with Green) including Toussaint, Rawls, Hayes, Drake Johnson, Smith and the two who in my opinion will go to other positions Norfleet (will remain at CB, and play ST while taking some sweep snaps on offense) and Shallman will play an H-Back, Fullback, or TE spot. If we land Green (which I think we will he announces the 26th) I think we can skip 2014, or take one at most. OVER FILLED.
This is also a tough area to call because Hopkins is now gone (though he never fully bought into the position in my opinion); however, we have one scholarship player in this position Houma, and two walk-ons in Kerridge and Gyarmati – but like stated earlier I can see Shallman here, and maybe even Paskorz who has yet to crack a starting spot. I think there will be no FBs taken next year, but this year’s play will show if the following is accurate as we will see an offense of the future UM. UNDER FILLED BUT OKAY.
Michigan has five committed players here, but you could really say two or three. Paskorz (I could see him as H or full because he has a walk-on TE playing ahead of him in Kwiatkowski – the guy who missed the Clowney assignment of Internet fame) is unfortunately the biggest TE we have on scholarship not named AJ Williams (who I believe will end up an OT or blocking TE he is just too big). It will be interesting to see what Hill and Butt will do for us in the fall; I think Hill because of size brings the greatest possibilities he is already 245ish, and may be able to add the weight to make immediate impact, whereas Butt will need to add some size as he is 225ish. Funchess I believe will never be a true TE, and probably will end up in the WR corps permanently or simply the receiving TE as he is just under 230 pounds. UM needs some beef that can also catch if we are to run some meaningful two-TE sets. Michigan has five other walk-on TEs, thus why I believe Fullback and blocking TE will be okay. But because the lack of catching TEs with size, it is the cause of the all-out blitz on Smythe (currently 235ish). Michigan will take one TE next year. UNDER FILLED.
Michigan has eight scholarship WRs with the incoming class (not including Funchess) – Gallon, Dileo, Jackson, Williams, Darboh, Chesson, Duke, York, and Jones (and four or five walk-ons) so the depth is there. The questions is, and will be till we see gameplay – is there a difference maker? Michigan missed out on uber-receiver Treadwell, and though Gallon (829 yards receiving) had a very good season, I am not sure we can call him a difference maker – just a solid performer. So it will be interesting to see what the newer commits and sophomores do in spring and fall, but I believe we are okay here. Michigan will take one WR next year. FILLED.
Let’s face it, Michigan has crushed offensive lineman recruiting (hopefully it will return our QBless run-game) and has fifteen OL scholarship players (including Sypniewski the long-snapper) including returning superstar Lewan (Schofield, Miller, Bryant, Bars, Braden, Magnuson, Kalis, Kugler, Fox, Bosch, Dawson, Tulley-Tillman, and Samuelson) and eight walk-ons. Um has the pledge of one 2014 lineman (Ward as stated above) and I think will add one more. The interesting issue will be if the interior can play nasty (is missing in this year’s squad) and do we have a meaningful center and back-up, Miller will get the starting nod probably. FILLED.
For a total of six offensive spots.
Michigan added two very talented walk-on kickers in Allen (punter) and McGrath (Kicker). The stable is pretty solid depending upon the outcome of problem-beleaguered Hagerup as UM will have three punters including Wile (he also kicks), and three kickers with the returning Gibbons and walk-on Broekhuizen. Um will not add an ST kicker unless something bizarre happens, or via walk-on. FILLED.
Michigan has eight strong and weak-side defensive ends. Clark, Beyer, Heitzman, Ojemudia, Wormley, Strobel, Charlton, and Godin (though he was recruited as a DT and may eventually be back there). It is hard to say if this corps is ready because less some LB hybrid adjustments it has not been overly effective, but there is hope that Ojemudia and Clark can add a continual effective edge rush. Michigan will look to add one or two in the DE category. FILLED.
The Wolverines also have eight scholarship DTs and one walk-on (Glasgow). Wilkins, Ash, Washington, Black, Pipkins, Poggi, Hurst, and Henry. Once again this D front will be a mix of young, and senior players – it is my hope the experience in the secondary will allow this group to gel. One would expect Pipkins to move to Campbell’s old spot, Q to stay a constant – and the mix afterwards is anyone’s guess, but it is nice to have some depth to mix, match, and substitute. I expect UM to take two DTs. FILLED.
Michigan currently has 11 scholarship linebackers (also two walk-ons), and yet one gets the feeling the D staff is still not happy with the speed and athleticism at the position. Jones, Gordon, Morgan, Ryan, Bolden, Jenkins-Stone, Ross, Poole, Ringer, Gedeon and McCray. There is significant experience there for two-deep, and most have played some reps. I expect UM to add 1 more to make it two with Ferns already in the fold. FILLED.
Michigan has depth here, and hopefully Countess will be back for spring making the two starters Countess and Taylor, with Avery holding down the nickel. The entire current scholarship count is 10 including Hollowell, Richardson, Lewis, Douglas, Stribling, Hill and Dawson (there are two walk-ons). The pool is now pretty deep, and has a fair amount of experience (at least in the one deep) with the rotating injury wheel in this group. I would expect none or one depending (especially with the Norfleet crossover if permanent). FILLED.
Michigan is hurting here (especially in the strong spot), and despite the regular bashing of a once walk-on in Kovacs we will see how much he truly brought to this team next year during his absence (he was a mental field general). Michigan currently has seven safety scholarship athletes. Robinson and Gant on the strong side, and Gordon, Furman, Wilson, Clark, and Thomas (there are also two walk-ons). This is one position I expect to be a win-it position in the spring – and with Thomas coming as an early he will challenge. Question is will Robinson live up to the hype this year? This is definitely a two-spot need. UNDER FILLED.
The total numbers above do not add up to thirteen, but instead are just the guesstimate of what I believe we will take in each position, some may be more or some less as the practices and season (and attrition) continue forward. So, essentially I see four positions of have to haves QB, TE, FB (Sort of), and Safety. Safety and QB depth are really huge concerns for me, what say you?
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — SKWDCOP
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