It’s redshirt roundtable time. Our recruits:
- Brian Cook: 6’3/215, 5 stars, quarterback out of Michigan, rescues kittens
- Seth Fisher: 6’1/235, 3.5 stars, FB/TE tweener from Michigan, runs three homeless shelters
- Ace Anbender: 6’0/185, 4 stars, defensive back from Michigan, spends free time driving old ladies to church
- Blue in South Bend: 5’11/202, 5 stars, running back from ???, spent 5 years in a foreign country (Indiana) teaching the natives how to sanitize their water
- Heiko Yang: “5’9”/165, 4 stars, slot receiver from Ohio, committed early because he got tired of coaches calling and asking him to date their daughters.
- Coach Brown: 6’4/260, 5 stars, strongside linebacker from South Carolina, holds record for most keys to cities
- Mathlete: 5’10/180, 4 stars, cornerback from Kansas. Never around when Superman is; isn’t that so weird…?
And the question:
Time to guess which freshmen are redshirting this year--which will make to 2014 with freshman eligibility, and which won't but would if you were running the team.
Brian: First, I would like to congratulate [Seth] on [being awesome]. But nevermind all that. To the redshirtmobile!
One of the advantages of press credentials are all the free Batmobile golf carts. This is what we did with ours.
[After the jump: answers and answers in chart form]
- OL Chris Fox
- OL Logan Tuley-Tillman
- OL Dan Samuelson
- OL David Dawson
- CB Reon Dawson
- CB Channing Stribling
- DT Maurice Hurst Jr.
- DT Henry Poggi
- WR Jaron Dukes
- WR Csont'e York
OL are obvious, but Michigan's a year away from putting every last OL into the redshirt lock category. Dawson and Stribling weigh about as much as Terry Richardson but are a half-foot taller. Hurst and Poggi are 260-270 pound interior linemen. No one has said word one about Dukes and York this fall and they have at least six guys on the depth chart in front of them, plus maybe Funchess and Butt.
- OL Chris Bosch
- OL Patrick Kugler
- WR Da'Mario Jones
- HB Wyatt Shallman
These two OL could play if things go pear-shaped, but it's a real longshot. Jones is probably the guy if Michigan plays a freshman WR this year, but why would they? Especially since all three guys are middling recruits. Shallman was injured for two straight years in HS and played almost exclusively defense, plus there are two other freshman backs in the class.
- LB Mike McCray
- LB Ben Gedeon
- CB Ross Douglas
The linebackers have a solid, young two-deep in front of them. There are no seniors at the ILB spots these guys are at, so why burn redshirts? Maybe for special teams. But that would be dumb. There are four veteran Douglas-shaped corners on the roster already and they've been getting talked up a lot more than him.
|Smith is Michigan’s best #3 option but the depth chart may have too many #4 options to need him yet.|
- RB De'Veon Smith
- TE Khalid Hill
- CB Jourdan Lewis
Smith probably should redshirt, but if he's pushing Green early he probably gets thrown out there. Hill may or may not immediately find himself useful enough in the redzone to play. Lewis probably isn't going to play much defense, but he's a real threat to grab a return job.
- QB Shane Morris
- RB Derrick Green
- DE Taco Charlton
- S Dymonte Thomas
- TE Jake Butt
- S Delano Hill
Morris is the backup QB, Thomas may start at nickel, Green is definitely getting carries, Charlton is already 270. Butt enrolled early and is the nearest thing to Funchess on the roster; plus you know Borges is putting 3 TE sets on the field this year. He put 3 TE sets on the field last year, he's doing it this year. Hill's been getting some talk from the coaches, is in a spot that Michigan needs to blood some guys in a hurry (especially if Avery does contribute a lot at S, that would be two seniors), and is the kind of guy you throw on special teams easy.
Which of these will I be irritated by? The linebackers, if they get put on STs. Linebacker is a spot at which experience is really awesome to have and giving up fifth years so McCray and Gedeon can cover some punts this year when they have zero shot of getting on the two deep would be bad. Anyone else (who has a faint hope of seeing the field) wouldn't move my redshirt jihad needle.
Heiko: Redshirt to be burned in event of ...
