The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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20 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 Indianapolis is an obvious standout. A four-star, McGrone is a five-star in some assessments and certainly has the ability to become an impact player for the Wolverines. In the defensive backfield, Myles Sims (6-3, 173) out of Atlanta ranks as the clear headliner. Sims perfectly fits the profile of Michigan defensive backs that are long and able to lock down in man-to-man coverage. Sims joins a crew of five freshman defensive backs in the class, a Ri- four-star along with Gemon Green (6-2, 175) from DeSoto, Texas. Three-stars in the new wave of de- fensive backs are Gemon's brother, German Green (6-2, 178), Sammy Faustin (6-2, 190), out of Naples, Fla., and Gray. Hutchinson gets some intriguing help up front from Taylor Upshaw (6-4, 240) out of Bradenton, Fla., and Julius Welschof (6-6, 253), from Ger- many. Both are defensive ends, and Welschof certainly traveled the far- thest to become part of the newly minted class. He camped at Michigan, and Har- baugh's staff eventually flipped him away from Georgia Tech, to whom he was initially committed. Welschof possesses exceptional athleticism and a very different path to Ann Arbor. Michigan is obviously looking to get better on offense. While transfer quarterback Shea Patterson grabbed Additions Don't Stop With Freshmen Imagine if Shea Patterson were among the signees in the class of 2018. Michi- gan would be getting much more favorable attention on its offseason haul. Well, the transfer junior quarterback is just as much on hand as if he'd signed with the Wolverines Feb. 7. Moreover, he's got two seasons of SEC football under his belt, after coming out of high school as the top prep QB in the nation, in some estimations. So while Michigan's class ranking isn't a top-10 (or in this case, top-20) aggre- gation, the overall influx of talent can make a big difference, now and down the road. Patterson isn't the only newcomer who is not a freshman, either, and the Wolverines aren't done looking. Patterson may or may not be eligible in the fall, depending on a decision by the NCAA. He transferred out of Mississippi, which has run afoul of the govern- ing body. Harbaugh noted in December he told all three of his prime contenders for the quarterback spot — including redshirt freshman Brandon Peters and freshman Dylan McCaffrey — "The only thing that's guaranteed here is an opportunity." The message for Patterson directly: "If I was Shea Patterson, I would have the mindset of, 'Wait 'til they get a load of me.'" Harbaugh repeated the notion that "All three have the license and the ability to be great." Patterson has demonstrated it to the greatest extent at the college level, throw- ing for 3,139 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first two seasons at Ole Miss, with a completion percentage of 60.7. He completed 63.8 percent of his passes in 2017, throwing for 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns. Casey Hughes, meanwhile, is a 6-0, 185-pound graduate transfer out of Utah, a defensive back Michigan brought into the fold for the 2018 campaign. He ac- cumulated 41 tackles, 2.5 stops for loss, one sack, and one forced fumble in a three-year career at Utah. "He has the ability to be a corner," Harbaugh said. "He also has the ability — by what creates our best secondary — to be a nickel or safety. He's got the ability to play all three of those, and we'll determine that when he gets here. "He's got coverage ability plus tackling ability. He's made quite a few tackles and he's a strong tackler." Michigan remains in the market for graduate transfer offensive tackles, al- though none had committed through mid-February. — John Borton According to head coach Jim Harbaugh, Utah graduate transfer Casey Hughes can play cornerback, safety or nickel back, thanks to his ability to cover and tackle. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF UTAH Cornerback Myles Sims played in the Under Armour All-America Game and finished as U-M's top-ranked signee by, checking in at No. 103 nationally. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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