27 Tickets To Team 138: Post-Spring Edition Comment Count

Brian 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.

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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.

Comments

BlueKoj

May 3rd, 2017 at 3:34 PM ^

The skinny on Black seems to go far beyond his impressive Army game. Baumgartner seems to think given his "not-your-typical-freshman" progress he has a chance to start opposite Crawford and Sam has mentioned him as a guy who looks beyond his freshmen status as well. He's impressed all Spring.

BlueKoj

May 3rd, 2017 at 6:45 PM ^

I'm not sure DJP and Black should swap. 27 and in a battle seems right for DJP given how much praise he has gotten. If they're both healthy through fall camp it should be one helluva battle. I specifically looked for that battle in the ticket eval and Brian sites Black in DJP's skinny, but didn't really elaborate in Black's. I'd be okay with either of them at 27 based on all that I've read.

dragonchild

May 3rd, 2017 at 4:55 PM ^

"3-4 deep" is disingenuous.  I mean, c'mon.  You're creating a straw man that NO ONE is talking about to make a weak position unassailable.  Who the heck is talking about a 4-deep?  The chatter about this year's team (and what wile_e8 is saying) is how it's barely one-deep across the board.  Forget injuries; the coaches are going to spend much of fall camp finding out if they can even rotate some positions.

But if you're questioning the very existence of reliable backups, Michigan just last season had a 9-man DL squad, an excellent third CB until Clark got hurt, a deep stable of running backs, several legit TEs.  Thin on OL, the QB battle was an illusion and Brown uses so many safeties we were "thin" with four of them, but we survived injuries to Taco Charlton, Bryan Mone, Jourdan Lewis and Jeremy Clark.  And still wound up the #1 defense in the country.

Our lack of depth this year isn't typical.  We have a few proven starters, some freshmen-filled holes and an army of underclassmen.  I'm not too worried; a lot of 'em are good.  We just haven't seen it shake out and people love to panic in the face of uncertainty.

wile_e8

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:28 PM ^

 

I'm mostly thinking about last year, where things were happening like the post-spring 27 tickets having Ryan Glasgow at 21 because there was a plethora of other options that might be even better. Having options is better if all the options are good. Being highly ranked because there is no competition can be dangerous. 

I Like Burgers

May 4th, 2017 at 12:22 PM ^

Most/all national title contenders.  Which is why they are national title contenders.

Truly great teams can absorb a bad injury or two or three and roll on like nothing happened becasue they have depth.

mgobaran

May 4th, 2017 at 8:17 AM ^

Idk, I think we have a fuller cupboard than you believe. 

QB - Looks better off than last year
RB - Still have a stable of horses, plus adding a possible beast off an academic RS
FB - Returns both starters. 
WR - Young but skillled, and a BUNCH of them. 
TE - Is Harbaughfense, has many TEs
OT - Okay, you got me here. Maybe 1 or 2 of the fall Freshman can be ready to step into the 2-deep. 
OG - Plenty of bodies, spring game showed this depth is better than the DL depth at least.
OC - One son of a NFLer, one best C recruit in last 10 years, one Mason Cole if break glass needed.

DE - Gary and Winovich seem like good starters imo. One back up is ready from the reports. One should be on his way, plus edge rush/SAM linebackers can eat a couple snaps a la Jake Ryan Edge Ruser
DT - Mone and Hurst and Air. No depth currently, but adding two stud freshman in the fall, and Gary can move inside if needed. 
LB - Three guys for two spots is the same number we have had for 4-5 years. All good.
VIPER(!) - So much depth at this spot.
CB - See WR. 
S - I'm overconfident in this bunch. Good Bunch imo.

Even a few injuries isn't troublesome. The teams outlook for this season is what? 9-3 (+3/-0). If we get killed by injuries, we should still be 9-3 (+/-1).  Our depth should still be talented enough to beat the B1G when mixed with coaching. Plus there is 4 months left to get guys ready. 

pistolwolf

May 3rd, 2017 at 3:46 PM ^

 everyone is so worried about how many starters left, but my god look at this list. a high pct. of these players where as good as the starters. give this group a couple of games together and look out.

stephenrjking

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:35 PM ^

Wouldn't expect this insight to show up in the Blade, but that was by far the most detail we've gotten on what happened with Newsome (specifically, a full dislocation of his knee cutting off bloodflow). Good info. Very rough situation for Newsome; a redshirt is no surprise at all.

Also notable (and I have personal experience with something like this, I can tell you it means something):

Harbaugh spent six hours with Newsome after the injury when things were dodgy. That, friends, is a coach who cares, and a coach for whom the players will run through walls. 

conradb42

May 3rd, 2017 at 4:09 PM ^

I think I missed something with him. I thought not too long ago, Long was the best CB, living up to his recruiting hype and all that and Hill wasn't quite getting it.

Now its opposite. What's the chatter that I'm missing. And are we "worried" as in he won't be great in year 2, or are we actually worried that he's a bust or other chatter?

evenyoubrutus

May 3rd, 2017 at 4:29 PM ^

You're not imagining that. I distinctly remember that about two weeks into spring, some insiders were saying exactly this. It's very strange that it has morphed into "Long has hardly been discussed" especially since he didn't even make the Rome trip which means he missed 1/4 of the Spring anyway. I bet he ends up being a significant contributor.

stephenrjking

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:20 PM ^

I don't think the "worrying" part reflects on his long-term outcome. But for this season? Worrying can make sense.

Because there's a long hanging on a bunch of second-year guys back there. If one of them is the type to not really "get it" until his junior season (which is really no problem, normally) that hamstrings us in the short term. Remember what Channing Stribling was like when he first started out? It wasn't good.