Apocalypse: Jaron Dukes, Csont'e York, Reon Dawson, Jourdan Lewis, All OL, Henry Poggi, Khalid Hill
Injury to a starter: Ross Douglas, Channing Stribling, Delano Hill
Injury to Amara Darboh: DaMario Jones
Can't be kept off the field due to practice performance: Wyatt Shallman, Deveon Smith, Mike McCray, Ben Gedeon, Dymonte Thomas, Maurice Hurst, Jr.
Water is wet: Taco Charlton, Shane Morris, Derrick Green, Butt
Brady Hoke cares about what I think: Taco, Morris, Green, Wyatt Shallman, Channing Stribling, Dymonte Thomas
Coach Brown: I think all of the offensive linemen will redshirt because there actually seems to be decent depth there for the first time in a while. So Bosch, Dawson, Fox, Samuelson, Tuley-Tillman, and long-snapper Sypniewski will all receive redshirts for sure, and even though the center position is a bit thin right now, I think Kugler probably redshirts too. Tough to play o-line as a true frosh.
Jake Butt is going to play. He already has college size, enrolled early, and has been billed as a solid combination of blocking and pass-catching. Tight end is still a bit thin as far as experience goes, so I think he gets in there. Khalid Hill is also big enough to play, but I'm not sure he has a spot just yet so I think he redshirts.
|This photo (by Fuller) exists so we can make a metaphorical caption about how Taco can’t be held back from playing this season|
Taco will play early and often, and I'm really excited to see what he's capable of. Hurst has the size already but I haven't heard a ton about him and he probably redshirts behind similar guys like Q, Pipkins, and Ash. Poggi is a technician but he's not big enough yet, he'll redshirt as well.
The secondary is young and will remain young as I see a bunch of true freshmen playing this season. I'm not quite sure about Reon Dawson. He's slight, but he's long and fast, so I think the coaches might try to get a look at him somewhere in mop-up duty. I think he plays a little bit. Ross Douglas got some praise in the spring and apparently plays very fast so I think he probably gets in there too. Since the onset of fall camp Delano Hill's name has come up a lot and he has been seen on some of the practice clips making plays so I think he definitely will see the field this year. Coach Hoke says he likes Jourdan Lewis in the return game and even though he is rail-thin, he's a playmaker and will probably get a chance to show those skills a little bit. I haven't heard much about Stribling since he arrived on campus so I assume he'll redshirt to get a little bigger and more comfortable. Dymonte is a future-star. He'll play a lot this season and I believe will make some big plays when he's in there.
I think the three wide receiver commits, Dukes, Jones, and York all redshirt. The receiver rotation probably won't go very deep.
I think both Gedeon and McCray will get some playing time on special teams at least if nothing else. Gedeon has posted some pretty sick numbers as far as speed, lifting, and size so I wouldn't be surprised to see him in there to see if it translates to the field. McCray also has great size and runs very well so he could get a look too even though the linebacking corps already seems pretty deep.
I think Derrick Green might get a look. Maybe. Shallman appears to be in on a lot of action during the practice highlights too, so I'm thinking the coaches like his versatility at 6'3" and nearly 250 lbs. Deveon Smith is kind of the lost back in this class even though he looks like he could be a very productive back. Just because the backfield is a bit crowded right now, I think he's a redshirt candidate.
Unfortunately Shane is going to have to play a little bit. I think he's the obvious #2 heading into the season and will probably play just in case he HAS to play at some point. He's being groomed as the QB of the future and he's going to have to learn quickly.
So in conclusion:
Redshirts - Kyle Bosch, David Dawson, Jaron Dukes, Chris Fox, Khalid Hill, Maurice Hurst, Da'Mario Jones, Patrick Kugler, Henry Poggi, Dan Samuelson, Deveon Smith, Channing Stribling, Scott Sypniewski, Logan Tuley-Tillman, and Csont'e York.
Freshmen on the Field - Jake Butt, Taco Charlton, Reon Dawson, Ross Douglas, Ben Gedeon, Derrick Green, Delano Hill, Jourdan Lewis, Mike McCray, Shane Morris, Wyatt Shallman, and Dymonte Thomas.
