28 Tickets To Team 139: Post-Spring Edition

28 Tickets To Team 139: Post-Spring Edition

Submitted by Brian on April 30th, 2018 at 11:54 AM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + SAM + FLEX TE  + SLOT.

PREVIOUSLY: last year's final version, pre-bowl edition.

Note that due to Michigan's frequent deployment of a 3-3-5 with a true SAM linebacker I've added that slot to this year's list. There are now 28 tickets. Actually there are 29 because there are two RBs.

PACK YOUR BAGS

30544914742_ed4537549d_z_thumb111. SDE Rashan Gary, Jr. [Last time: 1]

Enjoy it while it lasts. Gary is a unanimous top-ten pick amongst Way Too Early mock draft types. He was first team All Big Ten per the coaches at a loaded spot after an 11 TFL, 5 sack season. Goal in what's presumably his final year is to go from All Big Ten to All American. That's more likely than not.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-03-at-10.00.33-A[2]2. ILB Devin Bush, Jr. [Last time: 3]

The platonic ideal of a Don Brown linebacker. Roaring start to the season petered out into solid play as opposing offenses started focusing more time and resources on blocking him; still racked up 9.5 TFLs and 5 sacks and was 1st team ABT. Occasional busts expected out of a true sophomore and should drop out of his game as he takes up the mantle of upperclass leader. Drawing skills questionable.

hudson_thumb13. VIPER(!!!) Khaleke Hudson, Jr. [Last time: 4]

Set program and B10 record for TFLs in a game because Minnesota decided to be very Nice to him. Also had 8 non-Gopher TFLs and was a frequent, excellent blitzer. Versatile and explosive; replaced Peppers on defense with almost no hiccup. Busted coverage vs OSU was a bummer. Again, true sophomore.

30300197284_6b18c06a0b_z_thumb54. WDE Chase Winovich, Sr.* [Last time: 6]

Translated productive 2016 cameos with nearly no efficiency loss, leading team with 17.5 TFLs and 8 sacks. Ironman who played almost every snap with a nonstop motor. Enjoyed Eric's hat. Some run issues with lane integrity and holding up against power at his face. Should lose snaps as 2017 class comes online behind him.

31165120764_f26408fc10_z5. SS Josh Metellus, Jr. [Last time: 8]

Don't let that dropped INT and a couple of drag routes obscure what was otherwise an excellent end to the season for Metellus. Graded out consistently well in UFR. Versatile slot defender and safety was a highly reliable tackler and virtually never showed up on your screen for bad reasons. There are far far worse fates for a new starting S. Don't make me remind you of AMSHG.

v38mru82pxomj6mxzrvx_thumb106. FS Tyree Kinnel, Sr. [Last time: 9]

Spate of missed tackles as Kinnel got over-aggressive on screens see him slot just below Metellus; most of his other misfortune was getting freshman Jourdan Lewis'd on slot fades and the occasional Hornibrook heat-seeking missile. Busts were rare; key component of a secondary that exceeded all reasonable expectations. Man coverage on slots could use some work.

33245237283_6934761f01_z7. OC Cesar Ruiz, So. [Last time: 10]

Was already a holy lock to be the starting center in 2018, and then he started at RG for the back half of the season. There was little dropoff from Onwenu until Wisconsin and TJ Edwards came to town; even so Ruiz played out of his mind for a true freshman. He's a natural C and ain't nobody coming for his job.

36586388714_757de77321_z8. TE Sean McKeon, So.* [Last time: 12]

M's leading receiver... with 29 catches. Couple that with an in-season blocking turnaround as he went from Very Bad to Good-ish, and you've got a pending four year-starter unless the NFL intervenes. Athletic, good hands—the OSU drop was uncharacteristic and I have the charts to prove it—and mean enough on the ground.

37017822590_aaac6ab7b0_z (1)9. FLEX Zach Gentry, Jr.* [Last time: 13]

Loping downfield menace would have had a massive breakout season in functioning pass offense; in Michigan's he got 15 catches. Led the team in YPC with a Gesicki-esque 18.4, and was not a pretty pretty princess when asked to block. More or less Post Apocalyptic Jake Butt. Hopefully can become Regular Jake Butt in 2018.

14_487611210. CB David Long, So.* [Last time: 5]

Corners both drop because of Ambry Thomas buzz. Long still put Simmie Cobbs on a milk carton. Program ambassador type. Like Hill, barely challenged over the second half of the season as opponents gave up on their outside WRs. Should improve faster than Watson and emerge into ABT or AA type.

36428699434_67f64b4670_z11. SLOT Grant Perry, Sr. [Last time: 14]

Michigan's leading receiver by yardage last year, Perry looked the part of a polished just-gets-open chain-mover. He looked that part far too rarely for the usual reasons. As a senior his deployment will be similar, but hopefully he'll be one of a large number of weapons instead of the one guy you need to look for on third and seven. A version of Perry in a functional passing game is really efficient.

38189078341_28cfa20806_z12a. RB Karan Higdon, Sr. [Last time: 15a]

Felt wrong to leave either main RB out so let's break out some lower case letters. Higdon is 71 bowl yards away from being Michigan's first 1,000 yard RB since Fitz Toussaint. He demonstrated not only an ability to power through tackles but to run away from a bunch of them. A few better cuts and he's the total package. Oh... and a lot better pass blocking.

CryqvadUkAA3Tz5_thumb512b. RB Chris Evans, Jr. [Last time: 15b]

Disappointing first half mostly about terrible blocking at inopportune times; came on late; displayed open-field chops against OSU. A jet with ankle-breaking ability. Running through a few arm tackles. Got up to 5.3 YPC even with terrible start. Should have had 40 catches this year. Scouts flag football at 7 AM. Should be allowed to wear a helmet that has his hair on it.

30350541320_53f3c6e05f_z_thumb1913. OG Ben Bredeson, Jr. [Last time: 6]

Alarming pass protection feels a lot more understandable if Bredeson is a redshirt freshman, but that was not possible given the dearth of OL Harbaugh inherited. Became a solid cog in the run game; apparently never ever going to get looked at as a tackle. Says somethin' about somethin'. Go go gadget Ed Warinner, here and everywhere else.

36639883555_c850aaef2a_z14. FB Ben Mason, So. [Last time: 16]

Sometimes there's a man. Mason is that man. He's the only veteran fullback on the roster who anyone can name, for one. For two, Harbaugh can't shut up about his physical physicality. For three, Michigan followed that up with meaningful in-season playing time, and he did well with it. For four, just look at that fullback-ass photo at left. Fullback? Fullback.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

image15. QB Shea Patterson, Jr. [Last time: NR]

Hello, Five Star Tate Forcier. While there is just enough of a chance that Patterson's lack of familiarity with the playbook sees someone else win the job to put him in this category… naw. Third-best SEC QB per PFF last year, 64%, 8.7 YPA, 17-9 TD-INT, yes please. Good thinking-face emoji face. Face.

635894839030253287-DFPawards-121315-[2]16. CB Lavert Hill, Jr. [Last time: 2]

Another (almost) entirely missed spring session drew the ire of Zordich. If this goes like last year's ire, polish up the Heisman. But! Thomas is a potential bustout and Hill could get the proverbial Wakeup Call. Still likely to be AA-worthy and a potential early departure. No safety in this secondary. 

CrxVLFyXEAQQBc9_thumb1017. OG Mike Onwenu, Jr. [Last time: 10]

Spanellis chatter out of spring dings Onwenu, who got bumped for Ruiz even after seemingly recovering his health last year. Continued mashing is a given. Stunt pickups, please. Endurance remains a question, as it often is for super-giant OL. Could go either way here: AA potential, bench potential. This one may be more Herbert than Warinner.

33220291904_91e3759ddd_z18. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, So. [Last time: 19]

Emerged as Michigan's main—often only—receiver by midseason, whereupon he was zestily overthrown on wide open post routes and humped to death by hoodie-wearing jabronis in full view of the referees. Did get a bomb against Wisconsin, and had two huge punt returns. Breakout could be coming, pending pass pro.

38456603786_f91ec3a78d_z (1)19. 3T Aubrey Solomon, So. [Last time: 20]

M's late preference for a 4-man-front seemed directly tied to the development of Solomon, a five-star who started flashing that talent late in the year. Removal against OSU because of a ding, not his play; Martin/Glasgow/Hurst play-alike who could/should bust out big time in full time starters role.

nordin-810x450_thumb520. K Quinn Nordin, So.* [Last time: 22]

Torrid start cooled off; still hit 15 of 20 attempts on the year. Three missed XPs are... uh. Not great. S&P+ has him an almost entirely average kicker. This is not the worst, but it is quite a comedown from GREATEST KICKER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY, which is what Nordin seemed like for half the season. Let's get back to that plz.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

image21. NT Mike Dwumfour, So.* [Last time: NR]

Mo Hurst, but big! Dwumfour's been a hype machine since last year, when he was unneeded, and has continued to generate downright absurd talk. Most of this is unprompted from the coaches, to the point where Harbaugh sat back down and asked Ira to ask about breakout players so he could shout Dwumfour out.

37266565725_cd8455398e_z22. WR Tarik Black, Fr.* [Last time: 24]

Michigan's #1 receiver until injury hewed him down; flashed his talent early; with Crawford's continued struggles it's likely that Black walks right back into the starting lineup once he's healthy. Massive, thudding downfield guy with great body control and a year of experience sounds like a nice safety blanket for Peters.

CvKekmXWIAAKkLp_thumb2723. P Brad Robbins, So. [Last time: 25]

This is still a picture of Jordan Glasgow in a bear shirt, and will probably always be a picture of Glasgow in a bear shirt. The punter in question, Robbins, was middling at best as a freshman and could come in for some competition from walk-ons, but the main walk-on shanked three early and got yanked so not so much.

IN A BATTLE

30030155204_aeed8a5eef_z_thumb1224. SAM Noah Furbush, Sr.* [Last time: 17]

Back down in the salt mines for Furbush as linebacker hype for others threatens his spot as Devin Bush's personal snowplow. Could lose time to more dynamic players since he was a bit of a one-trick pony. Someone who could drop into coverage (Singleton? Anthony) would give the 3-3-5 more oomph.

38196366241_195c826cee_z25. NICKEL Brandon Watson, Sr.* [Last time: 21]

Also gave Simmie Cobbs the business. Athletic upside not as high as the other guys but he's making it work as a press corner. Thomas lurks, though, and given the need for a slot fade response Watson's time could be under threat more than the other two guys. Don't count him out.

Lq2JiI0826. ILB Josh Ross, So. [Last time: NR]

Mike McCray's vacancy is wide open and could go to any of the second-year players, or Devin Gil, or Josh Uche, or even a relocated Noah Furbush. Ross gets the nod here because he's got recruiting rankings on the veterans and playing time on his classmates. This is a shot in the dark, but a relatively friendly one. The last two spots... not so much.

30055076235_3a9d30494b_z (2)27. LT Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Sr.* [Last time: NR]

JBB couldn't pass protect a lick last year and that's not likely to change in his final year. News that he'd moved over to LT and had not been clearly dislodged by one of the redshirt freshmen is necessarily alarming. Banking pretty heavily on Warinner >>> Drevno for any optimism.

636215455344246734-IMG-112228. RT James Hudson, Fr.* [Last time: 28]

Here's a near-random guess at which dude will emerge from the seething pile. All three of the returning candidates had major issues, so the door is wide open for a freshman. Hudson moved to tackle and is picking up Webb hype while nobody else has been mentioned, so here he is. Other options: Spanellis, Filiaga, Stueber, Honigford, Runyan, JBB, and Ulizio.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

NOT STARTERS BUT CONTRIBUTING

RB Kareem Walker—flashed promise late, needs to follow his blocking better.

WR Kekoa Crawford—scuffled badly this year, but will rotate in.
WR Nico Collins—redshirt yanked rather pointlessly late this year.
WR Eddie McDoom—Breastonian threat could have been better utilized.

TE Ty Wheatley—injury may have got him Wally Pipped but there's a role for a masher.
TE Nick Eubanks—knocked out for year by brutal targeting.

T Jon Runyan Jr.—RT for much of second half against OSU.
T Grant Newsome—please please please
G Stephen Spanellis—productive masher as 6th OL.

SDE Carlo Kemp—significant PT a year ago; still developing.
NT Bryan Mone—man-planet will be short yardage asset.
3T Lawrence Marshall—decent backup DT
WDE Kwity Paye—flashed some talent as a freshman, up 30 pounds.

SAM Josh Uche—effective rush specialist late in the year.

CB Ambry Thomas—KO returner and super talented dude could take aim at everyone's snaps.

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Brandon Peters—spring talk not real great.
QB Dylan McCaffrey—oblig redshirt year in rear view.

RB O'Maury Samuels—probably needs an injury before he can see real time.

WR Oliver Martin—weird that he was the guy who redshirted.
WR Nate Schoenle—got a few targets.

C Phil Paea—move to O was probably inevitable.
G Andrew Vastardis—walk-on is in conversation.
T Nolan Ulizio—Pretty terrible but did get a half season of starts.
T Andrew Stueber—potential LT if Newsome can't go.
T Chuck Filiaga—enormous man may be G but M has to see if he's a tackle.
T Joel Honigford—Another LT candidate if he works out.

3T Donovan Jeter—ND decommit w/ salty comments afterwards will be fan favorite
WDE Luiji Vilain—injury enforced redshirt gave Paye the early edge.

MLB Drew Singleton—will battle Gil/Ross.
SAM Jordan Anthony—maybe more of a viper/Bush backup?

CB Benjamin St Juste—oh Canada.

S Jordan Glasgow—behind Woods; special teams stalwart.
S Jaylen Kelly-Powell—got some PT late, didn't go well.
S J'Marick Woods—Ol' Woods brings the wood.
S Brad Hawkins—mostly active on special teams.

WAITING THEIR TURN

RB Kurt Taylor—moves up if he can pass block.

SDE Ron Johnson—might be late early for him as Paye went right by on the weakside.
3T Deron Irving-Bey—at least another year before he's ready.
WDE Reuben Jones—late early.

28 Tickets To Team 139: Pre-Bowl Edition

28 Tickets To Team 139: Pre-Bowl Edition

Submitted by Brian on November 30th, 2017 at 1:45 PM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + SAM + FLEX TE  + SLOT.

PREVIOUSLY: last year's final version.

Note that due to Michigan's frequent deployment of a 3-3-5 with a true SAM linebacker I've added that slot to this year's list. There are now 28 tickets. Actually there are 29 because there are two RBs.

PACK YOUR BAGS

30544914742_ed4537549d_z_thumb111. SDE Rashan Gary, Jr. [Last time: 3]

Saw his sacks pirated away all year and endured a painful shoulder injury that briefly knocked him out of a few games; still first team All Big Ten per the coaches at a loaded spot after an 11 TFL, 5 sack season. Goal in what's presumably his final year is to go from All Big Ten to All American. That's more likely than not.

635894839030253287-DFPawards-121315-[2]2. CB Lavert Hill, Jr. [Last time: 18]

Jourdan Lewis 2.0 was the absurd expectation. And it was more or less met. Hill had a clear PT edge over the other members of Michigan's excellent CB troika, and was so good that he was barely challenged during the second half of the season. Flashed excellent run support along the way; total package and early entry candidate.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-03-at-10.00.33-A[2]3. ILB Devin Bush, Jr. [Last time: 15]

The platonic ideal of a Don Brown linebacker. Roaring start to the season petered out into solid play as opposing offenses started focusing more time and resources on blocking him; still racked up 9.5 TFLs and 5 sacks and was 1st team ABT. Occasional busts expected out of a true sophomore and should drop out of his game as he takes up the mantle of upperclass leader. Drawing skills questionable.

hudson_thumb14. VIPER(!!!) Khaleke Hudson, Jr. [Last time: 13]

Set program and B10 record for TFLs in a game because Minnesota decided to be very Nice to him. Also had 8 non-Gopher TFLs and was a frequent, excellent blitzer. Versatile and explosive; replaced Peppers on defense with almost no hiccup. Busted coverage vs OSU was a bummer. Again, true sophomore.

14_48761125. CB David Long, So.* [Last time: 23]

Rotated more than Hill but played just as well. Put Simmie Cobbs on a milk carton. Program ambassador type. Like Hill, barely challenged over the second half of the season as opponents gave up on their outside WRs. Should improve faster than Watson and emerge into ABT or AA type.

30300197284_6b18c06a0b_z_thumb56. WDE Chase Winovich, Sr.* [Last time: 8]

Translated productive 2016 cameos with nearly no efficiency loss, leading team with 17.5 TFLs and 8 sacks. Ironman who played almost every snap with a nonstop motor. Enjoyed Eric's hat. Some run issues with lane integrity and holding up against power at his face. Has NFL decision to make; quick google doesn't show him as a first rounder, so probably back.

30350541320_53f3c6e05f_z_thumb197. OG Ben Bredeson, Jr. [Last time: 5]

Alarming pass protection feels a lot more understandable if Bredeson is a redshirt freshman, but that was not possible given the dearth of OL Harbaugh inherited. Became a solid cog in the run game; could get a look at tackle but I think we saw why he was never a candidate on the outside over the course of the year. Big leap still possible.

