The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 21 tackles for loss, three passes broken up and a forced fumble, providing a steady hand in the U-M secondary. 16. KENNY ALLEN Fifth-Year Senior, PK/P Allen slammed home his final 17 field goal attempts of the year, going 19 of 23 (82.6 percent), including a career- long 51-yarder at Iowa. He also earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a punter, averaging 43.3 yards per at- tempt and leaving big shoes to fill in 2017. 17. BEN GEDEON Senior, LB Gedeon led the Wolverines in tackles as a senior, compiling 106 stops, with 15.5 for loss and 4.5 sacks. The second- team All-Big Ten performer (media) secured the Roger Zatkoff Award as Michigan's best linebacker and drew raves by Brown at the bowl for his emergence. 8. DYMONTE THOMAS Senior, S Thomas wound up fourth on the team in tackles with 70, broke up nine passes and recovered a fumble. An honorable mention All-Big Ten hon- oree, Thomas picked off a pass against Illinois on his way to Defensive Player of the Game honors. 19. CHRIS EVANS Freshman, RB Evans bolted from the pack to finish second on the team in rushing, with 614 yards on 88 tries (7.0 average). His 30-yard TD bolt in the Orange Bowl put the Wolverines on top in the final two minutes, and he'll look to build on that effort in 2017. 20. KHALID HILL Redshirt Junior, FB Hill promised to be back as a fifth- year senior in 2017, when he'll no doubt continue his point-blank pound- ing at the opponents' goal line. He tied Smith for the team lead with 10 rush- ing touchdowns on only 25 carries, while catching 16 passes for 118 yards and three scores. 21. CHASE WINOVICH Junior, DE Winovich is a key returner in a re- building 2017 defensive line, after a strong junior showing. The irrepress- ible end secured 9.5 tackles for loss and five sacks among his 35 stops, and he will look to bump those numbers higher next year. 22. JEHU CHESSON Fifth-Year Senior, WR Chesson finished third on the team in receiving during his final season, making 35 catches for 500 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball a dozen times for 63 yards and a score. 23. KYLE KALIS Fifth-Year Senior, OG Kalis earned second-team All-Amer- ica status from the American Football Coaches Association, as well as second- team All-Big Ten honors. He started all 13 games for the Wolverines, helping pave the way for 2,768 rushing yards. 24. BEN BRADEN Fifth-Year Senior, OG/T The third of Michigan's trio of fifth- year senior offensive linemen, Braden garnered second-team All-Big Ten hon- ors. He began the season at left guard, moving out to tackle in the wake of sophomore lineman Grant Newsome's knee injury. 25. EDDIE MCDOOM Freshman, WR McDoom should ramp up the "Doooooooom!" cries at Michigan Sta- dium next year, after a rookie season in which he jet swept his way to 160 yards on 16 tries (10.0 average). He'll likely be catching the ball far more, after five receptions for 59 yards as a freshman. ❏ Redshirt junior fullback Khalid Hill's 13 touchdowns tied for sixth in the Big Ten. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN High Risers 1. Wilton Speight, R-So., QB — Speight easily made the biggest leap of all the Wolverines on this year's list. He checked in at No. 24 prior to the season, simply because of the uncertain nature of the quarterback race and his unproven ef- fectiveness as a starter. That changed dramatically, and quickly, with Speight leading the Wolverines to wins in their first nine games. 2. Mike McCray, R-Jr., LB — McCray was nowhere to be seen on the preseason top 25, largely because he sat out a year ago with an injury and hadn't really seen significant time on the field. He wound up at No. 14, following an effort that saw him finish second on the team in tackles and set himself up as a leader in the middle of a retooling 2017 defense. 3. Taco Charlton, Sr., DE — Charlton entered the season well regarded, No. 10 on the top-25 list. But he took it to another level throughout the season, espe- cially down the stretch. His ability to get to the quarterback really showed in the Ohio State game and the Orange Bowl, and he turned the heads of many who will be deciding his fate at the next level. 4. Erik Magnuson, 5th-Sr., OT — Magnuson came into his final year a known quantity, No. 17 on the preseason top 25. He jumped six spots, to No. 11, after a performance that netted him the distinction as Michigan's best offensive line- man and first-team All-Big Ten honors. 5. Chris Evans, Fr., RB — Evans wasn't on the list in the fall, but burst from the pack of young backs to become Michigan's second-leading rusher. He's gearing up for more in 2017. — John Borton

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