The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 43 of 83

44 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2016 BY CHRIS BALAS A year ago, Michigan had only one fifth-year senior scholar- ship player on the roster that contributed significantly to the Wolverines' 10-3 season — line- backer Desmond Morgan. Even Mor- gan didn't begin his freshman season as a redshirt, instead missing his fourth year due to injury. It's a different story in 2016, and one of the reasons the Wolverines are con- sidered by many to be the Big Ten title favorite. Last year at this time, the 2012 class received a C+ grade in this column with a challenge to many in the group to step up or go down as a mediocre group. They responded in a big way. The Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions drafted two of them — defensive line- man Willie Henry and former walk-on offensive lineman Graham Glasgow, respectively — after big years. Safety Jarrod Wilson had a solid senior sea- son of his own and impressed in Jack- sonville's minicamp after signing as a rookie free agent. Many of the 2012 class are fifth-year guys still in Ann Arbor, and they'll be the backbone of the 2016 Wolverines: Jehu Chesson, WR: Team MVP and first-team All-Big Ten selection after catching 50 passes for 764 yards last year. Amara Darboh, WR: Caught 58 passes for 727 yards last season and is primed for an even bigger year in 2016. Drake Johnson, RB: Has shaken off two ACL surgeries and rushed for 271 yards last year, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Chris Wormley, DL: The anchor of a line considered among the Big Ten's best. Wormley notched 6.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss last season. Kyle Kalis, OG: A three-year starter, Kalis has been inconsistent but has im- proved each year. Jeremy Clark, CB: Called the most improved player of the spring by de- fensive coordinator Don Brown and one of U-M's three best corners. Erik Magnuson, OL: Another three- year starter, he had a very solid season at right tackle last year. Matt Godin, DL: A key reserve on an outstanding defensive line. He'll be on the two-deep again in 2016. Ben Braden, OL: A two-year starter who has found a home at guard after starting out as a tackle. All but three of the 25 class of 2012 signees finished their collegiate play- ing careers in Ann Arbor (wide receiver Time To Shine Michigan's 2013 Class Appears To Be As Good As First Advertised 2013 CLASS REVIEW Senior tight end Jake Butt enters his final campaign with 92 career catches for 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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