31165120764_f26408fc10_z8. SS Josh Metellus, Jr. [Last time: 10]

Don't let that dropped INT and a couple of drag routes obscure what was otherwise an excellent end to the season for Metellus. Graded out consistently well in UFR. Versatile slot defender and safety was a highly reliable tackler and virtually never showed up on your screen for bad reasons. There are far far worse fates for a new starting S. Don't make me remind you of AMSHG.

v38mru82pxomj6mxzrvx_thumb109. FS Tyree Kinnel, Sr. [Last time: 7]

Spate of missed tackles as Kinnel got over-aggressive on screens see him slot just below Metellus; most of his other misfortune was getting freshman Jourdan Lewis'd on slot fades and the occasional Hornibrook heat-seeking missile. Busts were rare; key component of a secondary that exceeded all reasonable expectations. Man coverage on slots could use some work.

CrxVLFyXEAQQBc9_thumb1010. OG Mike Onwenu, Jr. [Last time: 14]

Got bumped for Cesar Ruiz late in the year but was reportedly ill even after he'd recovered from his injury; if full go would have played. When playing was the exact kind of absurd masher everyone wanted him to be. Early pass protection issues more about stunt communication than a technique deficit; should emerge into bonafide ABT player.

33245237283_6934761f01_z11. OC Cesar Ruiz, So. [Last time: NR]

Was already a holy lock to be the starting center in 2018, and then he started at RG for the back half of the season. There was little dropoff from Onwenu until Wisconsin and TJ Edwards came to town; even so Ruiz played out of his mind for a true freshman. He's a natural C and ain't nobody coming for his job.

36586388714_757de77321_z12. TE Sean McKeon, So.* [Last time: NR]

M's leading receiver... with 29 catches. Couple that with an in-season blocking turnaround as he went from Very Bad to Good-ish, and you've got a pending four year-starter unless the NFL intervenes. Athletic, good hands—the OSU drop was uncharacteristic and I have the charts to prove it—and mean enough on the ground.

37017822590_aaac6ab7b0_z (1)13. FLEX Zach Gentry, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Loping downfield menace would have had a massive breakout season in functioning pass offense; in Michigan's he got 15 catches. Led the team in YPC with a Gesicki-esque 18.4, and was not a pretty pretty princess when asked to block. More or less Post Apocalyptic Jake Butt. Hopefully can become Regular Jake Butt in 2018.

36428699434_67f64b4670_z14. SLOT Grant Perry, Sr. [Last time: NR]

Michigan's leading receiver by yardage last year, Perry looked the part of a polished just-gets-open chain-mover. He looked that part far too rarely for the usual reasons. As a senior his deployment will be similar, but hopefully he'll be one of a large number of weapons instead of the one guy you need to look for on third and seven. A version of Perry in a functional passing game is really efficient.

38189078341_28cfa20806_z15a. RB Karan Higdon, Sr. [Last time: NR]

Felt wrong to leave either main RB out so let's break out some lower case letters. Higdon is 71 bowl yards away from being Michigan's first 1,000 yard RB since Fitz Toussaint. He demonstrated not only an ability to power through tackles but to run away from a bunch of them. A few better cuts and he's the total package. Oh... and a lot better pass blocking.

CryqvadUkAA3Tz5_thumb515b. RB Chris Evans, Jr. [Last time: 16]

Disappointing first half mostly about terrible blocking at inopportune times; came on late; displayed open-field chops against OSU. A jet with ankle-breaking ability. Running through a few arm tackles. Got up to 5.3 YPC even with terrible start. Should have had 40 catches this year. Scouts flag football at 7 AM. Should be allowed to wear a helmet that has his hair on it.

36639883555_c850aaef2a_z16. FB Ben Mason, So. [Last time: NR]

Sometimes there's a man. Mason is that man. He's the only fullback on the roster who anyone can name, for one. For two, Harbaugh gushed about him through spring and fall as a hitter. For three, Michigan followed that up with meaningful in-season playing time, and he did well with it. For four, just look at that fullback-ass photo at left. Fullback? Fullback.

30030155204_aeed8a5eef_z_thumb1217. SAM Noah Furbush, Sr.* [Last time: 25]

Flies up as SAM becomes a ticket. Got a ton of time as Devin Bush's personal snowplow early; restricted to passing downs later in the season. Functioned mostly as a bonus DL in a 3-3-5; unless he is more versatile it looks like Michigan is going to run actual DLs instead of bonus ones.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

34056744135_046024a637_z (1)18. QB Brandon Peters, So.* [Last time: NR]

There will be a QB competition; Peters has a year, 64 attempts at 7.6 YPA, a 4:0 TD-INT ratio, and the upcoming bowl game over Dylan McCaffrey, his only realistic competition after Speight's exit. If Peters doesn't win the competition it will be a major surprise. Not bad for a Huge Recruiting Mistake.

33220291904_91e3759ddd_z19. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, So. [Last time: 24]

Emerged as Michigan's main—often only—receiver by midseason, whereupon he was zestily overthrown on wide open post routes and humped to death by hoodie-wearing jabronis in full view of the referees. Did get a bomb against Wisconsin, and had two huge punt returns. Breakout could be coming, pending pass pro.

38456603786_f91ec3a78d_z (1)20. 3T Aubrey Solomon, So. [Last time: NR]

M's late preference for a 4-man-front seemed directly tied to the development of Solomon, a five-star who started flashing that talent late in the year. Removal against OSU because of a ding, not his play; Martin/Glasgow/Hurst play-alike who could/should bust out big time in full time starters role.

38196366241_195c826cee_z21. NICKEL Brandon Watson, Sr.* [Last time: NR]

Probably the season's most pleasant surprise, Watson went from firm-handshake fodder to a guy Michigan had to play even though David Long was taking off. Also gave Simmie Cobbs the business. Athletic upside not as high as the other guys but he's making it work as a press corner. Thomas lurks.

nordin-810x450_thumb522. K Quinn Nordin, So.* [Last time: 20]

Torrid start cooled off; still hit 15 of 20 attempts on the year. Three missed XPs are... uh. Not great. S&P+ has him an almost entirely average kicker. This is not the worst, but it is quite a comedown from GREATEST KICKER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY, which is what Nordin seemed like for half the season. Let's get back to that plz.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

Baq2X62CYAIVIab_thumb523. NT Bryan Mone, Sr.* [Last time: 14]

Conditioning issues were rumored to cost him his starting job; useful piece on short yardage but a zero as a rusher. That could see him relegated to a similar role in 2018 if one of the young guys comes on. Still more likely that Mone trims down in a contract year and takes his swing at the NFL.

37266565725_cd8455398e_z24. WR Tarik Black, Fr.* [Last time: NR]

Michigan's #1 receiver until injury hewed him down; flashed his talent early; with Crawford's continued struggles it's likely that Black walks right back into the starting lineup once he's healthy. Massive, thudding downfield guy with great body control and a year of experience sounds like a nice safety blanket for Peters.

CvKekmXWIAAKkLp_thumb2725. P Brad Robbins, So. [Last time: 26]

This is still a picture of Jordan Glasgow in a bear shirt, and will probably always be a picture of Glasgow in a bear shirt. The punter in question, Robbins, was middling at best as a freshman and could come in for some competition from walk-ons, but the main walk-on shanked three early and got yanked so not so much.

IN A BATTLE

Lq2JiI0826. ILB Josh Ross, So. [Last time: NR]

Mike McCray's vacancy is wide open and could go to any of the second-year players, or Devin Gil, or Josh Uche, or even a relocated Noah Furbush. Ross gets the nod here because he's got recruiting rankings on the veterans and playing time on his classmates. This is a shot in the dark, but a relatively friendly one. The last two spots... not so much.

21235224-standard27. LT Grant Newsome, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Please baby Jesus, all I want for Christmas this year is a hale and hearty Grant Newsome. And also next year. And I suppose it would be nice if he remained healthy after his playing career at Michigan was over as well.

636215455344246734-IMG-112228. RT James Hudson, Fr.* [Last time: NR]

Here's a near-random guess at which dude will emerge from the seething pile. All three of the returning candidates had major issues, so the door is wide open for a freshman. Hudson moved to tackle and is picking up Webb hype while nobody else has been mentioned, so here he is. Other options: Spanellis, Filiaga, Stueber, Honigford, Runyan, JBB, and Ulizio.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

NOT STARTERS BUT CONTRIBUTING

RB Kareem Walker—flashed promise late, needs to follow his blocking better.

WR Kekoa Crawford—scuffled badly this year, but will rotate in.
WR Nico Collins—redshirt yanked rather pointlessly late this year.
WR Eddie McDoom—Breastonian threat could have been better utilized.

TE Ty Wheatley—injury may have got him Wally Pipped but there's a role for a masher.
TE Nick Eubanks—knocked out for year by brutal targeting.
TE Ian Bunting—Ol' Skillet Hands may have fifth year on the line in spring.

T Jon Runyan Jr.—RT for much of second half against OSU.
T Juwann Bushell-Beatty—road grader who can't pass block.
G Stephen Spanellis—productive masher as 6th OL. Probably gets a look at T.

SDE Carlo Kemp—significant PT a year ago; still developing.
NT Michael Dwumfour—"big Mo Hurst" is what they're saying. Please be right.
3T Lawrence Marshall—decent backup DT
WDE Kwity Paye—flashed some talent as a freshman.

SAM Josh Uche—effective rush specialist late in the year.

CB Ambry Thomas—KO returner and super talented dude could take aim at Watson's snaps.

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Dylan McCaffrey—oblig redshirt year in rear view.

RB O'Maury Samuels—probably needs an injury before he can see real time.

WR Oliver Martin—weird that he was the guy who redshirted.
WR Nate Schoenle—got a few targets.

G Andrew Vastardis—walk-on is in conversation.
T Nolan Ulizio—Pretty terrible but did get a half season of starts.
T Andrew Stueber—potential LT if Newsome can't go.
T Chuck Filiaga—enormous man may be G but M has to see if he's a tackle.
T Joel Honigford—Another LT candidate if he works out.

3T Donovan Jeter—ND decommit w/ salty comments afterwards will be fan favorite
WDE Luiji Vilain—injury enforced redshirt gave Paye the early edge.

MLB Drew Singleton—will battle Gil/Ross.
SAM Jordan Anthony—maybe more of a viper/Bush backup?

CB Benjamin St Juste—oh Canada.

S Jordan Glasgow—behind Woods; special teams stalwart.
S Jaylen Kelly-Powell—got some PT late, didn't go well.
S J'Marick Woods—Ol' Woods brings the wood.
S Brad Hawkins—mostly active on special teams.

WAITING THEIR TURN

RB Kurt Taylor—moves up if he can pass block.

G JaRaymond Hall—only incoming OL listed at under 300.

NT Phil Paea—two-way DL/OL will probably land on O, eventually.
SDE Ron Johnson—might be late early for him as Paye went right by on the weakside.
3T Deron Irving-Bey—at least another year before he's ready.
WDE Reuben Jones—late early.

27 Tickets To Team 138: Post-Spring Edition

27 Tickets To Team 138: Post-Spring Edition

Submitted by Brian on May 3rd, 2017 at 3:06 PM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE  + SLOT.

PREVIOUSLY: 137 post-spring. 138 pre-bowl. 138 post signing day.

PACK YOUR BAGS

30200244000_595e1f87b4_z_thumb291. 3TECH Maurice Hurst, Sr.* [Last time: 1]

Crazy productive interior DL. Had just about the same grade at PFF as Michigan's NFL-bound stars despite getting about 60% of their snaps, with more QB hurries than anyone on the team. That's overall, not on a per-snap basis. Likely first rounder in the next NFL draft. Could have gone this year. Get in his belly.

29158603220_82307bc4ec_z_thumb132. LT Mason Cole, Sr. [Last time: 2]

Return to left tackle a fait accompli after spring session where he did not play much, if any, C. Excellent run blocker there two years ago; pass pro was good except against top end guys; two years on he'll be better at the latter. How much is major season key. All Big Ten likely; hopefully he'll deserve it instead of getting the long-time OL starter nod.

30544914742_ed4537549d_z_thumb113. SDE Rashan Gary, So. [Last time: 3]

Omar comin', except his name is Rashan and he is not little. Like Hurst, stuck behind future pros in 2016. Still flashed freaky ability; year two should be a breakout year so enormous it shatters windows across the Midwest. #1 overall prospects are in fact guarantees, and Gary showed plenty to indicate he would not be an exception.

30030672164_3dddaa8327_z_thumb114. ILB Mike McCray, Sr* [Last time: 4]

Sole returning member of the front seven had some edge issues last year. Tackling in space was an Area For Improvement, as they say. Positives outweighed negatives, though, as McCray was an outstanding blitzer and reliably in the place he was supposed to be. Probably moves to MLB.

30350541320_53f3c6e05f_z_thumb195. OG Ben Bredeson, So. [Last time: 5]

Bredeson is locked in at guard next to Cole; tackle snaps were fleeting. Reports are he's greatly improved, as rising true sophomores tend (and need) to; top-end recruiting profile indicates he's got considerable upside. Should be solid, but only that since he is still a second-year player. Distant possibility he flips out to tackle in fall; reputedly in the mix at LT last year.

Baq2X62CYAIVIab_thumb56. NT Bryan Mone, Jr.* [Last time: 14]

Absolute dearth of interior DL behind him moves Mone up into lock territory. Aubrey Solomon and James Hudson arrive in fall but they're not displacing a redshirt junior who has flashed great talent when he's been healthy. Please please please stay that way. Did so through spring, which is progress. Doesn't have to be great with the guys around him. Plugger is a win. MEAT.

v38mru82pxomj6mxzrvx_thumb107. FS Tyree Kinnel, Jr. [Last time: 7]

Moves to lock territory after spring despite remaining in the same place. Now the old man of the secondary with a beard to match, Kinnel is so locked into a starting job that he's rarely discussed anymore. Did well with dimeback snaps a year ago and looked the part in the spring game. Heady gent who should get Michigan in the right D consistently. A reload player, not a rebuild player.

30300197284_6b18c06a0b_z_thumb58. WDE Chase Winovich, Jr.* [Last time: 8]

Ebullient pass rusher produced five sacks despite playing time often measured in single-digit snaps. 27 pressure events on just 277 snaps is outstanding production, and PFF even liked him as a run defender (+6.5). Best case scenario for him after spending 2015 as an H-back. Jake Ryan-at-DE comps look spot on so far.

CryqvadUkAA3Tz5_thumb59. RB Chris Evans, So. [Last time: 16]

Got the you're-a-starter hook in the spring game and thus moves to lock territory despite a deep stable behind him. Scouts flag football at 7AM. Student of the game. Quick-twitch ankle-breaker; frequent five-wide this spring may be an indicator Michigan plans to utilize his receiving chops more frequently. Should be allowed to wear a helmet that has his hair on it.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

31165120764_f26408fc10_z10. SS Josh Metellus [Last time: 23]

Jordan Glasgow is apparently a VIPER(!) so Mean Ol' Josh Metellus is all but unchallenged as the other starting safety. Loved by Don Brown, who calls him a "savant"; turns out Devin Bush Sr might know a thing or two about defensive backs. Thumping tackler who looked very comfortable this spring; should slot into the Delano Hill role. Not as good at tracking down Dalvin Cook as Peppers, but that's life.

6_4172266_thumb1311. WR Kekoa Crawford, So. [Last time: 18]

Bump since the absence of Drake Harris left him the only outside guy with much experience. Outstanding blocker and promising Adrian Arrington-esque big framed guy with downfield upside. Relatively limited spring game reps indicate he's secured his place on the depth chart. One great catch in garbage time a year ago.

maxresdefault_thumb1812. QB Wilton Speight, Jr* [Last time: 6]

Down from lock territory after Brandon Peters's torrid spring game and Speight's corresponding struggles. While he's still the heavy favorite after a 63%, 8.1 YPA, 17-5 TD-INT sophomore year, I'm saying there's a chance. Impressive pocket presence and plus—but not perfect—accuracy need to return for him to maintain.

hudson_thumb113. VIPER(!!!) Khaleke Hudson, So. [Last time: 22]

Moved to the VIPER spot he was born to play and has reportedly locked it down, much to your author's delight. Violent shock tackler just about decapitated John O'Korn, but legal-like, in the spring game; also in the back pocket of tight ends on routes. Not Peppers... but basically Peppers.

CrxVLFyXEAQQBc9_thumb1014. OG Mike Onwenu, So. [Last time: 9]

Slight drop because Onwenu is not the 350-pound grape-destroying guard previous edition projected but is apparently a 370 pound version of same who needs to drop weight to help his endurance. Inability to shed in year one a little worrisome. Still very likely to start. +3 in 91 snaps to PFF last year. That's like +30 for a full season. Caveat: Rutgers.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-03-at-10.00.33-A[2]15. ILB Devin Bush, So. [Last time: 10]

Emergence of Robocop as real PT threat cost him a few spots but he remains in the near-lock category after starring as the Tasmanian Devil in the spring game. His blitzing is a problem for RBs and he offers more range than anyone else on the roster. Brings a much-needed infusion of dreads to the starting lineup. Has no idea how to draw a Wolverine.

