The Wolverine

2013 Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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not as big as quarterback, but it's not way mend. Does that put him in position to start and there is no reason to think he's not, he behind it." fall camp as the No. 1 tailback? would be the leading candidate to play the The Wolverine: Why is your offense so Borges: "I have faith in Fitz. I know when position, and there will be more competition tight-end friendly when it's up and running Fitz is healthy and gets room, he can run. with some young guys coming in." properly? He's proven that, and you're right, no one The Wolverine: How do you see your inBorges: "Because they get to catch passes. else jumped to the top of the list. coming freshman running backs fitting into We're the antithesis of the spread because "Here's the deal and this goes back the mix at the position? we're looking for opportunities to put tight a few springs. When I first got here, we Borges: "I like Derrick Green's potenends on the field, where the spread is looking went through a spring football and nobody tial. I like De'Veon Smith's. They're both for wide receivers. downhill kids that do exactly what we're "I love the multi-faceted nature of the looking for. tight end position. You've got, in essence, "They're powerful backs, make no a hybrid player, a guy that blocks on the concessions to the defense, and they'll line of scrimmage like a lineman but send a great message in regards to toughcatches like a receiver. ness within our offense and to the op"I think we have a bunch of kids right ponents that we face. How our running now that have a chance to be good — back runs and how that offensive line some in roles, others more multi-dimenblocks become the perception of how sional. tough you are. "Devin Funchess has improved his "It's important to us here that we send blocking quite a bit. He still has a ways that message that we're going to be a to go, but that kid can be as good as he physical offense, and I think those two wants to be. A.J. Williams is more of young guys are both capable of that." a role-playing tight end. We'd like to The Wolverine: How will you use your get him a little more involved, but he's fullbacks in this offense? more of a wide tight end. And then Jake Borges: "If the offense is run right, Butt with more strength can be both. the fullback plays 20-30 plays per game And then we have Khalid Hill coming because we still spread the field a lot. in, who is 250 pounds, and he can be a We're not all two-back. He will catch a move guy." couple of passes and may not carry the The Wolverine: What makes you conball all year, or he may a few times. He fident your young receivers will emerge will catch a few balls, move the chains like you need them to? and block. Borges: "Amara Darboh and Jehu "Joe Kerridge has been in there and Chesson made big plays almost every done a nice job, and Sione Houma did a practice, almost every scrimmage. They lot of good stuff in the spring. I think he's demonstrated an ability to get down the ready to make a contribution. And then field. They have more speed, more range, Wyatt Shallman, who can play tailback better jump timing than we ever anticitoo, has some facets to him. Khalid Hill pated. They have an ability to catch high is a tight end, but he can do a lot things balls, make diving catches and run after the fullback does." the catch. The Wolverine: How concerned are you "Both of them, in almost every pracabout a lack of quarterback depth with just tice, did something to catch someone's two scholarship signal-callers healthy this eye. They are the prototypical kids that fall, including a true freshman? we're looking for in terms of their size … Under Borges, the Wolverines averaged 383.1 yards and Borges: "You have to get ready with guys that could take the ball away from a 29.9 points per contest in 2012. who you've got. We can't sit here and laphoto by per kjeldsen ment what we don't have. We just have to good coverage corner. "I don't know if they'll both have breakshowed up at that position either, and then play with the cards we've been dealt. out seasons, but I think they'll have good we got into the season, about the fifth or "We have a real talented kid coming in seasons. And one will likely have a better sixth game, and finally we said, 'Put Fitz in here in Shane Morris. We just have to get year than the other because Jeremy Gallon is there and give him the ball.' him a menu of plays he can handle, and then going to play 'X' so they'll be splitting time "He ended up with 1,000 yards and didn't we have to continue to develop Brian Cleary, somewhere else. really get started until the second half. Somewho showed steady improvement during the "If between the two of them they make times guys don't show up in the spring bespring. From a physical standpoint, he's not that position productive, then we're going to cause you don't have enough reps in practice your average walk-on. be in good shape. It doesn't have to be 1,000 to really see if a guy can carry it 25 times. "We have a great quarterback, we think, yards receiving, but if they're a legitimate "I know Fitz can do that because he's alin Devin Gardner, and we need him to stay threat out there, which I believe they can be, ready done it. Had he not already done that, healthy, but if something goes wrong, we then they will be good. As they play more I would have my doubts. He didn't do a lot need someone that can come in and get the they will become more and more produclast year, but that wasn't all Fitz. We weren't job done. That will be an incredible chaltive." as good in a lot of areas as we were the year lenge for us and for them in camp, but it's The Wolverine: No running back emerged before. the situation we're in and we have to get that in the spring with Fitz Toussaint on the "Assuming he's recovered from his injury, done." ❑ 72  ■  The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview

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