2010 Potential Impact Freshman

Submitted by Marley Nowell on December 17th, 2009 at 1:25 PM
Now that the 2010 class is pretty much wrapped and should not change too much (non-qualifiers aside) I thought it would be interesting to see which incoming freshman will have a potential impact on the 2010 season since the depth chart is still thin in several places.


Devin Gardner
  • Probably slated for a back-up role to Forcier (if he beats out DRob in fall camp) or a potential redshirt

Stephen Hopkins (EE)

Austin White (EE)

  • With Vincent Smith the proposed nominal starter who is now unavailable until fall camp (at the earliest) this position is wide open; enrolling early helps both of their chances to make an impact
  • most think White is destined for a redshirt but enrolling early at least gives him a chance to make an impact this season

Wide Receivers
Ricardo Miller (EE)
  • The stud Florida turned Ann Arbor WR who we have heard about for some time now is about to set foot on the campus he loves and be a impact contributor this season
Slot Receivers(0)
    Between the 5 guys already on the depth chart, not to mention the TEs getting some playing time, its doubtful any of the freshman see significant time here.

Offensive Line(0)
    Red-shirt city

Defensive Tackle
    Both Talbout and Ash (and possibly Hankins) are considered projects and not immediate impact players. Hopefully Martin, Campbell, and Sagesse can hold this stop down.

Josh Furman
  • With our linebacker situation (talent and depth) I hope he is good enough to play next year

Courtney Avery (EE)
Cullen Christian
Tony Grimes

  • With Warren "messing around" at least 1 of these guys will be the starter and the others will also see signficant playing time
  • our 2010 Defense (and team) hinge on the quick development of these guys

Marvin Robinson (EE)
Ray Vinopal
  • Depth chart is light here as well and both of these guys will see the field
  • Robinson could also be in the mix for the Spinner position
Will Hagerup
  • no one ahead of him on the depth chart at Punter

TOTALS: 11 contributors and potentially 3-4 starters




December 17th, 2009 at 1:46 PM ^

Just curious why you put Vinopal and Robinson but not Carvin Johnson. What about their profiles made you include those two but not Carvin?

Otherwise I think your list is pretty solid. I wouldn't be shocked to see another receiver burn a redshirt or another DB like Talbott or Witty if they're good enough.


December 17th, 2009 at 1:48 PM ^

Dileo will get a shot at punt returner.

Not sure any freshman corners will start, per se. Could happen, but Warren may not go. Even if he does, you have Woolfolk & Turner. Plus outside shot that Cissoko returns. Add Witty to your list of candidates, as well.

Even if Furman goes blue, I think he's looking at RS to put on some pounds.


December 17th, 2009 at 2:03 PM ^

I wouldn't be so sure that Devin Gardner would redshirt. Although most players (esp quarterbacks) improve the most between their first and second years of collegiate play, I think Devin can come in and challenge for the starting position. Wait until you see him in spring ball. His height gives him a big advantage over Tate in that he can see over the linemen. I mean no disrespect to Tate, but it is an issue as far as pass blocks.
Additionally, I think you need to include Ray Vinopal as a possible kick/punt returner. He has speed and he has some size to him. I would also LOVE to see Denard Robinson as a punt/kick returner. The kid is fast and hard to tackle. My only concern would be for an injury.
I' just waiting for Big Tex to announce tomorrow and we can get another "Hello" from Brian.


December 17th, 2009 at 2:06 PM ^

furman will play this coming season. he's never really played a true LB position so it'd be in his best interest to RS. i'd also hope we're able to RS gardner as he really needs time to refine his mechanics and learn the offense (we all saw what it can look like with a frosh learning on the job). 2010 should be good but i think 2011 will be the year.


December 17th, 2009 at 2:19 PM ^

I agree that Gardner probably has a better long-term upside than Forcier, but do you really want to be starting a true freshman for the second consecutive year? More importantly, would Rodriguez want to take that risk? My guess is that, unless something goes seriously wrong with Forcier between now and then, Rodriguez will want his experienced sophomore under center.

And if Forcier is the starter, Gardner might as well redshirt, to put two years of eligibility distance between him and Forcier. Obviously that would change if Forcier self-destructs and Denard Robinson cannot develop into a credible backup (meaning, someone who can make defenses respect the pass). But the going-in position has to be that Gardner does not start.