GaelBigHands_thumb916. FLEX Ian Bunting, Jr.*[Last time: 11]

Ol' Skillet Hands flashed massive receiving upside after Butt's exit against FSU. Also blew a pass protection rather spectacularly. Emergence of competitors and spring dings knock him down a bit; Gentry and Eubanks may eat into FLEX snaps and see him more inline. Still a rangy rangy man who is no longer blocked by an exceptional receiving TE; breakout en route.

image_thumb717. FB/H-back Khalid Hill, Sr.* [Last time: 15]

If I had a Panda / I'd hammer in the morning / I'd hammer in the evening / but only in the endzone. Impact Fullback Khalid Hill specialized in two-for-one edge blocks, one yard touchdown runs, wide open flare routes, spectacular catches, and self-nicknaming that was so amazing people just ran with it.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

635894839030253287-DFPawards-121315-[2]18. CB Lavert Hill, So. [Last time: 12]

Another frequent spring absentee dips a bit, but proclamations that Hill is Michigan's most talented corner see him slot in as a near-lock. He's got more experience than any other competitor and played well in limited time a year ago. Jourdan Lewis 2.0 is the expectation; have fun living up to that one.

nordin-810x450_thumb519. K Quinn Nordin, Fr.* [Last time: 20]

Bounces back up after kicker trepidation in last edition since he hit a 48 yarder that would have been good from 70 in the spring game and followed that up with more bombs in Rome. Still, evidence is thin: 2/3 on FGs as a senior. Tice and Seychel also looked good, but only one man in this race can kick a ball so hard it goes backwards in time.

mcdoom

20. SLOT Eddie McDoom, So. [Last time: NR]

McDoom bounces the still-absent Grant Perry after news that his spring game injury is not serious. End-around specialist brough a Breastonian flair to proceedings last year and will hope to add some downfield stuff in year two. High hopes he can replicate Perry's route artisanship and add some spectacular jukes. Watch out for Nate Schoenle here.

tyrone-wheatley-ncaa-football-michigan-spring-game-850x56021. TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr, So.* [Last time: 19]

Could have gone Gentry/Bunting w/ TEs but this space still projects that Wheatley's size and blocking upside will see him into the starting lineup, or close enough. Moves incredibly well for a guy his size and just needs to get the details down to be a monster. Crushes a guy one play, falls off him the next. Consistency, consistency, consistency. /pours one out for dear departed Kaiju

31157979914_cf91a85762_z22. OC Patrick Kugler, Sr.* [Last time: 25]

Cole's move outside opens up a slot at center, Kugler's specialty. For now he is fending off early-enrolled freshman Cesar Ruiz, and since he's a fifth year player and Ruiz is a first year player we'll project that he holds onto the spot. We'll even keep him out of "In A Battle" because we remember his recruitment, when he visited East Lansing and liked it so much he immediately committed to Michigan.

IN A BATTLE

14_487611223. CB David Long, Fr.* [Last time: 13]

Early PT last year barely keeps Long above spring breakout Keith Washington and EE freshman Ambry Thomas, but spring absence and lack of coach chatter throws the second corner spot into a wide-open battle. It'll probably be fine what with various talented folks competing; worry factor here has increased meaningfully.

33220291904_91e3759ddd_z24. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Fr. [Last time: NR]

DPJ was in and out during spring; when in was wowing each and ever practice observer. W/ Drake Harris, the previous resident at this spot, sidelined the whole spring DPJ is your tentative leader. Harris and fellow EE freshman Tarik Black are going to push; the bet here is DPJ is one of the 33% of five-star WRs who's immediately a weapon.

30030155204_aeed8a5eef_z_thumb1225. SAM Noah Furbush, Jr* [Last time: 21]

Peppers's backup last year, and well-liked by the coaches. But how does Furbush replace a safety? Against Wisconsin and MSU, well. Against spread offenses not so much. Could see meaningful PT in half Michigan's games; could once again be a little-used backup. Watch out for Josh Uche as a blitz specialist.

CvKekmXWIAAKkLp_thumb2726. P Brad Robbins, Fr. [Last time: 26]

Foresight of using Jordan Glasgow in a bear shirt instead of a picture of the punter in question should now be undeniable, as I can leave Jordan Glasgow in a bear shirt up instead of scouring the internet for a picture of Brad Robbins, new scholarship punter and hang-time specialist.

darien-112614steuber_thumb27. RT Andrew Stueber, Fr. [Last time: 27]

W/ Newsome almost certainly out for the year Michigan will be choosing between tackle-shaped freshmen and guard-shaped veterans for the RT spot. Our wild guess remains on Stueber but John Runyan Jr's strong spring makes him a candidate and Chuck Filiagia will have a say. There's a reason this is #27.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

TECHNICALLY NOT STARTERS BUT CLOSE ENOUGH

QB Brandon Peters—first Harbaugh-selected QB on the roster comes with massive expectations.

RB Ty Isaac—spring hype petered out into decent play.
RB Karan Higdon—Impressed with his quick cuts and low pad level. Will continue to see snaps.

FB Henry Poggi—less dynamic Michigan fullback, and one who had some issues getting his hat on someone last year.

WR Tarik Black—mondo outside WR impressed at Army game.

TE Nick Eubanks—FLEX TE looks like a TE this year.
TE Zach Gentry—FLEX TE still looks like a WR but constantly catching passes this spring.

C Cesar Ruiz—advanced C prospect will push for starting job 
T Jon Runyan Jr.—Tentative RT starter coming out of spring; can he hold on?
G Stephen Spanellis—road grader on the interior had powerful blocks.

SDE Carlo Kemp—well liked by coaching staff and should be Gary's backup.
NT Michael Dwumfour—two deep by default; praised by players and coaches.

VIPER Jordan Glasgow—looked highly capable in spring, should see playing time.
MLB Mike Wroblewski—walk-on is at worst the #3 LB.

CB Ambry Thomas—let's have a tiny war.
CB Brandon Watson—nickelback sort got a reasonable amount of PT last year.
CB Keith Washington—did not find PT last year, will try again.

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB John O'Korn—iffy Indiana outing was a win, at least.

RB Kareem Walker—academic redshirt out of the way and time to start displaying that talent.

FB Ben Mason—will get shot at LB but FB depth chart is wide open next year

WR Nate Johnson—mean-ass slot receiver, if that's a thing. Golden Tate is ceiling.
WR Moe Ways—passed by Crawford and Harris. Getting late early.
WR Oliver Martin—slot-ish guy with downfield upside and not-just-a-shooter athleticism.
WR Nico Collins—Funchess 2.0?

TE Sean McKeon—probably did get a redshirt after all.

G Andrew Vastardis—walk-on clearly better than backup DTs, is in conversation.
T Juwann Bushell-Beatty—injuries in spring will not help his cause.
T Grant Newsome—assuming a redshirt.

NT Aubrey Solomon—monster five star nose prospect will be in two deep from the drop.
3T James Hudson—Henry 2.0.
WDE Luiji Vilain—big mover after Army game will push for PT immediately.

ILB Elysee Mbem-Bosse—most likely ILB backup given roster.
SAM Josh Uche—Don Brown dude could be chaos generator.

S Jaylen Kelly-Powell—Cass's pick to cover Ambry Thomas. Promises to be slot-coverage safety.
S J'Marick Woods—3.5 out of Alabama was a favorite of the coaching staff
S Brad Hawkins—we're just going to make this position switch now.

WAITING THEIR TURN

QB Dylan McCaffrey—oblig redshirt year coming up.

RB O'Maury Samuels—just too many bodies in front of him
RB Kurt Taylor—Vincent Smith-alike will likely spend year getting pass pro down

G JaRaymond Hall—only incoming OL listed at under 300.
G Phil Paea—two-way DL/OL will probably land on O, eventually.
T Nolan Ulizio—some playing time he seemed iffy in. Reportedly had mono and was too light.
T Chuck Filiaga—had some Army game struggles; redshirt likely.
T Joel Honigford—redshirt, weight, etc.

3T Lawrence Marshall—now 285 and a three tech, which is one too many moves.
3T Ron Johnson—desperation saw him move inside this spring, hopefully bounced back out to end.
3T Deron Irving-Bey—raw prospect will need to settle on a position.
SDE Donovan Jeter—ND decommit w/ salty comments afterwards will be fan favorite
WDE Reuben Jones—worker popular with teammates.
WDE Kwity Paye—seasoning necessary, but Don Brown dude.

MLB Drew Singleton—coming off ACL surgery and probably needs a year
SAM Jordan Anthony—heated VIPER competition in front of him
WLB Josh Ross—younger brother of James brings more size, fewer instincts.

CB Benjamin St Juste—probably needs some seasoning after playing in Canada.

27 Tickets To Team 138: Post-Signing Day Edition

27 Tickets To Team 138: Post-Signing Day Edition

Submitted by Brian on February 7th, 2017 at 12:36 PM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE  + SLOT.

PREVIOUSLY: 137 post-spring. 138 pre-bowl.

PACK YOUR BAGS

30200244000_595e1f87b4_z_thumb291. 3TECH Maurice Hurst, Sr.* [Last time: 1]

Crazy productive interior DL. Had just about the same grade at PFF as Michigan's NFL-bound stars despite getting about 60% of their snaps, with more QB hurries than anyone on the team. That's overall, not on a per-snap basis. Likely first rounder in the next NFL draft. Could have gone this year. Get in his belly.

29158603220_82307bc4ec_z_thumb132. C Mason Cole, Sr. [Last time: 2]

Bounce to guard a possibility if Michigan decides that starter #5 is Kugler or Ruiz; even so Cole is a lock to start. Needs more power if he's going to be a star. PFF liked him (+10.8) a year ago; they did not love him. Addition of Greg Frey and (possible) increased focused on outside zone might help him, as he is highly agile. Excellent in pass pro.

30544914742_ed4537549d_z_thumb113. SDE Rashan Gary, So. [Last time: 3]

Omar comin', except his name is Rashan and he is not little. Like Hurst, stuck behind future pros in 2016. Still flashed freaky ability; year two should be a breakout year so enormous it shatters windows across the Midwest. #1 overall prospects are in fact guarantees, and Gary showed plenty to indicate he would not be an exception.

30030672164_3dddaa8327_z_thumb114. ILB Mike McCray, Sr* [Last time: 4]

Sole returning member of the front seven had some edge issues last year. Tackling in space was an Area For Improvement, as they say. Positives outweighed negatives, though, as McCray was an outstanding blitzer and reliably in the place he was supposed to be. Probably moves to MLB.

30350541320_53f3c6e05f_z_thumb195. OT Ben Bredeson, So. [Last time: 6]

Projecting him on the outside now since Michigan's tackle recruiting ended with a bit of a splat. Bredeson was reputed to be neck and neck with Grant Newsome for the LT job in fall camp; while that turned out to be fiction, Bredeson started most of the season at G after Newsome's injury. Cole-like gentleman will get a lot better in year two.

maxresdefault_thumb186. QB Wilton Speight, Jr* [Last time: 7]

Bumped him to a lock. Because, I mean, obviously. 63%, 8.1 YPA, 17-5 TD-INT sophomore year. Impressive pocket presence, plus—but not perfect—accuracy, and increasing command of the offense will be tough to compete with. If he improves like Harbaugh quarterbacks always do you're looking at an All Big Ten player. (And an ugly shirt.)

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

v38mru82pxomj6mxzrvx_thumb107. FS Tyree Kinnel, Jr. [Last time: 8]

Got more playing time than any other secondary backup, and played well. Defense did not miss a beat when he was in for extended periods. Used as a dimeback, mostly, for a four-safety look. Recruiting rep suggests he fits what Brown wants in his safeties—man coverage capable hitters. Old-ass-looking-man game strong. M needs to fill that role w/ Hill to the NFL.

30300197284_6b18c06a0b_z_thumb58. WDE Chase Winovich, Jr.* [Last time: 9]

Ebullient pass rusher produced five sacks despite playing time often measured in single-digit snaps. 27 pressure events on just 277 snaps is outstanding production, and PFF even liked him as a run defender (+6.5). Best case scenario for him after spending 2015 as an H-back. Jake Ryan-at-DE comps look spot on so far.

CrxVLFyXEAQQBc9_thumb109. OG Mike Onwenu, So. [Last time: 14]

Bounce for Onwenu since we're hearing that he was outstanding in practice last year and is widely regarded as a lock to move into the starting lineup by people close to the program. A 350 pound grape-destroying guard does sound rather like something Jim Harbaugh would favor. +3 in 91 snaps to PFF last year. That's like +30 for a full season. Caveat: Rutgers.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-03-at-10.00.33-A[2]10. ILB Devin Bush, So. [Last time: 11]

Hearing that Bush's active hands and advanced ability to read plays has him well in front of his competition. Size is the only issue at the moment, and while he's always going to be 5'11" he can still pack on some muscle. Having dad around doesn't hurt his development, either. Brings a much-needed infusion of dreads to the starting lineup. Has no idea how to draw a Wolverine.

GaelBigHands_thumb911. FLEX Ian Bunting, Jr.*[Last time: 15]

Ol' Skillet Hands did not have the breakout season many anticipated thanks in part to injury; flashed massive receiving upside after Butt's exit against FSU. Also blew a pass protection rather spectacularly, but Bunting's around to not be covered when he's covered, if you get my drift. Blocking is a sidelight. Should get most of Butt's targets this year.

635894839030253287-DFPawards-121315-[2]12. CB Lavert Hill, So. [Last time: 23]

Bounce for both corners from the 2016 class w/ Jeremy Clark's exit. Hill edges Long thanks to late-season playing time and a couple of nice, Lewis-like PBUs. Ambry Thomas will push; bet here is that St-Juste needs at least a year of seasoning. Hill passed the rest of the roster by midseason last year.

14_487611213. CB David Long, Fr.* [Last time: NR]

Bet here is that lack of playing time for long was more about an opportunity to redshirt him after he missed a couple early games rather than a talent thing. Long was regarded as the highest-floor guy in the class by Lorenz and others last year and would have borne that out without a series of nagging injuries.

Baq2X62CYAIVIab_thumb514. NT Bryan Mone, Jr.* [Last time: 10]

Slight ding for Mone since Michigan added a couple of threats to play early in Aubrey Solomon and underrated James Hudson. Still in the near-lock category because young DL are usually bad. Flashed his talent late in the year, most prominently vs OSU. Now is the time to deliver. Deliver meats.

image_thumb715. FB/H-back Khalid Hill, Sr.* [Last time: 20]

If I had a Panda / I'd hammer in the morning / I'd hammer in the evening / but only in the endzone. Impact Fullback Khalid Hill specialized in two-for-one edge blocks, one yard touchdown runs, wide open flare routes, spectacular catches, and self-nicknaming that was so amazing people just ran with it.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

CryqvadUkAA3Tz5_thumb516. RB Chris Evans, So. [Last time: 16]

Quick-twitch athlete emerged into clear #2 behind Smith by season's end. Capable of nasty short-area jukes; doesn't break many tackles; home-run hitter. Receiving upside unexplored last year but will emerge as his career wears on. Will split snaps with Isaac, Higdon, and others in crowded backfield. Should be allowed to wear a helmet that has his hair on it.

25988526131_4a3dfe734f_z_thumb1517. SLOT Grant Perry, Jr. [Last time: 5]

Looming legal issues bust him down several spots, not to mention the addition of Oliver Martin. Accusations are of the suspension, not expulsion nature, and the fact that Perry's going to court about it means this might be more like that thing with Marlin Jackson back in the day. Worst case is probably a diversion. Still a route artisan who sold various double moves and a redzone weapon.

6_4172266_thumb1318. WR Kekoa Crawford, So. [Last time: 17]

Emerged as clear #3 option on the outside thanks in large part to terrific blocking. Had one bad drop and one badass catch to go with some more routine events. Arrival of mondo WR recruiting class doesn't occasion major hit for him since freshman WRs are usually bad, and that blocking tho. Meanwhile only DPJ was clearly a higher-rated recruit.

tyrone-wheatley-ncaa-football-michigan-spring-game-850x56019. TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr, So.* [Last time: NR]

Kaiju coin flip currently easy choice since there are deeply unfortunate rumors that Asiasi is seeking a transfer to the West Coast. Both guys flashed A+ blocking ability and receiving that should not be a thing given their size. Both have huge upside, and should start paying that off this year. Someone get a big ol' butterfly net for Asiasi.

IN A BATTLE

nordin-810x450_thumb520. K Quinn Nordin, Fr.* [Last time: 12]

Never should have had him as high as he was since he is a kicker. A kicker who was 2/3 on field goals as a senior. He could be an Aguayo or go 0/20 before returning to his home planet. This is the way of the kicker. Ryan Tice also an option; reportedly decent in practice.Committed to Penn State w/ ridiculous video, which we 1000% approve of.