Let’s pause and play “Is the freshman defensive back smaller than a Norfleet?” 44 is Delano Hill, 8 is Channing Stribling, 29 is Ross Douglas. Photographer is Fuller
BiSB: Michigan played 12 true freshmen last year, and 8 the year before. This staff hasn't exactly shied away from playing young guys, but not always in the manner we expect. Last year, Kyle Kalis was absolutely going to play, and we figured we'd only see the 113-pound Terry Richardson on the field if the rest of the defensive backfield came down with plague, scurvy, and gingivitis at the same time. The coaches have a bigger picture in mind that involves next year's roster, next year's recruiting plan, etc. So we're largely the dude in Plato's cave on this one, but we'll give it a shot anyway, because internet.
Everyone agrees on Taco, Shane, Green, Dymonte, and Jake Butt. I'd love to see them be able to redshirt Shane and Butt, but the depth chart is a fickle beast. I'm also going to throw Mike McCray comfortably into the "probably gonna play" category. As for the DBs, I don't have the slightest clue. Three or four will probably play, but damned if I know which. I'll guess Delano Hill based on buzz and general reputation of being mentally ahead of the game, Jourdan Lewis because of his ability to contribute to the return game. and one of Ross Douglas or Channing Stribling because why not. Toss a coin, Douglas plays.
I don't see the coaches playing both freshmen linebackers, so despite his freakish reputation I think Ben Gedeon redshirts. OL redshirt because OL, unless injuries strike really hard, in which case maybe Kugler or Bosch sees the field. The logjam at running back probably dictates Smith and Shallman redshirts, though I get that gut feeling that we see one of them. Sounds like Khalid Hill isn't quite in game shape, so he waits. If DT depth wasn't as solid as it is, I'd guess Hurst plays, but he wouldn't be much of a special teams contributor so I don't know if he burns a redshirt for a few dozen snaps. Poggi might have played if he didn't come in at 260; reshaping his body is certainly beneficial long-term, but the laws of physics dictate he sits.
|This is Jaron Dukes. Those are why we are saying he’s a redshirt prospect despite the Darboh injury|
Since Brandon wrote his bit, Amara Darboh NOOOOOOOO'd his way into a redshirt year after tearing our collective soul-dong/something in his foot. I know Jaron Dukes almost certainly isn't game-ready, but he's the most Darboh of the freshmen, so into the fire with thee. More realistically it'll be some combination of Joe Reynolds, Jehu Chesson, Jake Butt and Jeremy Jackson filling those snaps.
Mathlete: Assuming the coaches had about the numbers they wanted last season, a netting of ins and outs by position should give a good indication of where they might be looking for bodies:
Quarterback: Gone: Robinson, Off Redshirt: none
Shane Morris will not redshirt unless Devin stays incredibly healthy or he develops a back injury that yields him a retroactive redshirt
Running Back: Gone: Smith, Off Redshirt: Johnson
Derrick Green is definitely playing, probably not paying on that B1G Rushing Title wager, but definitely playing. Running back is the position with the least benefit for a redshirt but Deveon Smith should be your class of 2014 running back.
Fullback: Gone: Hopkins, Off Redshirt: none
Wyatt Shallman should be in a good position to find a role for this offense.
Wide Receiver: Gone: Robinson, Miller, Roundtree, Darboh (for the season), Off Redshirt: Chesson
I don't think you're going to see all of the spots replaced and all three receivers burn a redshirt but it sure seems like 1-2 receivers will see the field this year.
Tight End: Gone: Moore, Off Redshirt: none
All signs point to more tight end/U back/flex roles so some of those WR spots should be taken by tight end types, I see Butt and Hill both contributing this year.
Offensive Line: Gone: Omameh, Mealer, Barnum, Off Redshirt: Magnuson, Bars, Braden, Kalis
If Kalis didn't play last season, no one should this year. Kugler is the one guy where a scenario could present itself but probably redshirts all around.
Defensive Line: Gone: Wilkins, Campbell, Brink, Roh, Off Redshirt: Henry, Wormley, Strobel, Godin
Taco Charlton seems destined for a Mario Ojemudia type true freshman pass rusher role but can't see anyone else playing this season.