It is almost inevitable that at least one or two of the young guys we are counting on to replace our 11 draft picks is going to have a problem or not develop the way we thought or something. It happens to everybody, and it's even more likely with how young the team will be. 

Consider: If Brandon Peters were to win the job from Wilton Speight, Michigan would be, typically, fielding three guys on the entire offense that were even upperclassmen. Our defensive backfield has just one of those, if I recall correctly, and probably only one upperclassman LB. 

This team isn't just a bit young; it's as young as is ever seen in college football. 

evenyoubrutus

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:32 PM ^

I was just about to edit my post when you posted this because I found the "hype" post about David Long, written by Brian no less.

http://mgoblog.com/content/spring-items-defense
"All systems go for David Long and Lavert Hill, who have been gathering extensive praise as physical, sticky corners. Hill is currently stickier but Long isn't far off. When the projected starters are in it's been difficult for Michigan's receivers to get separation.
There is a significant dropoff after those two, with Brandon Watson and Ambry Thomas..."

evenyoubrutus

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:31 PM ^

But to your point SRJK, I think the reason it is frustrating and maybe a concern is because Long was hyped as a "lock" to be a highly developed player at a position that usually doesn't take long to become college ready as it is, and when guys come in like that with that sort of praise and struggle in their first couple of years it is often a bad sign for long term.

stephenrjking

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:48 PM ^

I can understand that, and I've worried that way before. But we don't really know much about what's going on based on spring drills (John O'Korn is the heir!), so there's not much to draw from. And guys bloom late. As recently as 2015 Mario Ojemudia's injury thrust a rather less proven Taco Charlton into a starting role to some apprehension. Taco wound up being a world-destroying DE that got drafted in the first round.

 

dragonchild

May 3rd, 2017 at 7:25 PM ^

I think everyone knew Taco's ceiling was higher than Ojemudia's.  Michigan (probably the same anywhere, really) puts a premium on consistency, which is why Taco was the understudy, and while in '15 he wasn't the 1st round draft pick monster he was last season, he did things.  Speaking of DEs, a good indicator of how things might go this season is Gary's and Winovich's first-year DE jitters last season (heck, literally EVERYONE on defense was a first-year in Brown's scheme).  They were crazy productive but also had some brain farts that just come from lack of comfort.  Overall, was that terrible?

I think people are conflating uncertainty with a void.  We have anything but a void.  It's not like we're filling the roster with student body tryouts.  A lot of these guys are highly regarded recruits.  Just because there's a lot of new faces doesn't mean all or even any on the two-deep will be bad.  Just, between those highlights there will be moments of ARGH ARGH when some yute blows a simple assignment and either a beautifully scripted play will turn into a 3rd-down TFL or a dead-to-rights blitz coughs up 30 yards.  We won't be bad, but this September won't be a good time to be on blood pressure meds.

M_Born M_Believer

May 3rd, 2017 at 4:13 PM ^

Even though there are some Freshmen that will play out of necessity, the bulk of the class has essentially the same statement.......

Redshirt forth coming.....

To me, that is a good sign of building depth.

Obvioulsy, with Black, DJP, Soloman, and Struber, on the team that has some holes in the depth chart, will play right away.  But out of 30 recruits, we are talking about 20+ that will be destined for Red Shirts.

My very fan based opinion, here are the Freshmen that will most likely play thus burning a Red Shirt....

1) Soloman

2) DJP

3) Black

4) Robbins

5) Vilian

6) Struber / Filiaga

Then some that might burn a red shirt:

1) Ruiz

2) Thomas

3) Jeter

4) Collins

That leaves ~20 incoming Freshman that will red shirt (I am counting the Struber / Filiaga back end gets the Red Shirt, while the winner of the battle gets time at RT).  That's building depth in the program......

getsome

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:18 PM ^

i guess that could happen.  but theyll (a) want to play the best players and reward guys who earn snaps and (b) try to develop younger players via live reps so theyre ready when needed (either later in season or subsequent year).

they dont have much S depth at all, and if washington and watson havent improved enough to impact, theyre light at CB too - most (if not all) of the frosh DBs will play, either out of necessity or to groom for next year.  kelly-powell, thomas, etc would benefit from redshirting, building necessary strength, nailing down technique, acclimating to college game and life, etc (like most frosh) but the team may need immediate contributions (or value the weight of early PT over potential impact 4-5 years later).

they also lack experienced, talented DT depth - dwumfour seems like a nice option but its position switchers (marshall, johnson) or walkons (meyers) after that so hudson likely plays in addition to solomon.

harbaugh has repeatedly stated "you improve at football by playing football" - so while theyll still try to strike some sort of balance, theyll want younger cats to see live action when possible.

as with most programs, an injury or 2 in certain spots can alter this squad big time - they know it and will prepare and operate accordingly

stephenrjking

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:26 PM ^

I don't think there's any way that 20 guys will get redshirts, given how many Harbaugh played last year. Now, I suppose I could be wrong, and Harbaugh could've just been playing those guys because he needed them ready this season, but given issues of depth and youth I'm inclined to think that a lot of guys are going to see the field. If anything, with more urgency than last year.

And there's absolutely no way that Ruiz doesn't play. There's a good chance he's the sixth defensive lineman up--even if there are zero injuries (we can only hope) he would almost have to get PT this season.

goblueritzy92

May 3rd, 2017 at 4:19 PM ^

I assume the Sam took place of the nickel back that you refer to? Also, when we go Nickel formation who gets lifted? I assume it's not the Viper because that's a lot of plays where Hudson would not play. Or do we lift 1 of the safeties?