30030155204_aeed8a5eef_z_thumb1221. SAM Noah Furbush, Jr* [Last time: 21]

Peppers's backup last year, and well-liked by the coaches. But how does Furbush replace a safety? Because that's what Peppers is, a safety. Most Don Brown SAM top out at 215, and Furbush is much bigger than that. Wouldn't be surprised to see him move inside, or reprise his backup role behind a Hudson type.

hudson_thumb122. SS Khaleke Hudson, So. [Last time: 18]

Drop for Hudson as reports indicate he's had some struggles in coverage. Still here because the alternatives are all freshmen, and also he is an MGoFave-Rave. Spring will confirm or dis-confirm his ability at safety; if not there's always VIPER(!!!) or RB. Blocked two punts a year ago.

31165120764_f26408fc10_z23. VIPER(!!!) Josh Metellus [Last time: NR]

Metellus bounces Watson as it's clear Michigan will deploy a spacebacker type. Metellus prime candidate to be that guy after spotting Jabrill Peppers in the bowl game and adding insult to injury with six mean-ass tackles against Rutgers. Won't be Peppers unless someone unearths a terrible ritual from Earth's ancient past and what are you waiting for go do it.

CvKekmXWIAAKkLp_thumb2724. P Brad Robbins, Fr. [Last time: NR]

Foresight of using Jordan Glasgow in a bear shirt instead of a picture of the punter in question should now be undeniable, as I can leave Jordan Glasgow in a bear shirt up instead of scouring the internet for a picture of Brad Robbins, new scholarship punter and hang-time specialist.

31157979914_cf91a85762_z25. OG Patrick Kugler, Sr.* [Last time: NR]

W/ Bredeson outside there is an available G spot. We're going with redshirt senior Patrick Kugler over Cesar Ruiz because we just saw a highly touted freshman OL at this very  guard spot and it was a bit grim. Kugler was the clear #6 on the line a year ago, occasionally spotting Kyle Kalis when he was dinged. PFF had him +0.3 in 118 snaps. This was in fact better than the starters. Caveat: Rutgers.

i-want-to-believe_thumb3126. WR Drake Harris, Jr.* [Last time: 22]

Harris is under significantly more threat than Crawford because he's less likely to take a big step forward since he's been on campus a couple more years and he hasn't erased a bunch of DBs. Keeping him a hair in front of DPJ, et al., because he is apparently good buds with Speight and looked like he might approach his HS self on various downfield opportunities last year.

darien-112614steuber_thumb27. OT Andrew Stueber, Fr. [Last time: NR]

Hearing conflicting things about Grant Newsome's availability; we'll take the pessimistic road here and project a redshirt for him. Michigan will thus be choosing between JBB (-2.6 in just 179 snaps last year) and a freshman. We're thinking freshman. Stueber has the size at almost 6'7" and Lorenz swears up and down he's underrated, so here's a 27th ticket.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

TECHNICALLY NOT STARTERS BUT CLOSE ENOUGH

RB Drake Johnson—Michigan will apply for sixth year, but do they have the room?
RB Ty Isaac—spring hype petered out into decent play.
RB Karan Higdon—Impressed with his quick cuts and low pad level. Will continue to see snaps.

FB Henry Poggi—less dynamic Michigan fullback, and one who had some issues getting his hat on someone last year.

WR Eddie McDoom—MCDOOOOOOOOM
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones—Braylon 2.0? Except with better hands? Maybe.

TE Devin Asiasi—baby please don't go.

T Grant Newsome—maybe he can get there this year. Maybe not.

CB Ambry Thomas—let's have a tiny war.
CB Brandon Watson—nickelback sort got a reasonable amount of PT last year.

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Brandon Peters—first Harbaugh-selected QB on the roster comes with massive expectations.
QB John O'Korn—iffy Indiana outing was a win, at least.

RB Kareem Walker—academic redshirt out of the way and time to start displaying that talent.
RB Kingston Davis—some transfer chatter.

FB Ben Mason—will get shot at LB but FB depth chart is wide open next year

WR Nate Johnson—mean-ass slot receiver, if that's a thing. Golden Tate is ceiling.
WR Moe Ways—passed by Crawford and Harris. Getting late early.
WR Tarik Black—mondo outside WR impressed at Army game.
WR Oliver Martin—slot-ish guy with downfield upside and not-just-a-shooter athleticism.
WR Nico Collins—Funchess 2.0?

TE Sean McKeon—probably did get a redshirt after all.

T Juwann Bushell-Beatty—sixth OL after the Newsome injury so there's probably some chance, but played poorly.
C Cesar Ruiz—advanced C prospect will push for starting job

SDE Carlo Kemp—well liked by coaching staff and should be Gary's backup.
NT Michael Dwumfour—hearing positive things about his ability; Glasgow-esque.
NT Aubrey Solomon—monster five star nose prospect will be in two deep from the drop.
3T James Hudson—Henry 2.0.
WDE Ron Johnson—hyped edge rusher could be Winovich's backup.
WDE Luiji Vilain—big mover after Army game will push for PT immediately.

ILB Elysee Mbem-Bosse—most likely ILB backup given roster.
SAM Josh Uche—Don Brown dude could be chaos generator.

S Jaylen Kelly-Powell—Cass's pick to cover Ambry Thomas. Promises to be slot-coverage safety.
S J'Marick Woods—3.5 out of Alabama was a favorite of the coaching staff
S Brad Hawkins—we're just going to make this position switch now.

WAITING THEIR TURN

QB Alex Malzone—not really in the race, it seems.
QB Dylan McCaffrey—oblig redshirt year coming up.

RB O'Maury Samuels—just too many bodies in front of him
RB Kurt Taylor—Vincent Smith-alike will likely spend year getting pass pro down

TE Nick Eubanks—Funchess 2.0
TE Zach Gentry—actually played WR for much of last year. Development will be fascinating.

C Jon Runyan Jr.—right bloodlines at least.
G Stephen Spanellis—road grader needs seasoning.
G JaRaymond Hall—only incoming OL listed at under 300.
G Phil Paea—two-way DL/OL will probably land on O.
T Nolan Ulizio—some playing time he seemed iffy in. Reportedly had mono and was too light.
T Chuck Filiaga—had some Army game struggles; redshirt likely.
T Joel Honigford—redshirt, weight, etc.

3T Lawrence Marshall—now 285 and a three tech, which is one too many moves.
3T Deron Irving-Bey—raw prospect but did enroll early.
SDE Donovan Jeter—ND decommit w/ salty comments afterwards will be fan favorite
WDE Reuben Jones—worker popular with teammates.
WDE Kwity Paye—seasoning necessary, but Don Brown dude.

MLB Drew Singleton—coming off ACL surgery and probably needs a year
SAM Jordan Anthony—heated VIPER competition in front of him
WLB Josh Ross—younger brother of James brings more size, fewer instincts.

CB Keith Washington—did not find PT last year, will try again.
CB Benjamin St Juste—probably needs some seasoning after playing in Canada.

27 Tickets To Team 138: Pre-Bowl Edition

27 Tickets To Team 138: Pre-Bowl Edition

Submitted by Brian on November 29th, 2016 at 3:54 PM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE  + SLOT.

PREVIOUSLY: 137 post-spring.

PACK YOUR BAGS

30200244000_595e1f87b4_z1. 3TECH Maurice Hurst, Sr.* [Last time: NR]

Hurst's burst takes him from off the board (which could be considered worst) to first. Absence more circumstance than talent; Hurst produced in bunches. Tracking towards high NFL draft pick as an explosive interior pass rusher. "Get in my belly" TFL celebration is a winner.

29158603220_82307bc4ec_z2. C Mason Cole, Sr. [Last time: 3]

Despite somewhat disappointing year at C a holy lock to be somewhere on the line. Could be anywhere; will be somewhere. Bet here is M will try to keep him at C for continuity and line calls, which he seems to be clearly the best option for. Goal for next year: get stronger, get more push, be more of a factor against 3-4 NTs, get drafted in the middle rounds.

30544914742_ed4537549d_z3. SDE Rashan Gary, So. [Last time: NR]

Omar comin', except his name is Rashan and he is not little. Like Hurst, stuck behind future pros in 2016. Still flashed freaky ability; year two should be a breakout year so enormous it shatters windows across the Midwest. #1 overall prospects are in fact guarantees, and Gary showed plenty to indicate he would not be an exception.

30030672164_3dddaa8327_z4. ILB Mike McCray, Sr* [Last time: 21]

Sole returning member of the front seven had some edge issues last year. Tackling in space was an Area For Improvement, as they say. Positives outweighed negatives, though, as McCray was an outstanding blitzer and reliably in the place he was supposed to be. Probably moves to MLB to help mitigate those edge problems.

25988526131_4a3dfe734f_z5. SLOT Grant Perry, Jr. [Last time: 16]

Route artisan figures to have role explode as he hits upperclass years and he becomes the primary safety blanket. Best game against OSU when Butt was doubled and tripled all game, and he came through with a productive day. Red-zone weapon will dust some guys, a la Dileo. Don't sleep on him as an outside guy, either. He might play both spots as Michigan decides he's one of their best two.

30350541320_53f3c6e05f_z6. OG Ben Bredeson, So. [Last time: NR]

Swing lineman regarded as Cole 2.0 had Cole's freshman season, a bit delayed. Barely lost LT job to Newsome; jetted past the entire roster to start once Newsome went down. Like Cole, Things could have gone better; they could have gone worse. Like Cole, position uncertain but place amongst the starters absolutely not. Like Cole. Like. Cole. LIKE COLE DO YOU GET IT.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

maxresdefault7. QB Wilton Speight, Jr* [Last time: NR]

On the cusp of a lock after a 63%, 8.1 YPA, 17-5 TD-INT sophomore year; sometimes-erratic play leaves a tiny crack for Brandon Peters. Emphasis on "tiny." Impressive pocket presence, plus—but not perfect—accuracy, and increasing command of the offense will be tough to compete with. If he improves like Harbaugh quarterbacks always do you're looking at an All Big Ten player. (And an ugly shirt.)

v38mru82pxomj6mxzrvx8. FS Tyree Kinnel, Jr. [Last time: NR]

Got more playing time last year than any other secondary backup, and played well. Defense did not miss a beat when he was in for extended periods. Used as a dimeback, mostly, for a four-safety look. Recruiting rep suggests he fits what Brown wants in his safeties—man coverage capable hitters. Old-ass-looking-man game strong. M needs to fill that role w/ Hill to the NFL.

30300197284_6b18c06a0b_z9. WDE Chase Winovich, Jr.* [Last time: 27]

Ebullient pass rusher produced five sacks despite playing time often measured in single-digit snaps. Did most of his damage with a serious edge rush and relentless approach. This had downsides. Tendency towards wild overpursuit needs to get tamped down; additional weight necessary; on track to be Jake Ryan as a WDE.

Baq2X62CYAIVIab10. NT Bryan Mone, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Still trying to scale hype mountain; unclear how badly he was affected by injury last year. Big time third down stuff against OSU hints at promise, and there's very little behind him that isn't coming in this recruiting class. Could be third best player on line, could be third best lineman in conference. One thing's for sure: Bryan Mone has the meats.

Screen-Shot-2016-02-03-at-10.00.33-AM-340x28611. ILB Devin Bush, So. [Last time: NR]

Got meaningful playing time when starters were dinged, making a few plays along the way. Fast and short thumper well suited to the vertical attacking Brown wants from his linebackers. NFL player and coach's son should be ready to hit the ground running as a starter. Brings a much-needed infusion of dreads to the starting lineup. Has no idea how to draw a Wolverine.

nordin-810x45012. K Quinn Nordin, Fr.* [Last time: NR]

#1 kicker in the country, which means he'll either be an Aguayo or go 0/20 before returning to his home planet. 2/3(!!!) on field goals as a senior in HS. Data basically nonexistent outside of camps, where he killed it. Committed to Penn State w/ ridiculous video, which we 1000% approve of.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

e2d6405c-6fad-4d3f-b75e-c9ffd2e570a213. CB Jeremy Clark, Sr.* [Last time: NR]

Main uncertainty here is sixth-year eligibility. If eligible very strong bet to start, as 6'4" corners are a rare treasure. No shame in losing out to future NFLer Channing Stribling last year and was strong in the first three games with Lewis out. Better in run support than Stribling; thought most of the completions on him in 2015 were bad luck. Brings experience that the rest of the back four is largely devoid of.

CrxVLFyXEAQQBc914. OG Mike Onwenu, So. [Last time: NR]

You know Harbaugh is itching to roll out lines mostly comprised of 350-pound giants; Onwenu figures to be the first to come online. Played well in limited time a year ago, and has a long term future on O per his coach. Still kind of wonder if he's got the mobility to play as a pulling guard, but we'll see. Made of adamantium, or possibly degenerate neutrons. Likes grapes.

GaelBigHands15. FLEX Ian Bunting, Jr.*[Last time: NR]

Ol' Skillet Hands did not have the breakout season many anticipated thanks in part to injury; with Jake Butt taking up a lot of targets and the second half of most games spent running the ball with huge leads there was not much opportunity. Should be plenty next year as Butt heads to the NFL. Decent blocker; retains monster receiving upside. Must look out behind him.

CryqvadUkAA3Tz516. RB Chris Evans, So. [Last time: NR]

Quick-twitch athlete emerged into clear #2 behind Smith by season's end. Capable of nasty short-area jukes; doesn't break many tackles; home-run hitter. Receiving upside unexplored last year but will emerge as his career wears on. Will split snaps with Isaac, Higdon, and others in crowded backfield. Should be allowed to wear a helmet that has his hair on it.

6_417226617. WR Kekoa Crawford, So. [Last time: NR]

Emerged as clear #3 option on the outside thanks in large part to terrific blocking. Had one bad drop and one badass catch to go with some more routine events. Most X-shaped of the 2015 guys and slid in front of Hoke-era recruits immediately upon arrival. As a recruit, touted as a high polished player who could step in relatively quickly.

hudson18. SS Khaleke Hudson, So. [Last time: NR]

Existence of mean ol' Josh Metellus has Hudson's spot somewhat in doubt but if you thought this space would bet against Hudson, you have not been paying attention. Blocked two punts in 2016 and had about as much garbage time as Metellus. If Hudson gets beat out here look for him at SAM or nickel.

635901105703766325-SMG-20160203-sal-gb7-0219. TE Devin Asiasi, So. [Last time: NR]

This slot could easily read "pick a Kaiju." Both Asiasi and Wheatley will be a year stronger, abler, and meaner; one or both should break out into true stars. Asiasi gets the tentative nod here because he got a majority of Kaiju PT and did very well with it, repeatedly blowing LBs and DBs yards away from where they desired to be. Don't mess with his dad. For real.

image20. FB/H-back Khalid Hill, Sr.* [Last time: 25]

If I had a Panda / I'd hammer in the morning / I'd hammer in the evening / but only in the endzone. Impact Fullback Khalid Hill specialized in two-for-one edge blocks, one yard touchdown runs, wide open flare routes, spectacular catches, and self-nicknaming that was so amazing people just ran with it.

IN A BATTLE

30030155204_aeed8a5eef_z21. SAM Noah Furbush, Jr* [Last time: 26]

Peppers's backup last year, and well-liked by the coaches. But how does Furbush replace a safety? Because that's what Peppers is, a safety. Most Don Brown SAM top out at 215, and Furbush is much bigger than that. Wouldn't be surprised to see him move inside, or reprise his backup role behind a Hudson type.

i-want-to-believe22. WR Drake Harris, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Anyone's guess who the second outside receiver is. Harris gets a tentative nod as he was repeatedly targeted downfield starting at about midseason. His only catch on those bombs was called back thanks to a fairly weak OPI call, but aside from that it was slick, and promising. People forget that he was an uber-hyped recruit with 2000 yards as a high school junior. Nice hamstring. Good hamstring.

635894839030253287-DFPawards-121315-SG3523. CB Lavert Hill, So. [Last time: NR]

Eases ahead of David Long here thanks to late-season playing time; that may be artifact of opportunity to redshirt Long after a midseason injury. Jourdan Lewis 2.0 is the rep, and he had a couple of PBUs that hinted at his ability. Will be seriously pressed by Long and Ambry Thomas. 27 Tickets needs a bow tie, even a sloppy one.

images24. NICKEL Brandon Watson [Last time: NR]

Watson got more PT than any other non-starting corner after the Clark injury, but he'll be pressed hard to keep that spot. Last year this was Peppers; this year it is a conventional third corner. This could be Metellus, as Brown added Kinnel when he needed an extra guy. This is a real classy section of 27 Tickets, you'll agree.

CvKekmXWIAAKkLp25. P Will Hart, Fr.*

He's a punter, and he's on the roster. So I guess he'll probably punt, unless someone else does. Nordin a possibility, as he is reputed to have a big leg. Picture at left actually of Jordan Glasgow, because I couldn't leave that out. It's Jordan Glasgow wearing a bear shirt. I mean. Cumong.

-014fef6b21b5d8cb26. OT Isaiah Wilson, Fr. [Last time: NR]

Unfortunate OL tradition to list a guy who's not even committed as a starter but the OT depth chart looks like tumbleweeds and Wilson is an immediate impact guy. Dude looks like a 30-year old All Pro. JBB is a possibility but after major struggles in pass pro knocked him out of the lineup I'm not feeling that.