Linebackers: Gone: Poole, Ringer, Demens, Jones, Hawthorne, Off Redshirt: Gant
Even though only Demens was a major contributor, linebackers will need some depth and also make great special teamers. I think both Gedeon and McCray play this year.
|Dymonte Thomas will play nickel this year, and maybe some regular cornerback and safety too.|
Defensive Backs: Gone: Robinson, Floyd, Kovacs, Off Redshirt: Clark, Countess
Dymonte Thomas may have the biggest role of any true freshmen. Beyond him it seems like 1 maybe 2 additional DBs will see the field this year. Jourdan Lewis seems like the most likely candidate, especially since whoever plays is probably helping out in the return game. Lewis and Stribling would be my most likely choices.
So that is 11-13 players playing depending on how WR and DB shake out. Without an official study, my gut says the importance of redshirting by position would look something like this QB>OL>WR>DL>DB>LB>RB. Based on the ins and outs and last season that seems to be generally in line with the coaches' philosophy, obviously dependent on a specific need at a given position.
Ace: Redshirt unless DOOM: Kyle Bosch, David Dawson, Reon Dawson, Chris Fox, Henry Poggi, Channing Stribling, Logan Tuley-Tillman, Csont'e York
Break glass in case of emergency, but not necessarily DOOM: Jaron Dukes, Delano Hill, Patrick Kugler
Amara Darboh injury replacement: Da'Mario Jones (yes, Jones is more of a slot, but he's the most college-ready of the three incoming receivers)
Potential special teams or depth role: Ben Gedeon, Khalid Hill, Maurice Hurst Jr., Jourdan Lewis (as a return man; if not, redshirt), Mike McCray, Wyatt Shallman, DeVeon Smith
Gonna play: Taco Charlton, Derrick Green, Shane Morris, Dymonte Thomas
Collective Bolded Subconscious of MGoBlog Staff: CHART!
|Receivers and Tight Ends|
I’d better explain myself:
QB: Morris ought to redshirt; there’s just no way to do it. Gardner will scramble and extend plays with his legs in the backfield and that over the course of a season will lead to dings at the very least. The coaches can try to roll with Cleary for the early part of the schedule and pray Gardner can play through the dings later on, but it’s just not going to work out that way. Next year you have to give Morris some time so he can be prepared for it in 2015; if Gardner is looking like RG4 out there then the grooming starts right away.
RB: Green won’t redshirt. I’m doubtful Smith will either since he’s looking like their best option near the goal line. Even Shallman is getting into the offense a lot. With him at least I’m still holding out for a redshirt next year as he learns to play SAM.
WR/TE: Post Darboh injury the depth chart reads Gallon and Chesson at the Z, Reynolds and Jackson at the X, and Dileo/NORFLEET!!!! at the slot, with just about any of the first four liable to line up anywhere. All three incoming receivers should shirt but considering the recruits behind them they’re best served getting in now. York is the least likely to play since he’s a stick. Jones is the most ready but you guys are way overestimating how much this team needs a 3rd slot, especially since they’ll probably be using Jackson there or (preferably) flexing Funchess on 3rd down and inside the 20. I’m predicting Dukes or Jones and possibly both will see the field this year. Butt enrolled early and could use a shirt but depth won’t allow it. Regarding Khalid Hill he’s not even getting mentioned right now so you have to figure they’ll redshirt him, despite our weaponization plans.
|Now that Gant is a linebacker, you can send him downfield on kickoffs instead of burning the 2017 linebacker depth chart. Right?|
OL: They wouldn’t burn Kalis’s redshirt despite…that.
DL: Depth and smaller incoming classes mean you want both of these guys redshirted. Taco is chomping at the bit, if a bit unrefined, plus M wants to rotate WDE to get pass rush and create separation for incoming guys.
LB: Guh, please redshirt these guys; this is a position where the best young talent is already on the field and the next generation deserves some separation. If you need rugby player-shaped dudes to send downfield on kickoff coverage there’s C. Gordon, Beyer, Bolden, Gant, Clark, RJS, the fullbacks, Taco and Mario, and a lot of young LB and WR walk-ons. When playing a blue deck you must learn restraint.
DB: Thomas will play and the CB depth chart needs at least one more safety and cornerback, so figure Delano Hill in the Jarrod Wilson Memorial Safety-Getting-Seasoning role, and Jourdan Lewis. If we dip one further I’ll take Reon Dawson since he’s not a smurf; Ross Douglas is ahead of him now because he played in spring but Douglas is a speedy field corner and we have a million mites there already.