The Wolverine

September 2018*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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38 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2018 BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan head coach Jim Harbaugh had to scramble to put together his first re- cruiting class, a group for- mer head coach Brady Hoke helped amass. There are a few standouts in this crew, but only eight remain. Here's an in-depth look at the 2015 class — plus the remaining fifth-year seniors — and what they have ac- complished: Name Pos. Rec. Stars Brian Cole WR/DB 4 Moved from wide receiver to safety after playing in two games his freshman year. Released from the program and eventually ended up at Mississippi State, where he's ex- pected to start at nickel back, after spending time at junior college pow- erhouse East Mississippi (the school featured on the first two seasons of the Netflix series "Last Chance U"). Andrew David PK 2 Transferred to TCU before the start of the 2016 season after leaving U-M in the summer and sat out due to NCAA transfer rules. He punted for the Horned Frogs in the last four games of the season last year, kick- ing six times with a long of 56 yards and an average of 42.8 yards, and is expected to be the team's starting punter in the fall. Zach Gentry TE 4 The former quarterback from New Mexico eclipsed 300 yards in recep- tions a year ago and is a good bet to top that number this season as the team's No. 1 tight end. His 303 re- ceiving yards a year ago ranked sec- ond on the team. Karan Higdon RB 3 Notched a pair of 200-yard games last season and finished just shy of 1,000 — he said he'd have gone to the NFL if he reached the plateau, but he's back and an All-Big Ten candidate. Needs to improve as a pass blocker, but he's bigger and stronger heading into the fall. Reuben Jones LB/DE 3 Has registered two tackles in his career, both assisted. The athletic end has work to do to see the field behind several outstanding ends, but he's got potential. Shelton Johnson DE 3 Never saw the field in two seasons with the program and was not listed on the 2017 roster. He hasn't surfaced elsewhere. Tyree Kinnel S 4 One of the most experienced play- ers on the team and one of Jim Har- baugh's favorites, a leader on the de- fense from his safety position. He is tied for the second-most career starts (13) defensively coming into 2018. Alex Malzone QB 3 Played only in mop-up duty in three games before graduating and transferring to Miami (Ohio) for his final two years. Grant Newsome OT 4 Started the first five games of 2016 at left tackle and suffered a traumatic knee injury, sidelining him since then. He redshirted last season and is still hopeful to return this year or next. Grant Perry WR 3 Has caught 52 passes in 34 career games, racking up 618 yards and three scores. He missed time with injury last year but still paced U-M with 307 receiving yards, and is now healthy and ready to go. Jon Runyan Jr. OL 3 He was one of the team's most improved players this spring. He's played in nine career games — eight of them last year while receiving snaps at right guard, left tackle and right tackle — and is expected to start this fall. Nolan Ulizio OL 2 Started the first five games last year at right tackle before losing his TOP HEAVY Jim Harbaugh's First U-M Class Has Produced A Few Starters, But Not Much Depth Senior running back Karan Higdon has rushed 247 times for 1,438 yards (5.8 yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns in his U-M career. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN 2 015 REVIEW CLASS OF Report Card — C Players In Class: 14 Team Ranking: No. 49 Players Still At Michigan: 8 At least six of the 14 recruits in this class will have been significant con- tributors by the time their careers end — not bad considering Jim Har- baugh and his staff had little time to assemble the group.

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