CfEruT3W8AAvKWX27. OT Grant Newsome, Jr. [Last time: 19]

Devastating knee injury saw Newsome spend 38 days in the hospital afterwards. Long term prognosis much better than that would imply, but 2017 availability still very much in question. If fully healthy, starts at tackle. Worried chatter about his ability gave way to play that made you wonder what all the bother was about.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

TECHNICALLY NOT STARTERS BUT CLOSE ENOUGH

RB Drake Johnson—Michigan will apply for sixth year, but do they have the room?
RB Ty Isaac—spring hype petered out into decent play.
RB Karan Higdon—Impressed with his quick cuts and low pad level. Will continue to see snaps.

FB Henry Poggi—less dynamic Michigan fullback, and one who had some issues getting his hat on someone last year.

WR Eddie McDoom—MCDOOOOOOOOM

TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr.—developed his blocking late in the year, coin flip whether it was him or Asiasi.

C Patrick Kugler—most likely reconfiguration of line has Kugler drawing in at C and Cole going to a trouble spot.

CB David Long—going to be a very good player and should push to start. Coinflip w/ Hill.

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Brandon Peters—first Harbaugh-selected QB on the roster comes with massive expectations.
QB John O'Korn—iffy Indiana outing was a win, at least.

RB Kareem Walker—academic redshirt out of the way and time to start displaying that talent.
RB Kingston Davis—some transfer chatter.

WR Nate Johnson—mean-ass slot receiver, if that's a thing. Golden Tate is ceiling.
WR Moe Ways—passed by Crawford and Harris. Getting late early.

TE Sean McKeon—did not redshirt for some reason grumble.

G David Dawson—Doesn't seem like it's happening.
T Juwann Bushell-Beatty—sixth OL after the Newsome injury so there's probably some chance, but played poorly.

ILB Elysee Mbem-Bosse—most likely ILB backup given roster.
SAM Josh Uche—Don Brown dude could be chaos generator.

SS Josh Metellus—spent second half of Rutgers game ending dudes.

WAITING THEIR TURN

QB Alex Malzone—not really in the race, it seems.

TE Nick Eubanks—Funchess 2.0
TE Zach Gentry—actually played WR for much of last year. Development will be fascinating.

C Jon Runyan Jr.—right bloodlines at least.
G Stephen Spanellis—road grader needs seasoning.
T Nolan Ulizio—some playing time he seemed iffy in.

SDE Lawrence Marshall—again disappeared when the season rolled around.
SDE Carlo Kemp—played for some damn reason
WDE Ron Johnson—hyped edge rusher could be Winovich's backup.
WDE Reuben Jones—worker popular with teammates.

NT Michael Dwumfour—ideally he's Hurst 2.0, but probably needs another year.

CB Keith Washington—did not find PT last year, will try again.

27 Tickets To Team 137: Post-Spring Edition

27 Tickets To Team 137: Post-Spring Edition

Submitted by Brian on April 7th, 2016 at 1:22 PM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE  + H-back.

PREVIOUSLY: Pre-Bowl. Post-Signing-Day.

PACK YOUR BAGS

jabrill-peppers_original1. LB/CB/S/KR/PR/WR/RB/NICKEL Jabrill Peppers, So.* [Last time: 1]

Now 70% linebacker, 70% CB, 70% RB, 70% WR. Don Brown will have to kill you if he tells you all the things Michigan will do with him this fall. Don Brown knows where the bodies are buried, because he buried them. Peppers will ford the river Styx, ye. Knoweth thy doom approacheth when #5 appears in your peripheral vision.

22076478270_6a4f551efb_z2. CB Jourdan Lewis, Sr. [Last time: 2]

Barely played in the spring game because it's not like anyone needs to know if Jourdan Lewis can play after single-season PBU-record year. Goals for this year: be exactly like you were last year with better interception luck. Should repeat as All-American, but vagaries of CB stats may intervene there. Doesn't matter: will play like one.

15721141259_945e5b11d6_z3. C Mason Cole, Jr. [Last time: 3]

Move to center appears to be sticking, which is a natural fit for a guy smart enough to start as a true freshman and maybe not longhuge enough to be an elite edge protector. Only reason he wouldn't start at C is if Newsome can't hack LT yet and Kugler pushes through. Chances Cole isn't starting somewhere holding steady at 0.0%.

21102392796_dc743b4245_z4. FLEX Jake Butt, Sr. [Last time: 4]

Inexplicably not a Mackey finalist despite athleticism, catching radius, and absolutely fantastic hands. Blocking just okay but far from a liability. Seriously how did this guy not win the Mackey? What are you even doing, Mackey? Are you playing Fallout 4 and randomly selecting guys your slacker brother suggests? Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

22243491362_e471dcdd8b_z5. 3TECH Chris Wormley, Sr* [Last time: 6]

Spent most of spring playing three tech after junior season spent wrecking every tight end opponents foolishly tasked to block him. Not an elite pass rusher but highly effective in Michigan's stunt-heavy rush game a year ago. Should be all-conference easy and a mid-round NFL draft pick.

amara-darboh6. WR Amara Darboh, Sr* [Last time: 8]

Absence of Chesson this spring allowed Darboh to ease past Chesson in the pecking order per Harbaugh, not that it matters since both will get a ton of time, and they're very different players anyway. Still, Darboh adding some deep stuff to his extant game would make him a very hard player to check.

image7. WR Jehu Chesson, Sr.* [Last time: 7]

Open deep all year and finally got on the same page with Rudock late for season-ending surge. Fast. Murderous blocker. Jet sweep maestro. Fast. Polite. Fast. Went from Stonum-ish to Breaston-ish to Manningham-ish over course of season. Huge year beckons if QB situation right.

21461076504_2ed068da00_z8. K Kenny Allen, Sr.* [Last time: 9]

Early-season kicker worries dissipated as Allen went 14/18 on the year with one miss due to a bad snap and a second that got blown across the face of the uprights by a sudden gust of wind. Didn't hit anything particularly long, but had a bunch of touchbacks when he wanted to have touchbacks. Another year of reliability beckons.

9492930637_b21ba3277f_z9. FS Dymonte Thomas, Sr. [Last time: 10]

Spectacular spring game interception on which he flew from midfield to the very corner of the endzone demonstrates his promise. He is capable of crazy ball-hawk things Jarrod Wilson never was. Played very well down the stretch last year. Consistency might be a bugaboo, but so far all the signs are good ones.

14703806397_2eda27a3c1_b[1]10. SS Delano Hill,  Sr. [Last time: 11]

Though Tyree Kinnel played pretty well in various open practices, Harbaugh flat-out stated that nobody was anywhere near the two starting safeties so here's Hill. Severe case of Greg Oden disease means he will look exactly the same age—42—for the next 50 years.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

21547425519_ed299d318a_z11. RB De'Veon Smith, Jr.* [Last time: 25]

Assumption in this space that Smith would get seriously challenged looks to be wrong, as Smith was shelved just like Lewis and Peppers types. He's the man, man. Consistent high-level praise for Ty Isaac, and Isaac's standout spring game, barely prevent Smith from moving to lock territory. But looks like we can ditch those fullback assertions for good.

21366899530_17a7ec64a1_z12. ILB Ben Gedeon, Sr. [Last time: 12]

Harbaugh said all the right things about Gedeon this spring, invoking the word "stud"; Don Brown made him a Dude. Michigan's going to need that to be true since depth at linebacker is still alarming even after Mike McCray got off the cart. He's starting and probably not coming off the field, so here's to that being, like, good.

21952729355_e7989803cd_z13. G Ben Braden, Sr.* [Last time: 14]

"Something strange" in the case of the 3 OL in a row here would be Kugler or Dawson or Ben Bredeson pushing through and Newsome being real good, thus moving Cole to one of these spots. That would be strange indeed, but it's not impossible. Braden's improvement track and general hugeness makes him the least likely to get yoinked.

385446_3012007678845_1455385026_n1_thumb[1]14. T Erik Magnuson, Sr*. [Last time: 15]

Middling season as a tackle. Okay at run blocking but occasionally frustrating, especially on the second level. Pass protection generally good but, like Cole, struggled to cope with top-shelf rushers. Not going to be All Big Ten next year; difficult to see anyone supplanting him.

20325263056_c05a6e2bee_z15. G Kyle Kalis, Sr* [Last time: 16]

Kalis has taken a ton of crap from insiders for inconsistency, to the point where Rivals repeatedly asserted Michigan would straight-up cut him(!!!) despite no football program in the history of the sport doing so with a returning starter at OL. He is highly variable, sure, but cumong man. Boom or bust, because if it clicks, it clicks.

21136779871_e4f783832e_z16. SLOT Grant Perry, So. [Last time: 23]

Minus Darboh and Chesson in the spring game, Perry was clearly the most reliable and relied-upon wide receiver available to either team. Challenge could come from any number of freshmen, but they'll lose out for the same reason Perry was a nonentity until the bowl game. Receiver is not a freshman friendly spot.

CadjKpjWEAEtWrB17. SDE Taco Charlton, Sr. [Last time: 21]

Rashan Gary looms but Taco is going to start somewhere, whether that's SDE like he did this spring or WDE once Gary arrives and Glasgow returns and Don Brown just laughs and laughs and laughs. Charlton was too much for Grant Newsome to handle, and 5.5 sacks in under half of Michigan's snaps last year presages a big senior year. He's always had all the physical talent in the world and is thus one of the proverbial X-factors on this year's team.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

10771042363_ffc5f6e5b3_z18. NT Ryan Glasgow, Sr.* [Last time: 5]

Massive drop due to resurgence of the Bryan Mone hypening. Glasgow hasn't taken snap one under Brown, whereas Mone impressed everyone, again. He'll have something to prove this fall. Still sticking with Glasgow because he was mini-Mike Martin last year, and if Mone beats that guy out I project Michigan's defense will end football as we know it. Because seriously this dude is a dude, dude. /donbrown'd

21329877114_0c444963b7_z19. OT Grant Newsome, So. [Last time: 19]

Behold the rare OL redshirt burning that makes sense. Michigan is not wavering with its plan to insert Newsome at LT despite some struggles with Charlton and Winovich this spring. Michigan really needs him to come through because there's not much behind him, especially next year. Looks the part, at least.

10225985685_399670efaf_z20. P Kenny Allen, Sr* [Last time: 20]

With Michigan passing on a random Aussie (so far) it's Allen, not Peppers, who gets the first-ever dual nod on 27 Tickets. Allen was originally recruited as a punter and has displayed a booming leg on scattered opportunities so far. Won't be as precise as Blake O'Neill but should be able to flip the field on the regular like he did.

26190984545_4d7616e3f7_z (1)21. ILB Mike McCray, Jr* [Last time: NR]

Burst out of injury purgatory in a major way in spring, emerging into clear top choice to start next to Gedeon. Big thumping dude with sufficient athleticism to replicate Desmond Morgan's decent coverage skills. Also the son of a former OSU captain, which says somethin' about somethin'.

26124793761_47683e2523_z (1)22. TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr., Fr* [Last time: NR]

Revelation of the spring and major reason Hill moved to fullback. Wheatley is enormous, shows great promise as a blocker, and had a one-handed stab that led to a 70-yard touchdown at the Ford Field practice. All talk of moving him to OT is dead and buried, because once you see Wheatley move that way at that size it's clear dude has got to run free.

IN A BATTLE

John-OKornEdited-featured23. QB John O'Korn, Jr* [Last time: 18]

Sticking with O'Korn, but barely. Wilton Speight exits spring neck-and-neck with the Houston transfer, with his steadiness battling O'Korn's mobility and ability to flick 40-yard balls on the run. Speight might even be ahead by a nose right now, but O'Korn's upside and Harbaugh's ability to unlock QB upside suggests O'Korn will be in the passing lane by fall.

21555821769_787f435bfd_z24. CB Channing Stribling, Sr [Last time: NR]

An "in stone" starter per Harbaugh after a breakout spring, but I just dunno man. Clark's junior year was highly promising and, like Glasgow, I have to see Stribling blow by in person before I believe it. If Stribling is significantly better than Clark was a year ago, Michigan's secondary is going to be absurd.

68225. FB/H-back Khalid Hill, Jr.* [Last time: 24]

Hill gets the nod here over incumbent Henry Poggi but along with Bobby Henderson expect the three FB/HB types to split snaps extensively. Hill has the most upside as a receiver and has shown promise as a blocker; Poggi has more experience; Henderson is probably the best runner. Sometimes there's a man.

21764560810_234ff6a712_z26. SAM Noah Furbush, So* [Last time: 27]

Furbush sticks since Peppers is the nickel even if he's a linebacker and Michigan will need a beefier guy for short yardage and the various manball teams on the schedule. Impressive work on STs caught Harbaugh's eye a year ago; Wangler and others will push. Expect a James Ross level of work here/

20381643051_c248754e32_z[1]27. WDE Chase Winovich, So.* [Last time: NR]

Winovich moved back to D from TE and started delivering on his Jake Ryan 2.0 hype. Now at 245, another 10 pounds by fall and he's a plausible option. Not as plausible an option as getting bumped down a notch on the two-deep by a DL depth chart that will veritably demand Charlton moves to WDE in fall, but until such time as that move happens Winovich holds on to the last spot.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

TECHNICALLY NOT STARTERS BUT CLOSE

RB Drake Johnson—still Michigan's most explosive back.
RB Ty Isaac—spring revelation and Harbaugh praise after rough sophomore year; he'll factor in.

FB Henry Poggi—had some trouble IDing who he should block after move from DL. Should improve.

WR Moe Ways—Darboh analogue had a few catches, should be eased into more PT with an eye towards 2017.

TE Ian Bunting—Ol' Skillet Hands saw PT drop as season progressed, now breakout pick by many.

DE/DT Rashan Gary—heh
NT Bryan Mone—massive Tongan apparently third best player on last year's roster headed into the season? What?
3TECH Maurice Hurst—another reason to push Taco to WDE once the entire line is there in fall camp.
DE Matt Godin—if allowed to push out to SDE will be an effective backup for Wormley. If forced to play 3TECH, look out.

ILB Devin Bush Jr—early enrollee all but assured PT by depth chart.

CB Jeremy Clark—Richard Sherman size and solid junior year; will play a lot.
S Tyree Kinnel—showed promise in spring; M would like him to round into heir apparent.

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Wilton Speight—[update: no, not transferring, in fact strong competition for the job]

RB Kareem Walker—okay he's not Fournette but let's not dismiss him out of hand because of a couple of recruiting ranking downgrades.
RB Karan Higdon—quick little guy had one nice carry and got swarmed a lot at LOS.
RB Kingston Davis—absolutely not a fullback

WR Drake Harris—still skinny as a rail.
WR Nate Johnson—mean-ass slot receiver, if that's a thing. Golden Tate is ceiling.
WR Kekoa Crawford—Hawaiian for smooth.
WR Eddie McDoom—MCDOOOOOOOOM
WR Ahmir Mitchell—early enrollee could move to S, needs work.

TE Devin Asiasi—plug-and-play inline TE has some depth chart hurdles to clear.

C Patrick Kugler—will be a redshirt junior; given performance this year could displace starter. Magnuson, Cole flexibility means that if he's best five he plays.
G David Dawson—stuck behind middling Gs a year ago, will get a shot.

ILB Elysee Mbem-Bosse—most field-ready of ILB freshmen outside of Bush.

CB David Long—program ambassador role starts now, CB starter in 2017?
CB LaVert Hill—Jourdan Lewis analogue in HS; will play with expectation of starting next year.
CB Brandon Watson—saw some nickel snaps when M was trying to save Peppers a bit.

WAITING THEIR TURN

QB Alex Malzone—not going to compete physically w/ O'Korn or Gentry but could develop into a Rudock type down the road.
QB Brandon Peters—true freshman impressed in spring.
QB Shane Morris—WR moonlighting in spring game not an outstanding sign.

FB Wyatt Shallman—now is the time to try his blocking out. Constantly hurt.

WR Brad Hawkins—another S candidate

TE Nick Eubanks—Funchess 2.0
TE Sean McKeon—Butt 2.0?
TE Zach Gentry—showed great promise after spring move to TE, but still too skinny to play now.

G Michael Onwenu—can play at incredible weight, but probably not 370.
T Ben Bredeson—Must pan out.
G Stephen Spanellis—road grader needs seasoning.
T Nolan Ulizio—late pickup last year hopes to build for 2017.
T Juwann Bushell-Beatty—late early for him

WDE Lawrence Marshall—ghost after enormous pile of spring hype.
WDE Ron Johnson—explosive edge rusher needs year of meat sauce

WDE Reuben Jones—needs weight.
SDE Shelton Johnson—probably has to cool his heels and put on more weight.
SDE Carlo Kemp—WEIGHT
NT Michael Dwumfour—Hurst-esque NT/3TECH needs polish, not so much weight.

CB Keith Washington—Breaston-esque HS QB competing at CB, coming off redshirt.

27 Tickets To Team 137: Pre-Spring Edition

27 Tickets To Team 137: Pre-Spring Edition

Submitted by Brian on February 8th, 2016 at 12:05 PM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE  + H-back.

