The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2019 THE WOLVERINE 37   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL OFFENSE Quarterback: Senior Shea Patterson, redshirt sophomore Dylan McCaffrey • Patterson will likely be the starter once again in 2019 after opening all 13 contests this past season, but McCaffrey showed in limited playing time he is at least capable of running the offense if called upon (two touchdown passes and no picks, to go along with a 9.9-yard rushing average on 10 carries). Running Back: Senior Chris Evans, red- shirt freshman Christian Turner • With senior Karan Higdon (1,178 yards) gone to graduation, the 2019 run- ning back job will be up for grabs — don't be surprised to see head coach Jim Harbaugh go with a committee ap- proach that includes not only Evans and Turner, who was able to get his feet wet and still redshirt thanks to new NCAA rules, but also rising-senior Tru Wilson and perhaps even freshman Zach Char- bonnet, a top-60 national recruit and early enrollee. Wide Receiver: Junior Nico Collins, sophomore Ronnie Bell Wide Receiver: Junior Donovan Peo- ples-Jones, redshirt sophomore Oliver Martin Wide Receiver: Redshirt sophomore Tarik Black, senior Nate Schoenle • Collins and Peoples-Jones are en- trenched as starters after leading the club with 632 and 612 yards, respec- tively, so the only real drama will be whether or not Black can return to the level he was at in early 2017 (149 yards in just three games) before breaking his foot. A healthy Black would give Michigan a dangerously ath- letic and high-ceiling receiving trio in 2019. Tight End: Senior Sean McKeon, redshirt junior Nick Eubanks • With Zach Gentry (32 catches for 514 yards) off early to the NFL, McKeon and Eubanks will likely be co-starters in Har- baugh's tight-end-heavy offense, after the duo produced 122 and 157 yards, respectively, in 2018. Left Tackle: Fifth-year senior Jon Runyan Jr., redshirt fresh- man Jalen Mayfield Left Guard: Senior Ben Bredeson, redshirt sophomore Chuck Filiaga Center: Junior Cesar Ruiz, redshirt junior Stephen Spanellis Right Guard: Senior Michael Onwenu, redshirt sophomore Joel Honigford Right Tackle: Redshirt sophomore Andrew Stueber, redshirt freshman Jalen Mayfield • Runyan, Bredeson, Ruiz and Onwenu all return after starting every game last year, so the lone question mark on the offen- sive line will be who takes over at right tackle for departed fifth- year senior Juwann Bushell-Beatty. Stueber started this past season's final two contests when Bushell-Beatty was injured, but another youngster — perhaps Mayfield — potentially grabbing the starting job isn't out of the question. DEFENSE Defensive End: Junior Kwity Paye, redshirt freshman Taylor Upshaw Defensive Tackle: Redshirt junior Michael Dwumfour, red- shirt sophomore Donovan Jeter Defensive Tackle: Senior Carlo Kemp, freshman Mazi Smith Defensive End: Sophomore Aidan Hutchinson, redshirt sophomore Luiji Vilain • The entire defensive line will have a revamped look after losing three start- ers (junior defensive end Rashan Gary, fifth-year senior defensive tackle Bryan Mone and fifth-year senior defensive end Chase Winovich), making it paramount that Hutchinson and Dwumfour produce in their expanded roles. Returning defen- sive linemen accounted for 18 starts last year — 12 of which belonged to Kemp inside. Linebacker: Redshirt junior Devin Gil, redshirt sophomore Jordan Anthony Linebacker: Junior Josh Ross, senior Josh Uche Viper: Senior Khaleke Hudson, fifth- year senior Jordan Glasgow • The starters appear to be set with Gil, Ross and Hudson, but the real intrigue surrounds the backups and how often they will see the field — specifically Uche, who led the club with seven sacks in 2018 and eventually proved too dangerous to keep on the bench in passing situations. Cornerback: Senior Lavert Hill, redshirt freshman Vincent Gray Cornerback: Junior Ambry Thomas, redshirt sophomore Benjamin St-Juste Safety: Senior Josh Metellus, junior J'Marick Woods Safety: Junior Brad Hawkins, freshman Daxton Hill • Metellus and Lavert Hill return after starting the past two seasons, but each will have new faces alongside them — Thomas appears to be the early frontrunner at cornerback, but any of Hawkins, Woods or Daxton Hill could claim the starting gig next to Metellus. SPECIAL TEAMS Kicker: Sophomore Jake Moody, redshirt junior Quinn Nordin Punter: Redshirt junior Will Hart, redshirt sophomore Brad Robbins Long Snapper: Redshirt junior Camaron Cheeseman, red- shirt sophomore Matt Baldeck Kick Returner: Junior Ambry Thomas, Junior Brad Hawkins Punt Returner: Junior Donovan Peoples-Jones, sophomore Ronnie Bell • Hart (punter), Thomas (kick returner) and Peoples-Jones (punt returner) all return to their respective special teams roles, making the only spot with potential drama at kicker, where the story line will be whether or not Moody can continue to hold off Nordin for the starting job. — Austin Fox 2019 Projected Depth Chart Junior Donovan Peoples-Jones could be part of one of the best receiving trios in the country in 2019. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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