I’ve been hearing from a lot of people that Michigan cannot develop its young talent. We can use the excuse that we are young, but the issue of youth is much deeper than most think.
Take for instance redshirts. MSU has only burned 6 redshirts from their 3 deep rotations on offense and defense. Only 3 of those guys are current starters. Michigan has burned 29 redshirts from their 3-deep rotation and 6 of those guys are starters on defense. Redshirts may be a bit overrated, but spending an additional year in the program surely cannot hurt.
Average weight gain for an FBS college football athlete is around 5-10 lbs per year*. Combined strength for bench and squat usually increases by 20-30 lbs per year. That doesn’t necessarily account for increase performance, but can definitely account for increase in strength. Another obvious factor is the understanding of playbooks, schemes, reads, and overall football knowledge a player will gain in one year.
So what does this mean for the future of the program?
Next year gives us the ability to redshirt almost everyone, unlike the current year. Guys like Peppers and Harris will most likely not, simply due to depth and talent. We most likely will not improve by a whole lot next year. Our schedule is one of the toughest we’ve seen, aside from last year, but we will have some experience and depth that we have not seen since 2007.
2015 seems to be the year Michigan will start to be a dominant program we all want it to be. We will only be missing 8 players from the 2009 class and 8 from the 2010 class in 2015 (16 players is not even enough to field a team). We also will not lose a ton of players from the 2011 class and will have the Junior and Senior leadership we are lacking this year. 5 of our current offensive starters and 5 of our current defensive starters will be back in 2015 (assuming no attrition). That’s 10 players that will be 3-4 year starters for the program, along with a plethora of other Sophomores and Freshman who are getting significant PT.
*Obtained from Barwis Methods