PREVIOUSLY: Pre-Bowl. There aren't a whole lot of changes for this one, which is good.

PACK YOUR BAGS

jabrill-peppers_original1. CB/S/KR/PR/WR/RB/NICKEL Jabrill Peppers, So.* [Last time: 1]

Began the year as a one-man screen destroyer and ended it as the top option at a half-dozen spots. M may work him in as a RB more; still assume his primary duties will be on defense, where a little bit of development in coverage will make him a scary all-purpose demon. Adding a half dozen touchdowns of all varieties could propel him to NYC.

22076478270_6a4f551efb_z2. CB Jourdan Lewis, Sr. [Last time: 2]

All-American set the single-season Michigan PBU record because opponents kept targeting him despite that being a very, very bad idea. Titanic matchup against future NFLers Cook and Burbridge will be remembered by both sides for a long time. Headed for first round of draft but not for another year.

15721141259_945e5b11d6_z3. LT Mason Cole, Jr. [Last time: 3]

Developed into an A- run blocker and B pass blocker in year two as Michigan's left tackle. Some deficiencies against the top tier pass rushers and will never by NFL prototype. Could move to C if Grant Newsome is as quick a learner as Cole was; 0.0% chance anything save injury pushes him from lineup.

21102392796_dc743b4245_z4. FLEX Jake Butt, Sr. [Last time: 4]

Inexplicably not a Mackey finalist despite athleticism, catching radius, and absolutely fantastic hands. Blocking just okay but far from a liability. Seriously how did this guy not win the Mackey? What are you even doing, Mackey? Are you playing Fallout 4 and randomly selecting guys your slacker brother suggests? Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

10771042363_ffc5f6e5b3_z5. NT Ryan Glasgow, Sr.* [Last time: 5]

Won Order Of St. Kovacs as a sophomore and then turned into a slightly poor man's Mike Martin as a junior before he was hewn down by a shoulder injury. Violent player who added serious pass rush, linchpin of Michigan's rush defense for much of the year, great endurance, if you call him a "former walk-on" he will and should rip your head off.

22243491362_e471dcdd8b_z6. SDE Chris Wormley, Sr* [Last time: 6]

Mega-jumbo defensive end wreckt all tight ends who tried to block him. A key part of Michigan's stunt game and reasonably capable of getting to the QB himself, Wormley matured into an all-around force. Can also play three-tech. As a senior you'd like to see him bring a little bit more organic pass rush to his game but other than that holes are hard to find.

image7. WR Jehu Chesson, Sr.* [Last time: 8]

Open deep all year and finally got on the same page with Rudock late for season-ending surge. Fast. Murderous blocker. Jet sweep maestro. Fast. Polite. Fast. Went from Stonum-ish to Breaston-ish to Manningham-ish over course of season. Huge year beckons if QB situation right.

amara-darboh8. WR Amara Darboh, Sr* [Last time: 9]

Nearly lived up to Avant-esque reputation with series of bonkers catches and chain-moving underneath YAC. Hands maybe a tiny bit iffy. Like Chesson, a quality blocker and a WR screen target thanks to his burly tackle-breaking ability. Got more separation than previous years but not really a burner. Very solid option nonetheless.

21461076504_2ed068da00_z9. K Kenny Allen, Sr.* [Last time: 10]

Early-season kicker worries dissipated as Allen went 14/18 on the year with one miss due to a bad snap and a second that got blown across the face of the uprights by a sudden gust of wind. Didn't hit anything particularly long, but had a bunch of touchbacks when he wanted to have touchbacks. Another year of reliability beckons.

9492930637_b21ba3277f_z10. FS Dymonte Thomas, Sr. [Last time: 13]

The unfortunate departure of Brian Cole bumps the safeties up into total lock category. Thomas is a lightning bolt who finally figured out the direction he should be zipping halfway through the season, displacing Hill after some bumps. Encouraging play after ascension to starter status relieves post-Wilson worries.

14703806397_2eda27a3c1_b[1]11. SS Delano Hill,  Sr. [Last time: 14]

Started season as starter before aforementioned hiccups. Still saw plenty of PT after nominal benching and did better. Severe case of Greg Oden disease means he will look exactly the same age—42—for the next 50 years. Must tackle people when behind them, that's a protip.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

21366899530_17a7ec64a1_z12. ILB Ben Gedeon, Sr. [Last time: 12]

The only returning LB with non-garbage time defensive snaps to his name and starting MLB by default. "Default" is never a good thing to hear in a depth chart discussion but Gedeon has been serviceable to date and should at least continue producing at that level. Inability to wrest more PT from Bolden does worry.

21728973600_e81a8c548a_z13. CB Jeremy Clark, Sr* [Last time: 20]

Moving on up only because I think I was excessively cautious about Channing Stribling taking his job. That's not likely to happen; Stribling will play but Michigan has something Richard Sherman-shaped in Clark, and his 2015 was a star-crossed on during which excellent coverage turned into compost because of bloody fate.

21952729355_e7989803cd_z14. G Ben Braden, Sr.* [Last time: 15]

People were leery when the tackle-shaped Braden was tried at guard again, and then downright alarmed after Utah's DL put him in the backfield for 60 minutes. Soon after Braden settled down and became M's most consistent lineman behind the two lock starters. Lunging massively reduced. Seemed to know what to do more than others.

385446_3012007678845_1455385026_n1_thumb[1]15. T Erik Magnuson, Sr*. [Last time: 16]

Middling season as a tackle. Okay at run blocking but occasionally frustrating, especially on the second level. Pass protection generally good but, like Cole, struggled to cope with top-shelf rushers. Not going to be All Big Ten next year; difficult to see anyone supplanting him.

20325263056_c05a6e2bee_z16. G Kyle Kalis, Sr* [Last time: 17]

Sounds like Klingon, plays like…  uh… a notoriously confused Star Trek race. Maybe those Darmok guys? Physically powerful and prone to mistakes, Kalis was up and down and up and down. IDed what he was supposed to do too late too often. Probably destined to frustrating what-if player. But if it all comes together clicky clicky etc.

Athletics, David Ablauf17. FB/H-back Henry Poggi, Jr* [Last time: 18]

2015 headshot of the year winner. Lebowski fan. Frequently retweets people saying he looks like an anthropomorphic thumb. Had slightly confused transition to FB/H-back but demonstrated ability to move people as year went on. Not much of a runner yet and will cede snaps to someone (Shallman?) who is. Sometimes there's a man.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

John-OKornEdited-featured18. QB John O'Korn, Jr* [Last time: 17]

Houston transfer was platonic opposite of Jake Rudock: huge arm, aggressive, kinda nuts. 3000 yard freshman year devolved into Hackenberg-like frustration and benching. Touted as superior to Rudock in workouts, and for half of 2015 that was very plausible. Competitors are all freshmen or Borges recruits. In Harbaugh We Trust.

21329877114_0c444963b7_z19. OT Grant Newsome, So. [Last time: 22]

Burned redshirt after LTT's dismissal and looked the part of a sun-eclipsing, rush-obliterating NFL left tackle in the mold of Long or Lewan. Even wore 77 to speed those comparisons. Long way from looking like it to being it. Major X-factor for season as sudden emergence into good LT frees up Cole to put out most pressing fire elsewhere.

10225985685_399670efaf_z20. P Kenny Allen, Sr* [Last time: NR at Punter]

With Michigan passing on a random Aussie (so far) it's Allen, not Peppers, who gets the first-ever dual nod on 27 Tickets. Allen was originally recruited as a punter and has displayed a booming leg on scattered opportunities so far. Won't be as precise as Blake O'Neill but should be able to flip the field on the regular like he did.

IN A BATTLE

CadjKpjWEAEtWrB21. WDE Taco Charlton, Sr. [Last time: 11]

Sometimes you move down because something good happened, and Rashan Gary happened for Michigan. While Gary's long-term position is not WDE, he could slot in there as a freshman. Pushing senior Taco out of the lineup after a 5.5 sack year as a backup is probably a hill too far; uncertainty just went up. Taco's cannibalism compounded by the fact he appears to be eating his namesake from the top?

23157549996_62d539cea2_z22. 3TECH Maurice Hurst Jr, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Like Charlton, Hurst would slot in much higher without Gary but makes the list despite him.  Hurst was mostly great a year ago as a nose, a disruptive penetrator with a spectaucular first step. Did struggle against extended doubles and especially zone stretches late in the year. Performance still enticing for sophomore. All Big Ten performance relatively likely.

21136779871_e4f783832e_z23. SLOT Grant Perry, So. [Last time: 23]

Freshman thrust into the fray in opener, whereupon he was responsible for two INTs and relegated to spot duty for the rest of the season. Role naturally limited in Harbauffense; did get a bunch of snaps late as M abandoned running the ball. Solid blocker on screens and promises to be a consistent underneath option once he learns what he's doing.

68224. TE Khalid Hill, Jr.* [Last time: 21]

Position was already up in the air somewhat but with Devin Asiasi coming in at 260 or 270, Hill will have stiff competition for AJ Williams's snaps from the drop. Hill's a smooth receiver who has a squat, blocking-friendly build and should hold off Asiasi and TJ Wheatley, for a given definition of "hold off" that includes a ton of rotation.

21547425519_ed299d318a_z25. RB De'Veon Smith, Jr.* [Last time: 25]

Run at left emblematic of season, as he missed his hole but ran over half of BYU to score anyway. Erratic vision, slow, impossible to tackle, fantastic blocker—Smith is a guy who helps you win football games but maybe not as a feature back. Walker, Peppers, Johnson, and others will push for, and acquire, significant carries.

bfa398d4-755d-e511-bef0-a0369f3c1b4c_original26. ILB Devin Bush Jr, Fr [Last time: NR]

Early-enrolling freshman was clear top option on M's board throughout recruitment and serendipitously fits Don Brown's desire for fast, instinctive LBs even if they're a bit small. Relatively well prepared to contribute and start early w/ dad a former NFL LB. Furbush, McCray (if healthy) will push for time.

21764560810_234ff6a712_z27. SAM Noah Furbush, So* [Last time: 26]

Furbush bumps Wangler from the projected SAM spot since the coverage SS/LB type guy is Peppers, more or less, and the SAM is going to be put over a tight end against manball outfits. Furbush, a special teams force a year ago, is your wild-ass guess as to who might get those snaps.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

TECHNICALLY NOT STARTERS BUT CLOSE

RB Drake Johnson—if he can stay healthy.
RB Kareem Walker—okay he's not Fournette but let's not dismiss him out of hand because of a couple of recruiting ranking downgrades.

TE TJ Wheatley—not moving to OL, should get in on some jumbo-jumbo TE packages.

DE/DT Rashan Gary—heh
NT Bryan Mone—massive Tongan was reputed to be better than Glasgow before last season. This was not true,  but Mone was badly missed after Glasgow went out.
DE Matt Godin—if allowed to push out to SDE will be an effective backup for Wormley. If forced to play 3TECH, look out.

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Zach Gentry—rumors of move to TE way overblown. M will take extended look.
QB Wilton Speight—threw winning TD against Minnesota but didn't look like a guy who had a shot at displacing O'Korn. Could transfer.

RB Ty Isaac—doghouse for fumbling and then doghouse for extracurriculars.
RB Karan Higdon—quick little guy had one nice carry and got swarmed a lot at LOS.
RB Kingston Davis—absolutely not a fullback

WR Moe Ways—Darboh analogue had a few catches, should be eased into more PT with an eye towards 2017.
WR Drake Harris—temporarily healthy, did little, still really skinny, got hurt again.
WR Nate Johnson—mean-ass slot receiver, if that's a thing. Golden Tate is ceiling.
WR Kekoa Crawford—Hawaiian for smooth.
WR Eddie McDoom—MCDOOOOOOOOM
WR Ahmir Mitchell—early enrollee could move to S

TE Ian Bunting—Ol' Skillet Hands saw PT drop as season progressed, but just one year removed from being HS WR so not a surprise.
TE Devin Asiasi—plug-and-play inline TE has some depth chart hurdles to clear.

C Patrick Kugler—will be a redshirt junior; given performance this year could displace starter. Magnuson, Cole flexibility means that if he's best five he plays.
G David Dawson—stuck behind middling Gs a year ago, will get a shot.

WLB Mike McCray—health issue was a labrum that required a second surgery, reportedly full go by late last year. 
ILB Chase Winovich—returned to LB after lost year as TE.
ILB Reuben Jones—move to ILB a stop-gap, I think.
ILB Elysee Mbem-Bosse—most field-ready of ILB freshmen outside of Bush.

CB David Long—program ambassador role starts now, CB starter in 2017?
CB LaVert Hill—Jourdan Lewis analogue in HS; will play with expectation of starting next year.
CB Channing Stribling—maybe 30% of the snaps last year; middling performance.
CB Brandon Watson—saw some nickel snaps when M was trying to save Peppers a bit.
S Tyree Kinnel—burned redshirt indicates he'll compete for the job.

WAITING THEIR TURN

QB Alex Malzone—not going to compete physically w/ O'Korn or Gentry but could develop into a Rudock type down the road.
QB Brandon Peters—true freshman will enter with a boatload of hype
QB Shane Morris—will he be on the roster?

FB Wyatt Shallman—now is the time to try his blocking out. Constantly hurt.

WR DaMario Jones—scattered snaps a year ago, got passed by guys younger than him.
WR Brad Hawkins—another S candidate

TE Nick Eubanks—Funchess 2.0
TE Sean McKeon—Butt 2.0?

G Michael Onwenu—can play at incredible weight, but probably not 370.
T Ben Bredeson—Must pan out.
G Stephen Spanellis—road grader needs seasoning.
T Nolan Ulizio—late pickup last year hopes to build for 2017.
T Juwann Bushell-Beatty—late early for him

WDE Lawrence Marshall—ghost after enormous pile of spring hype.
WDE Ron Johnson—explosive edge rusher needs year of meat sauce
SDE Shelton Johnson—probably has to cool his heels and put on more weight.
NT Michael Dwumfour—Hurst-esque NT/3TECH needs polish

CB Keith Washington—Breaston-esque HS QB competing at CB, coming off redshirt.
CB Freddy Canteen—moved from WR. It could happen?

27 Tickets To Team 137: Pre-Bowl Edition

27 Tickets To Team 137: Pre-Bowl Edition

Submitted by Brian on December 1st, 2015 at 12:06 PM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE  + H-back.

THIS IS THE PRE-BOWL DEBUT OF TEAM 137. Amongst recruits only committed prospects are eligible for the list. We currently believe no one is 51+% to go to the draft early, FWIW, but Lewis, Butt, and Henry are possibilities.

PACK YOUR BAGS

jabrill-peppers_original1. CB/S/KR/PR/WR/RB/NICKEL Jabrill Peppers, So.* [Last time: 1]

Began the year as a one-man screen destroyer and ended it as the top option at a half-dozen spots. M may work him in as a RB more; still assume his primary duties will be on defense, where a little bit of development in coverage will make him a scary all-purpose demon. Adding a half dozen touchdowns of all varieties could propel him to NYC.

22076478270_6a4f551efb_z2. CB Jourdan Lewis, Sr. [Last time: 2]

All-American set the single-season Michigan PBU record because opponents kept targeting him despite that being a very, very bad idea. Titanic matchup against future NFLers Cook and Burbridge will be remembered by both sides for a long time. Headed for first round of draft; projected to be too small to do so for the next 12 months.

15721141259_945e5b11d6_z3. LT Mason Cole, Jr. [Last time: 3]

Developed into an A- run blocker and B pass blocker in year two as Michigan's left tackle. Some deficiencies against the top tier pass rushers and will never by NFL prototype. Could move to C if Grant Newsome is as quick a learner as Cole was; 0.0% chance anything save injury pushes him from lineup.

21102392796_dc743b4245_z4. FLEX Jake Butt, Sr. [Last time: 6]

Inexplicably not a Mackey finalist despite athleticism, catching radius, and absolutely fantastic hands. Blocking just okay but far from a liability. Seriously how did this guy not win the Mackey? What are you even doing, Mackey? Are you playing Fallout 4 and randomly selecting guys your slacker brother suggests? Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

10771042363_ffc5f6e5b3_z5. NT Ryan Glasgow, Sr.* [Last time: 13]

Won Order Of St. Kovacs as a sophomore and then turned into a slightly poor man's Mike Martin as a junior before he was hewn down by a shoulder injury. Violent player who added serious pass rush, linchpin of Michigan's rush defense for much of the year, great endurance, if you call him a "former walk-on" he will and should rip your head off.

22243491362_e471dcdd8b_z6. SDE Chris Wormley, Sr* [Last time: 20]

Mega-jumbo defensive end wreckt all tight ends who tried to block him. A key part of Michigan's stunt game and reasonably capable of getting to the QB himself, Wormley matured into an all-around force. Can also play three-tech. As a senior you'd like to see him bring a little bit more organic pass rush to his game but other than that holes are hard to find.

