The Wolverine

September 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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CLASS REVIEW: 2010 BY MICHAEL SPATH T supposed to bide their time behind the scenes as rookies, learning the skills of the trade to be a success on the field and in the classroom from veteran teammates. By their sopho- more year, a few potential starters emerge, and many more reserves. Going into their third year, the spot- light shines brighter, however, and so it is for the class of 2010. Among the 15 signees still at Michigan, six are expected to start for the Maize and Blue this fall, with 13 of the 15 expected to earn a spot on U-M's two-deep offensively, de- fensively or on special teams. This collection of classmates may not singularly determine the success or failure of the Wolverines in 2012, but it could be the difference between an eight-, nine- or 10-win season de- pending on their impact. By the end of the 2012 campaign, here is a natural evolution to the expectations of any recruiting class. With a few exceptions, the members are ably made the biggest impact of any member from the class of 2010 dur- ing its first season, averaging 43.64 yards per punt (second in the Michi- gan record books for a single season) completed 11 of 23 attempts for 176 yards with a score and a pick. He was crucial in Michigan's wins over Illinois (throwing a fourth-quarter touchdown pass) and Northwestern, filling in for an injured Robinson, and will serve the same purpose in 2012 in addition to his emerging role as a wide receiver. Will Hagerup — Hagerup prob- Time To Shine For The Class Of 2010 To Make A Significant Contribution The Moment Has Arrived this class will have more on their shoulders as it looks to assume many of the leadership voids due to im- pending departures. This is an im- portant year for the class of 2010. It is their moment to step out of the shade and perform. been a full-time starter at cornerback in either of his first two seasons, Av- ery has been an integral member of the Michigan defensive backfield, starting eight games among 26 ap- pearances for the Wolverines. Avery was an emergency starter at corner late in his freshman year, and held his own. He was a nickel back and U- M's fifth starter (when the situation called for it) in 2011, and made one of the season's biggest plays when he intercepted an Ohio State pass to seal the first Maize and Blue victory over the rival Buckeyes since 2003. Devin Gardner — The Inkster, Mich., Courtney Avery — Though he hasn't CONTRIBUTORS SO FAR THE TOP FOUR native beat out Tate Forcier to be De- nard Robinson's backup for the first three games of the 2010 season, then took over the role permanently in 2011 with Forcier no longer at U-M. In nine games under center — some- times with Robinson in the backfield or split out as a receiver — Gardner 50 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2012 Cleveland St. Ignatius program that produced Trent Zenkewicz and Pat Massey, Ryan was slated to back up Cam Gordon at Sam linebacker in the 2011 season opener. However, an in- jury suffered by Gordon opened up an opportunity for Ryan and he seized it, starting 11 games last year. Ryan wasn't consistent but he made big plays, recording three sacks among 11 tackles for loss, including a Sugar Bowl-record four tackles for loss. while starting 10 contests. The 6-4, 227-pounder sat out the first four games of the 2011 campaign, how- ever, as disciplinary action for a vio- lation of team rules, and struggled to regain his form when he finally did return. Hagerup averaged just 36.0 yards on 29 punts and eventually lost his job to Matt Wile. Jake Ryan — A graduate of the same end in 26 games during his career, Black made the move to the three- technique defensive tackle position in the spring and is the projected starter alongside Will Campbell on the inte- rior. Though he's working to add size, the Cincinnati native weighed only 279 pounds when camp opened. He will rely on leverage and quickness to win one-on-one matchups. AN IMPACT THIS SEASON Jibreel Black — A reserve defensive READY TO MAKE of 2010, Robinson has the frame (6-1, 215 pounds), hands, speed and desire to be the difference-maker at a re- ceiver position with few experienced veterans returning. Robinson has it in him to be both a deep threat and a consistent go-to target, but has yet to catch a pass in his collegiate ca- reer. If he doesn't emerge, classmates Jeremy Jackson, Ricardo Miller and Drew Dileo are options also. Marvin Robinson — After fulfilling a special teams role in 2010, Robinson sought to win a job at safety in his sophomore year. He fell short, but continued to compete and was called upon consistently early in the season. An off-field incident forced him to the sidelines for the final eight games of the regular season, but the matter has been closed and Robinson enters the fall second on the depth chart at strong safety behind Jordan Kovacs. He is capable of playing free safety also if the need arises. nia native has transferred back to his home state following one season in a Michigan uniform. He will suit up Cullen Christian — The Pennsylva- WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Jake Ryan seized the No. 1 role at Sam linebacker last year, starting 11 of 13 games while notching 53 total stops, 11 tackles for loss and three sacks. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN recruited as a bigger back for Rich Rodriguez's spread offense and played tailback in 2010, rushing for 151 yards and a touchdown in eight games. With a 6-2, 240-pound physique, though, he was a natu- ral choice to move to fullback in Al Borges' hybrid pro-style scheme and excelled in limited opportunities. This fall, Hopkins will likely be used more extensively as a blocking back, a runner and a receiver. Jerald Robinson — One of four wide receivers recruited in the class Stephen Hopkins — Hopkins was

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