The Wolverine

September 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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CLASS REVIEW: 2011 starting lineup at weakside linebacker in week two against Notre Dame. He made just a single tackle in that game, and came off the bench over the next five, but returned to the start- ing lineup permanently against Pur- due. In six consecutive starts, Morgan racked up 48 tackles, including three for loss, and registered double-digit stops in wins over Ohio State and Vir- ginia Tech. Matt Wile — The San Diego na- tive was expected to compete for the placekicking job but made a far greater dent at punter, filling in for a suspended Will Hagerup for the first four games of the 2011 season. During that stretch, he averaged 41.4 yards on 14 punts, dropping four inside the 20-yard line. He also served as U- M's kickoff man and would return to punting duties against Virginia Tech, averaging 43.7 yards on three boots. 11 games last season, nine as a reserve linebacker, backing up Jake Ryan at the Sam, Beyer made the transition in the spring to weakside defensive end. He battled with classmate Frank Clark and had moved to the front of the race to start at that position enter- ing fall camp. With Clark indefinitely suspended due to an arrest, Beyer be- comes the starter, and must rise to the challenge even without a competitor pushing him in practice. Keith Heitzman — One of four de- AN IMPACT THIS SEASON Brennen Beyer — After appearing in READY TO MAKE fensive linemen in the class of 2011, Heitzman was, perhaps, the most un- dervalued of them, looked at as a proj- ect requiring years before he would contribute. Instead, the redshirt fresh- man proved encouraging behind the scenes a year ago, built on that effort during the spring, and enters the fall a key reserve at both strongside de- fensive end and the three-technique defensive tackle position. Thomas Rawls — Though only a After rushing for 79 yards on 13 carries (6.1-yard average) in three games last year, running back Thomas Rawls could be on the verge of a breakout season. could play an even bigger role with Toussaint indefinitely suspended. three-star recruit out of Flint, Mich., Rawls earned rave reviews from his position coach, Fred Jackson, and was expected to compete for the starting tailback spot a year ago. He instead served as a backup to Fitzgerald Toussaint, rushing for 79 yards on 13 carries (6.1-yard average) in three appearances. This fall, Rawls will be Michigan's No. 2 tailback, likely earn- ing five to eight touches per game, but signed with Michigan, but was never admitted to school and ended up at Oklahoma. He appeared in all 12 games in 2011 and made 10 tackles, but decided to leave Norman for Clemson. He is expected to enroll this fall, sit out the 2012 season and be- come eligible for the Tigers in 2013, though the school has not yet con- firmed Jones' admission. No longer in football: Fremont, Ohio, Kellen Jones — Jones originally WHERE ARE THEY NOW? cornerback Gregg Brown; Hurst, Texas, tight end Chris Barnett; Pick- erington, Ohio, safety Tamani Carter has left Michigan but not announced his future plans; Tampa, Fla., offen- sive lineman Tony Posada; and Co- PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL lumbus, Ohio, defensive end Chris Rock. ❑ Report Card It's still far too early to pass judgment on the class of 2011, but with Blake Countess, Desmond Morgan and Brennen Beyer all expected to start this fall, and Thomas Rawls, Matt Wile, quar- terback Russell Bellomy, Keith Heitzman, cornerback Raymon Taylor and offensive lineman Jack Miller showing improvement in practice, this class figures to play important roles in the continued upward trajectory of the entire program. A year from now, we'll know even more, and will offer a grade at that time: Incomplete SEPTEMBER 2012 THE WOLVERINE 55

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