Willie Henry Michigan v Connecticut GVJN3qglVSsl[1]7. 3TECH Willie Henry, Sr.* [Last time: 14]

Bust-out season actually kind of lost in the wash of everyone else's bust-out season on the DL. Pretty much lived up to massive hype from rag-dolling freshman year. Cut a bit too much on stretch plays, occasional inconsistency, but turned potential to production. NFL is listening.

image8. WR Jehu Chesson, Sr.* [Last time: 17]

Open deep all year and finally got on the same page with Rudock late for season-ending surge. Fast. Murderous blocker. Jet sweep maestro. Fast. Polite. Fast. Went from Stonum-ish to Breaston-sih to Manningham-ish over course of season. Huge year beckons if QB situation right.

amara-darboh9. WR Amara Darboh, Sr* [Last time: 10]

Nearly lived up to Avant-esque reputation with series of bonkers catches and chain-moving underneath YAC. Hands maybe a tiny bit iffy. Like Chesson, a quality blocker and a WR screen target thanks to his burly tackle-breaking ability. Got more separation than previous years but not really a burner. Very solid option nonetheless.

21461076504_2ed068da00_z10. K Kenny Allen, Sr.* [Last time: NR]

Early-season kicker worries dissipated as Allen went 14/18 on the year with one miss due to a bad snap and a second that got blown across the face of the uprights by a sudden gust of wind. Didn't hit anything particularly long, but had a bunch of touchbacks when he wanted to have touchbacks. Another year of reliability beckons.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

3143960[1]11. WDE Taco Charlton, Jr. [Last time: 23]

Charlton flashed potential with 5.5 sacks in limited time a year ago and took over the WDE/buck spot late in the year. With everyone else at that spot graduating, Charlton looks like the easy choice. Could lose PT to Marshall or Rueben Jones, both of whom are closer to the LB/DE hybrid the spot is ideally suited for, but should be potential 10-sack guy.

21366899530_17a7ec64a1_z12. ILB Ben Gedeon, Sr. [Last time: NR]

The only returning LB with non-garbage time defensive snaps to his name and starting MLB by default. "Default" is never a good thing to hear in a depth chart discussion but Gedeon has been serviceable to date and should at least continue producing at that level. Inability to wrest more PT from Bolden does worry.

9492930637_b21ba3277f_z13. FS Dymonte Thomas, Sr. [Last time: NR]

Lightning bolt finally figured out the direction he should be zipping halfway through the season, displacing Hill after some bumps. Encouraging play after ascension to starter status relieves post-Wilson worries. Competition here is… uh. Tyree Kinnel, and then a bit of a chasm. A crevasse, maybe.

14703806397_2eda27a3c1_b[1]14. SS Delano Hill,  Sr. [Last time: 21]

Started season as starter before aforementioned hiccups. Still saw plenty of PT after nominal benching and did better. Severe case of Greg Oden disease means he will look exactly the same age—42—for the next 50 years. Must tackle people when behind them, that's a protip.

21952729355_e7989803cd_z15. G Ben Braden, Sr.* [Last time: 26]

People were leery when the tackle-shaped Braden was tried at guard again, and then downright alarmed after Utah's DL put him in the backfield for 60 minutes. Soon after Braden settled down and became M's most consistent lineman behind the two lock starters. Lunging massively reduced. Seemed to know what to do more than others.

385446_3012007678845_1455385026_n1_thumb[1]16. T Erik Magnuson, Sr*. [Last time: 18]

Middling season as a tackle. Okay at run blocking but occasionally frustrating, especially on the second level. Pass protection generally good but, like Cole, struggled to cope with top-shelf rushers. Not going to be All Big Ten next year; difficult to see anyone supplanting him.

20325263056_c05a6e2bee_z17. G Kyle Kalis, Sr* [Last time: 7]

Sounds like Klingon, plays like…  uh… a notoriously confused Star Trek race. Maybe those Darmok guys? Physically powerful and prone to mistakes, Kalis was up and down and up and down. IDed what he was supposed to do too late too often. Probably destined to frustrating what-if player. But if it all comes together clicky clicky etc.

Athletics, David Ablauf18. FB/H-back Henry Poggi, Jr* [Last time: NR]

2015 headshot of the year winner. Lebowski fan. Frequently retweets people saying he looks like an anthropomorphic thumb. Had slightly confused transition to FB/H-back but demonstrated ability to move people as year went on. Not much of a runner yet and will cede snaps to someone (Shallman?) who is. Sometimes there's a man.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

John-OKornEdited-featured19. QB John O'Korn, Jr* [Last time: NR]

Houston transfer was platonic opposite of Jake Rudock: huge arm, aggressive, kinda nuts. 3000 yard freshman year devolved into Hackenberg-like frustration and benching. Touted as superior to Rudock in workouts, and for half of 2015 that was very plausible. Competitors are all freshmen or Borges recruits. In Harbaugh We Trust.

21728973600_e81a8c548a_z20. CB Jeremy Clark, Sr* [Last time: NR]

Skepticism was rife when Richard Sherman-sized safety transitioned to corner but results were rather good. Clark mirrored a ton of routes, had the speed to run deep, and was mostly beaten when his coverage ran afoul of local occult feng shui. Did get burned in zone against MSU, but that's mentality, not ability. Could break out into star. Stribling lurks.

68221. TE Khalid Hill, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Isaiah Hole fan should be first in line to cover the surprisingly painful loss of AJ Williams. PT increased as year went along; reputed to have superior hands for the position; squat but heavy (270), which should help him get under DL who are still bigger than him. Competition for TE snaps will be fierce.

21329877114_0c444963b7_z22. OT Grant Newsome, So. [Last time: NR]

Burned redshirt after LTT's dismissal and looked the part of a sun-eclipsing, rush-obliterating NFL left tackle in the mold of Long or Lewan. Even wore 77 to speed those comparisons. Long way from looking like it to being it. Major X-factor for season as sudden emergence into good LT frees up Cole to put out most pressing fire elsewhere.

21136779871_e4f783832e_z23. SLOT Grant Perry, So. [Last time: NR]

Freshman thrust into the fray in opener, whereupon he was responsible for two INTs and relegated to spot duty for the rest of the season. Role naturally limited in Harbauffense; did get a bunch of snaps late as M abandoned running the ball. Solid blocker on screens and promises to be a consistent underneath option once he learns what he's doing.

IN A BATTLE

21547425519_ed299d318a_z24. RB De'Veon Smith, Jr.* [Last time: 25]

Run at left emblematic of season, as he missed his hole but ran over half of BYU to score anyway. Erratic vision, slow, impossible to tackle, fantastic blocker—Smith is a guy who helps you win football games but maybe not as a feature back. Will be pushed by anyone on the roster, including Peppers, and hopefully #1 RB Kareem Walker.

21764560810_234ff6a712_z25. ILB Noah Furbush, So* [Last time: NR]

Linebacker-shaped human with eligibility who saw the field last year so here he is. Had a number of excellent special teams plays. Still needs a pile of weight—listed at a WR-ish 217 on the roster, and looks like it next to Gedeon. Could easily be supplanted by incoming freshman. HEY, POTENTIALLY INCOMING ILB FRESHMEN, READ THIS SECTION.

bilde[1]26. SAM Jared Wangler, So* [Last time: NR]

Marginalized spot in Michigan's defense last year projects to remain so this year, but Michigan does need a guy to go up against manball outfits since they will play Wisconsin and Iowa in 2016. Wangler is a linebacker-shaped human, so here he is. One-time PSU commit, so that's a good sign. Son of John, of course.

1280px-Boxingkangaroo.svg[1]27. P TBA, ??? [Last time: NR]

Baxter reputedly in search for an Aussie to be named later. After watching Blake O'Neill delicately feather every punt inside the five I'm down with that as long as this one is clear on what to do if he drops the ball. Kenny Allen, who was a punter before he was kicker, is also an option and is likely to be the fallback plan.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Zach Gentry—rumors of move to TE way overblown. M will take extended look.
QB Wilton Speight—threw winning TD against Minnesota but didn't look like a guy who had a shot at displacing O'Korn. Could transfer.

RB Ty Isaac—doghouse for fumbling and then doghouse for extracurriculars.
RB Drake Johnson—had a moment there, and then it passed. Also dinged up. Could take fifth year elsewhere.
RB Karan Higdon—quick little guy had one nice carry and got swarmed a lot at LOS.

WR Moe Ways—Darboh analogue had a few catches, should be eased into more PT with an eye towards 2017.
WR Drake Harris—temporarily healthy, did little, still really skinny, got hurt again.
TE Ian Bunting—Ol' Skillet Hands saw PT drop as season progressed, but just one year removed from being HS WR so not a surprise.
TE Ty Wheatley Jr.—jumbo TE took redshirt, will try to be AJ-Williams-but-fast.

C Patrick Kugler—will be a redshirt junior; given performance this year could displace starter. Magnuson, Cole flexibility means that if he's best five he plays.
G David Dawson—stuck behind middling Gs a year ago, will get a shot.

NT Bryan Mone—massive space eater missed 2015 with eventually disastrous results
3T Maurice Hurst—fantastic player for most of the year, bad against stretches.
SDE Matt Godin—solid PT early, overwhelmed by doubles late, move him to DE plz.
WDE Reuben Jones—first Harbaugh pickup coming off redshirt.

SAM Allen Gant—exists, so on the two deep at LB.
WLB Mike McCray—mysterious health issue dog him. Exists, so on the two deep at LB.
ILB Chase Winovich—is not a LB, technically, but FFS move him back already.

CB Channing Stribling—maybe 30% of the snaps last year; middling performance.
CB Brandon Watson—saw some nickel snaps when M was trying to save Peppers a bit.
S Tyree Kinnel—burned redshirt indicates he'll compete for the job.

WAITING THEIR TURN

QB Alex Malzone—not going to compete physically w/ O'Korn or Gentry but could develop into a Rudock type down the road.
QB Brandon Peters—true freshman will enter with a boatload of hype
QB Shane Morris—will he be on the roster?

FB Wyatt Shallman—now is the time to try his blocking out. Constantly hurt.

WR DaMario Jones—scattered snaps a year ago, got passed by guys younger than him.

WDE Lawrence Marshall—ghost after enormous pile of spring hype.
SDE Shelton Johnson—probably has to cool his heels and put on more weight.

CB Keith Washington—Breaston-esque HS QB competing at CB, coming off redshirt.
CB Freddy Canteen—moved from WR. It could happen?
S Brian Cole—midseason move to S will require at least a year of apprenticeship.

27 Tickets To Team 136: Post-Spring Edition

27 Tickets To Team 136: Post-Spring Edition

Submitted by Brian on April 9th, 2015 at 11:32 AM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE  + fullback.

THIS IS THE POST-SPRING UPDATE: Spring has sprung.

PACK YOUR BAGS

jabrill-peppers_original1. HSP Jabrill Peppers, Fr.* [Last time: 2]

Peppers snatches the top spot as Michigan builds their freakin' defense around him. Also he gets the Hybrid Space Player positional designation as a man who is nickel and so much more than nickel. Peppers swiftly took command of the entire damn defense this spring and is ready to be the triple threat we have been waiting for since the dawn of the spread.

13656129695_fbdf006687_z (1)2. CB Jourdan Lewis, Jr. [Last time: 1]

Lewis gave no indication he was giving up the #1 CB job this spring, blanketing players in the spring game and leading a secondary that looked far too good for Michigan's wideouts to cope with, especially with Darboh drawing Dennis Norfleet. All Big Ten type season beckons.

15721141259_945e5b11d6_z3. LT Mason Cole, So. [Last time: 5]

Cole saw a little time at center during Michigan's post-Miller, pre-Glasgow period, then returned to left tackle. With Magnuson auditioning on the right, Braden playing guard, and LTT struggling immensely in the spring game, all challengers are otherwise occupied or defeated.

Ld4vH[1]4. FS Jarrod Wilson, Sr. [Last time: 3]

All hail the boring safety who will play boringly behind the exciting Jabrill Peppers and be wholly unappreciated even though he's preventing long touchdowns very well. Hopefully this coaching staff won't jerk him around like jerks. Hail the providers of first and ten instead of extra points. Hail.

image5. MLB Desmond Morgan, Sr.* [Last time: 4]

Auditioned for WR corps with spring game interception; still more likely to spearhead the linebackers as a thumper who specializes on third and one and still gets good depth on his pass drops. Some threat from Gedeon but seems likely that this will be a platoon experience rather than anyone truly supplanting another. No lemon bets this year though.

9856114085_66cdeac232_b[1]6. FLEX Jake Butt, Jr. [Last time: 6]

Spring game gave every indication that Butt is going to be one of the top receivers on the roster, especially if the tight end-mad Rudock does ascend to the top job. Someone's got to catch some things, you know? Blocking remains a question mark—from what I saw he remains middling in that department.

Kyle_Kalis_Action-thumb-590x499-837647. G Kyle Kalis, Jr* [Last time: 18]

Miller departure and David Dawson getting thumped by Mo Hurst clears up most of the uncertainty on the line. Would take a massive upset for two interior players to pass a healthy Kalis, who should be coming into his own as a road grader under the tutelage of proven steamroller architecht Tim Drevno. All aboard for high school photo reprise.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

glasgow-cat-sweater[1]8. C Graham Glasgow, Sr* [Last time: 10]

Moves up even after probation violation because of Miller's departure. Returned to operational status with team by the end of spring and near-certainty to be your starting center as long as he passes the hundred-plus breathalyzer tests that wait between him and opening day.

Bolden-vs-ND9. WLB Joe Bolden, Sr. [Last time: 12]

Lights-out spring performance encouraging  but comes on heels of last year's lights-out spring performance. Can he be as instinctive against offenses he doesn't go up against daily? Can he hit instead of be hit? Initial returns pretty good. It's time for the light to go on. Gedeon and maybe Ross will platoon, especially if Michigan is as nickel-heavy as it seems.

amara-darboh10. WR Amara Darboh, Jr* [Last time: 17]

Clear top option at WR in spring even if he was being checked by Norfleet; also Michigan's top returning receiver. Good combination of ranginess, speed, and hands could be reminiscent of Junior Hemingway. Michigan is going to need him to be a deep threat with the "speed is overrated" WR mantra coming home to roost this year. /shakes fist at Hoke staff

bilde[2]11. SAM James Ross, Sr. [Last time: 7]

Drops a bit only because it's unclear how much of a role a third LB will have in this defense. Well-regarded by DJ Durkin and seriously experienced, Ross will play somewhere. How much will be at SAM will depend on how many eight man fronts M wants to run and how many two-WR formations they face.

Joe Kerridge in action during Michigan's annual Spring Football Game at Michigan Stadium, Saturday, April 15th. 12. FB/HB Joe Kerridge, Sr.* [Last Time: 8]

Sometimes there's a man… I won't say a hero, 'cause what's a hero… but sometimes there's a man, and I'm talking about Joe Kerridge here… well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's Kerridge. In Harbaugh's offense. And even if he's a fullback, sometimes there's a man…

10771042363_ffc5f6e5b3_z13. NT Ryan Glasgow, Jr.* [Last time: 9]

This is actually a good thing, having Glasgow this low. Michigan has excellent depth with Bryan Mone and even Ondre Pipkins. Glasgow is still likely to get most of the at-bats, but your second NT is almost a starter anyway. Glasgow spearheaded a top-ten rush defense a year ago and should improve incrementally as a junior.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

Willie Henry Michigan v Connecticut GVJN3qglVSsl[1]14. 3TECH Willie Henry, Jr.* [Last time: 16]

Another situation where this is good uncertainty. Mo Hurst had a monster spring game at the same time Henry was ragdolling Mason Cole. One will be very good, and the other will still see a lot of playing time. Personally expecting that both will be on the field for passing downs. If Henry can just put it together he will be a flat-out monster.

mass.andrew-david.vs_.stone_15. K Andrew David, Fr. [Last time: 21]

Is the only scholarship kicker on the roster, so that's a nice head start. Big leg should slot in on kickoffs easily. Field goals? I dunno man, kickers are weird. Would like to have kept JJ McGrath around for competition. Options past David are… uh… Bueller?

Iowa Minnesota Football16. QB Jake Rudock, Sr. [Last time: NR]

Two-year Iowa starter announced transfer on twitter; 61%, 7.6 YPA, 16-5 TD:INT last year as he was Big Ten's third-most efficient passer; conservative game manager type who fits in with Michigan's projected run-and defense configuration better than the thus-far turnover-prone Shane Morris. Morris biggest threat after spring.

image17. WR Jehu Chesson, Jr.* [Last time: 23]

Nobody else impressed much and with slot receiver up in the air Chesson figures to maintain his position on the depth chart, which is currently #2. Thunderous blocking will catch Harbaugh's eye. Now, can he get deep? Supposedly faster than Peppers. For real.

385446_3012007678845_1455385026_n1_thumb[1]18. T Erik Magnuson, Jr*. [Last time: NR]

Unusual to put the guy who ended last year at TE ahead of returning OL starter, but with Miller's exit seems likely Magnuson is playing either G or T, as he has seen time both places. Got tackle nod in spring, presumably as Michigan looks for Braden alternatives.

10226222015_d3e1456eb3_b[1]19. CB Blake Countess, Sr* [Last time: 11]

Looked good in spring but takes a hit as Peppers reconfig puts Countess in direct conflict with Wayne Lyons and other competitors. Lyons a more natural fit at boundary and may be better in man; Countess looks revitalized by the new secondary coaches.

9491749446_2da7969d80_z20. DE Chris Wormley, Jr* [Last time: NR]

Escapes the defensive tackle logjam and gives Michigan needed depth at DE. Should be quality run defender… can he provide a semblance of a pass rush? Physical marvel, so it's possible. Need a leap from him if he's going to be an impact player. That hair tho.

IN A BATTLE

14703806397_2eda27a3c1_b[1]21. Delano Hill, SS [Last time: NR]

Tentative leader over Jeremy Clark and Dymonte Thomas for safety spot opposite Wilson. Has looked 38 for ten years and will look 38 for the next 40. Excellent athlete supposed to have a good feel for the safety spot, but did not push through even after reaching full health a year ago.

13651064535_3383b8446d_z_thumb[1]22. SLOT Freddy Canteen, So. [Last time: NR]

Pouring one out for Dennis Norfleet, but the writing is on the wall there. Canteen made a couple of sweet catches in the spring game and looks to fulfill the promise he started demonstrating in practice last year. Not too concerned about lack of production as a freshman, as WRs have an adjustment period.

Taco-Charlton-vs-Rutgers23. DE Taco Charlton, Jr. [Last time: 19]

Keeping him in the 27 since he is the best combination of size and experience opposite Wormley. After spring injuries will have to fend off Ojemudia and a surging Lawrence Marshall to maintain spot. Should do so. Major X factor in season, as could be anything from backup to star. Guys don't come in his size with his athleticism often.

L21udC9zaXRlX2RhdGEvcHJvamVjdHMvaW1hZ2VzLzcyNjg5MS1sLmpwZywxNDE0NjI1MTQ0LGltYWdlL2pwZw,,[1]24. P Blake O'Neill, Sr.* [Last time: NR]

Aussie punter (and apparently model) visited and is planning a fifth-year transfer to M, whereupon he will win ladies' hearts by mooning on a beach and mine by rugby punting 45 yards without suffering a single return yard all season. Or he could lose the job to Kenny Allen.

15662383-standard[1]25. RB De'Veon Smith, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Best hair and best ability to not get injured amongst backs; also best spring game. Has reportedly impressed with his decisiveness a year after hesitation city. Excellent fit for Harball, very reminiscent of Stanford backs that weren't fast but also didn't get tackled ever.

braden[1]26. T Ben Braden, Jr.* [Last time: 22]

Never good when you're being tried out at G after 1) starting at tackle the year before and 2) standing easily 6'7". Braden was shaky a year ago and Michigan is looking for options there. With Glasgow/Mags flexibility that could mean Kugler or Dawson pushes through to start.

815762827. TE AJ Williams, Sr. [Last time: 25]

Michigan spent spring moving any likely-looking body to tight end, so that bodes unwell for Williams. But no one supplanted him and by the end of the session all save Chase Winovich seemed to have resumed their duties as defensive linemen. It's clear there's going to be a massive playing time shakeout down the road; for now the default assumption is Williams.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

DENNIS NORFLEET MEMORIAL DENNIS NORFLEET SECTION FOR FUN PLAYERS WHO NEVER GET USED AND HAVE GIFS

gif_74x89_07ca61NR. VAGABOND Dennis Norfleet, Sr. [Last Time: 15]

I think he was doomed either way. Tommy Tuberville entered at Cincinnati, and if there's a more dour, less tiny-person-friendly head coach I can't think of him. Probably should have gone to West Virginia, where wide receivers shorter than most girls in heels are an art form.

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Shane Morris—leader coming out of spring
QB Alex Malzone—looked too raw to contribute this year
QB Wilton Speight—can he overcome the Borges curse?
QB Zach Gentry—probably needs some seasoning but upside in spades

RB Derrick Green—maybe the vision issues were Fred Jackson caused?
RB Ty Isaac—huge; limited in spring.
RB Drake Johnson—ACLs are not his friends

C Patrick Kugler—sure thing (for OL, anyway) entering third year
G David Dawson—added significant weight and should push
T Logan Tuley-Tillman—chatter from inside program is that light has come on, poor spring game though

WR DaMario Jones—slot playing time available
WR Moe Ways—Hemingway 2.0?
WR Brian Cole—much talk about his after the catch ability

NT Ondre Pipkins—concussions knocked him out in spring, time running out
NT Bryan Mone—I've been waiting for a large Tongan DL my whole life.
3T Maurice Hurst—dominated spring game
3T Matt Godin—could be drafted at SDE

WDE Lawrence Marshall—pushing hard
WDE Mario Ojemudia—bit of a forgotten man
SDE Shelton Johnson—freshman probably needs a year
SDE Henry Poggi—SDE now, still needs some time. Maybe trying out at TE, which…

SAM/WDE Royce Jenkins-Stone—Ross rebuffed challenge last year
WLB Mike McCray—should be the year he threatens for real.
MLB Ben Gedeon—will usurp some PT in prep for next year

CB Channing Stribling—will be good if he just stops phasing out.
CB Terry Richardson—maybe the coaching change will be good for him
CB Keith Washington—Harbaugh favorite probably needs seasoning
S Jeremy Clark—lots of PT, meh production
S Dymonte Thomas—insane burned redshirt makes it late early for him

27 Tickets To Team 136: Pre-Spring Edition

27 Tickets To Team 136: Pre-Spring Edition

Submitted by Brian on March 2nd, 2015 at 11:45 AM

What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE  + fullback.

THIS IS THE PRE-SPRING UPDATE: Mostly pre-spring, anyway. We usually do one of these in the immediate aftermath of the regular season and then one before spring practice starts. This year was a little different because the coaching search made it difficult to project anything.

PACK YOUR BAGS

13656129695_fbdf006687_z (1)1. CB Jourdan Lewis, Jr. [Last time: 14]

Odd choice at #1? Maybe, but Lewis blazed past established starters to become Michigan's most consistent defensive back and figures to get buckets and buckets of playing time even with reasonable competition. Peppers move to safety seals it. Speaking of…

jabrill-peppers_original2. S Jabrill Peppers, Fr.* [Last time: NR]

…there's no way Peppers isn't a major factor right now. He was on the verge of wresting away a starting job last year and is now earmarked for a spot that saw a lot of rotation and little production a year ago. Massively athletic space players do not come along often enough to pretend he's not a lock.

Ld4vH[1]3. S Jarrod Wilson, Sr. [Last time: 3]

Meanwhile, Jarrod Wilson survived yet another season of panicked shuffling that occasionally pointed the finger in his direction for reasons that remain mysterious. Wilson is a very boring safety. We love boring safeties. We remember non-boring safeties. We tremble at this memory.

image4. WLB Desmond Morgan, Sr.* [Last time: 6]

Hand injury was ill-timed for last year, excellent for this year. Morgan has been a model of consistency since his arrival and should assert himself as the QB of the defense again. A thumper who stops guys on contact, Morgan makes up for a lack of athleticism with quick thinking. A fifth year from him should be extremely productive.

15721141259_945e5b11d6_z5. LT Mason Cole, So. [Last time: NR]

Was adequate as true freshman LT, which bodes very well for his future. Lacks ideal size; probably never a road-grader. Still, difficult to envision a scenario where he gets replaced. Moved? Vaguely possible. Not on the field? No way.

9856114085_66cdeac232_b[1]6. FLEX Jake Butt, Jr. [Last time: 9]

Fully healthy and pushing 250 pounds, Butt has to be ecstatic about his immediate future under Harbaugh. Butt caught 21 passes a year ago in slightly limited time and figures to double that, maybe triple it if things go well. Zach Ertz 2.0? Pretty much. Blocking? Something of a question mark but it's not like there are alternatives with smaller Qs there.

UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS

bilde[2]7. SAM James Ross, Sr. [Last time: 7]

Ross never developed into the force his freshman year promised, but a brief dalliance with RJS last year was quickly proven inadvisable. A rushing Penn State game suggests that there's a real player in there if the coaches can just unlock it; pressure from behind is minimal.

Joe Kerridge in action during Michigan's annual Spring Football Game at Michigan Stadium, Saturday, April 15th. 8. FB/HB Joe Kerridge, Sr.* [Last Time: 25]

Sometimes there's a man… I won't say a hero, 'cause what's a hero… but sometimes there's a man, and I'm talking about Joe Kerridge here… well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's Kerridge. In Harbaugh's offense. And even if he's a fullback, sometimes there's a man…

10771042363_ffc5f6e5b3_z9.NT Ryan Glasgow, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Glasgow #1 was a shock starter at NT, which was momentarily terrifying. Then he was mostly great. He was overpowered from time to time, something that happens to even touted sophomore NTs; he more than held his own for a rush defense that was near-great until late in games when the offense's incompetence exhausted them.

glasgow-cat-sweater[1]10. G Graham Glasgow, Sr* [Last time: 16]

Two-year starter progressed with the rest of his unit last year and will be extremely difficult to dislodge as long as he executes his assignments more consistently than anyone else on the roster. Quality twitter feed, too. Give this man a scholarship. Heck, give him two. Man has cats to wear.

10226222015_d3e1456eb3_b[1]11. CB Blake Countess, Sr* [Last time: 13]

Brutally exposed by Will Fuller in ND game, and never really recovered. M returned to zone, which was much more suited to his skillset of consistency and sneaky anticipation—can he play man this time around? Relying on coaching improvement to get there… which is possible.

Bolden-vs-ND12. MLB Joe Bolden, Sr. [Last time: NR]

I was never as high on Bolden as the previous staff, which threw him out there constantly despite a bunch of blown assignments and a lot of hesitant tackling that brought the wood only if it was balsa. But he does have a lot of experience and guys put it together suddenly at tough spots like linebacker. Ben Gedeon and Mike McCray lurk.

FAIRLY SAFE BET

rec_u_miller_400[1]13. C Jack Miller, Sr* [Last time: NR]

Generally solid but uninspiring play a year ago; did grasp and maintain center job for the whole year, displacing Glasgow and fending off changes after Kalis and Magnuson both got healthy. Kugler will push from behind but established starting centers are rarely displaced because knowing the calls is such a huge part of the position.

lyon[1]14. NICKEL Wayne Lyons, Sr* [Last time: NR]

Stanford fans are a bit meh on the guy. He did get a bunch of playing time for last year's #2 passing D in YPA terms, so he can't be that bad. Sour grapes? Yeah maybe. Lyons does have to fend off guys like Stribling and Richardson, but it's more likely he yanks Countess's job than evaporates.

gif_74x89_07ca6115. SLOT Dennis Norfleet, Sr. [Last Time: 12]

Would somebody just throw this guy the ball in space a few times a game to see what happens? And not pick up irrelevant penalties on punt return touchdowns? And stop using him like a circus freak and instead regard him as an actual slot receiver? LOOK AT HIM DANCE GIVE HIM THE BALL

Willie Henry Michigan v Connecticut GVJN3qglVSsl[1]16. 3TECH Willie Henry, Jr.* [Last time: 10]

Did not have breakout season he seemed poised to after bear-strong freshman campaign. Still saw slim plurality of PT in extensive DL rotation. Could this be the year? Pad level, amirite? Wormley, Godin will continue pushing. Henry still has the upside.

amara-darboh17. WR Amara Darboh, Jr* [Last time: NR]

Michigan's second-leading receiver a year ago with nearly 500 yards; in Funchess's absence figures to continue possession role and try to add some of the leapy bits people think he possesses. I'd say he needs to fill Funchess's downfield shoes, but nobody threw deep last year so nevermind. Let's not talk about this. Let's talk about PROM KING.

Kyle_Kalis_Action-thumb-590x499-8376418. G Kyle Kalis, Jr* [Last time: NR]

Moved back into a starting spot last year when Magnuson went down injured and did not relinquish the job. Brings the promise of POWER and GRUNTING, something Harbaugh will appreciate—this gives him an edge over slightly slighter competitors. Job by no means assured, but he was functional last year. That's good!

Taco-Charlton-vs-Rutgers19. DE Taco Charlton, Jr. [Last time: NR]

Here mostly by default. Did flash beastly power occasionally last year, and essentially only option at SDE unless something weird happens. Probably still a better fit on the weakside but DE is a spot where Michigan is thin and young. At least that's unusual instead of the whole damn roster. See: all of last seven years.

G7J3ykf-20. P Kenny Allen, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Waited patiently for his turn and should get it unless Baxter imports an Aussie to rugby his way into our hearts. Allen is a conventional boomer who impressed in the extensive punting demos Hoke tended to put on whenever forced to make a gesture towards fan service.

mass.andrew-david.vs_.stone_21. K Andrew David, Fr. [Last time: NR]

Is the only scholarship kicker on the roster, so that's a nice head start. Big leg should slot in on kickoffs easily. Field goals? I dunno man, kickers are weird. Would like to have kept JJ McGrath around for competition. Options past David are… uh… Bueller?

IN A BATTLE

11290091[1]22. T Ben Braden, Jr.* [Last time: 26]

Will be under heavy pressure from Magnuson and LTT, but did play all last year and improved from shaky start. Absolutely huge, so if he gets technique religion will be the kind of guy who can cave in the end on power like Harbaugh wants. Still the OL most under threat.

image23. WR Jehu Chesson, Jr.* [Last time: NR]

Last year's #3 WR brings blocking chops out of proportion to his size but remains raw a few years into his college career. Will get competition from Ways, Canteen, and maybe Norfleet in TE-heavy environment. Still have to figure a guy who lays out his opponent is going to be good w Harbs.

mv6r0824. DE Mario Ojemudia, Sr. [Last time: NR]

Death stare proprietor is incumbent at DE. Will get major push from Lawrence Marshall, who's already the same size as the somewhat diminutive Ojemudia and impressing in practice. There's not much depth here so both will play. The starting job could easily change hands.

815762825. TE AJ Williams, Sr. [Last time: NR]

Bearding up good move for blocking TE who hasn't blocked a lot of guys so far. Frustrating career could be rescued by Harbaugh's proven ability to install toughness… or ended by it. H-back types, Butt, and maybe slot receivers could look like better options, and then there's Ian Bunting. He's not a blocker yet, but is Williams going to be one?

usc26. RB Ty Isaac, So.* [Last time: NR]

Massive skill position uncertainty part one. Green missed a bunch of holes and then broke his clavicle, but he's closer to returning than ACL-cursed Johnson and certainly faster than Smith. Ty Isaac then? Okay. There's a reason this is near the bottom, but not quite at it because…

16563818-mmmain27. QB Alex Malzone, Fr. [Last time: NR]

…Michigan returns 87 passing attempts, all from Shane Morris. Last year he completed 35% for 3.2 YPA and three INTs. There is bad, and then there is that. Jim Harbaugh reacted to this situation by adding quarterbacks from everywhere. The reader is invited to pick one out of a hat. The wild guess here is EE freshman Alex Malzone, who was crazy productive en route to a state title a year ago. He got a big gold hat because of it. But YMMV.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

PUSHING FROM BEHIND

QB Shane Morris—massive improvement necessary to even stay in the conversation
QB Wilton Speight—can he overcome the Borges curse?
QB Zach Gentry—probably needs some seasoning but upside in spades

RB Derrick Green—maybe the vision issues were Fred Jackson caused?
RB DeVeon Smith—slow; breaks tackles like a mofo
RB Drake Johnson—ACLs are not his friends

C Patrick Kugler—sure thing (for OL, anyway) entering third year
G/T Erik Magnuson—lost job due to injury last year and moonlit as blocking TE
G David Dawson—added significant weight and should push
T Logan Tuley-Tillman—chatter from inside program is that light has come on

WR DaMario Jones—slot playing time available
WR Freddy Canteen—hype fizzled last year, but jungle beats man
WR Moe Ways—Hemingway 2.0?
WR Drake Harris—practicing! full go and everything! still skinny as a rail though

NT Ondre Pipkins—hyped recruit got ACL tear at worst possible time. Could push through Henry. NT is platoon city, so not a huge distinction.
NT Bryan Mone—I've been waiting for a large Tongan DL my whole life.
3T Chris Wormley—will at least platoon.
3T Maurice Hurst—quick first step as advertised
3T Matt Godin—could be drafted at SDE

WDE Lawrence Marshall—pushing Ojemudia hard
WDE Rueben Jones—true freshman rarities in this post, hooray!
SDE Shelton Johnson—…except at DE
SDE Henry Poggi—SDE now, still needs some time. Maybe trying out at TE, which…

SAM Royce Jenkins-Stone—Ross rebuffed challenge last year
WLB Mike McCray—should be the year he threatens for real. WDE test run?
MLB Ben Gedeon—will usurp some PT in prep for next year

CB Channing Stribling—will be good if he just stops phasing out.
CB Terry Richardson—maybe the coaching change will be good for him
CB Keith Washington—Harbaugh favorite probably needs seasoning
S Delano Hill—nominal starter a year ago but injured a lot
S Jeremy Clark—lots of PT, meh production
S Dymonte Thomas—insane burned redshirt makes it late early for him