December 17th, 2009 at 3:55 PM ^

I totally agree with your first point, namely, that barring some miracle, RichRod is looking at Forcier as his starting QB.

Where I have some potential disagreement relates to Denard developing into a credible QB. I hope Denard can improve his passing, but there is absolutely nothing in his past which would indicate that will occur. When you look at Tate, you have a QB who throws with a high degree of accuracy. His problem last season was one of reads and/or some poor decision making, but his throws were fairly accurate. He is very accurate while throwing on the run. His HS completion percentage was over 70, while Denard's was in the low 40's.

Given Tate's slight build and the number of big hits he took this year, I see a higher potential (and need) to have someone other than Robinson as the backup QB next year.

Ultimately, I see Denard as a CB where his great speed is a huge asset.


December 18th, 2009 at 1:14 PM ^

It’s amazing how many different positions people think Denard can play, just because he is fast. There is more to playing CB than just speed, or else Michigan’s woes in the secondary could be fixed just by merging with the track team.

The other issue is that Denard wants to play offense, and specifically QB. That is the reason why he turned down scholarships from other schools, and came to Michigan. If Rodriguez moved him to the defense, he would most likely transfer.

Besides, Michigan needs Denard primarily at QB for at least another year , because depth at the position is still very thin, even with Gardner and Jones coming in. By 2011 he’ll be a junior, and it’s just not realistic to think he would become a great defender that late in his career, having never done it.

Isaac Newton

December 18th, 2009 at 2:54 PM ^

How people spew statements like "he would most likely transfer." How in the hell would you have any idea whether or not that's true. Besides that, it is unlikely that Rodriguez would move Denard to defense without much discussion with and agreement from Denard.

By the way, if you did a little homework, you might know that in addition to playing QuarterBack, Denard was an accomplished cornerback in high school.


December 17th, 2009 at 4:55 PM ^

I don't think anyone would argue that you start Forcier, or Robinson for that matter, solely because they are older. I think the point is that Forcier, with a year under his belt, will almost certainly give the team a better chance of winning games next year. While Gardner seems to have a much higher ceiling than Tate, I don't think he's ready to come in right away and compete for the starting job.

Last year, everyone was talking about how Tate was more prepared for college than your typical freshman and even he made a lot freshman mistakes. If Gardner gets any significant playing time next year (other than games in which we're either killing the other team or getting blown out), get ready for another long and painful year IME.


December 17th, 2009 at 6:19 PM ^

From the initial comment:

"I agree that Gardner probably has a better long-term upside than Forcier, but do you really want to be starting a true freshman for the second consecutive year? More importantly, would Rodriguez want to take that risk? My guess is that, unless something goes seriously wrong with Forcier between now and then, Rodriguez will want his experienced sophomore under center."

I believe someone made an argument for starting Forcier because he is older.

If Gardner gets significant playing time for reasons other than Tate or Denard being injured, I see that as a net positive for the team next year. It should mean that we've upgraded from the previous season.

I agree that in general its better to have experienced players starting and I think Tate will probably be the starter next year. I disagree with the tone of comments stating that experience == better player and that Rich would be taking a risk by starting Gardner over Tate.


December 17th, 2009 at 2:32 PM ^

I really hope that neither of the running backs you mention have to contribute this year. With Shaw, Touissant, Cox, and Smith (who hopefully will be ready to go by spring) all having at least a one-year head start Barwisizing and more familiarity with the offense, it's a bad sign if any freshman RB needs to play.

The Impaler

December 17th, 2009 at 3:06 PM ^

You have some serious gaps give it a C+. Where the hell is Jerald Robinson? At this point he could be the best WR coming in, even ahead of Ricardo Miller. Expect Bryan Wright to compete with Hagerup for punter. Expect Stephen Hopkins to play come this fall, with White probably redshirting. Where is Ken Wilkins, he could compete for BGs spot or RVBs spot if he moves over? Do some basic research man.


December 19th, 2009 at 2:25 AM ^

What in the world makes you think Wilkins is a 3tech DT???

He is already a weight room monster, and his frame is much fuller than your typical frosh.

He is 6'3'' 244lbs and won't be putting on as much weight as your typical "never seriously lifted before" freshman.

I hope I misread your post, and you really didn't mean to imply that Wilkins might be a DT and then (ironically) tell the OP to do some research.

I agree with you on JRob, though. I'm equally as excited about him as Ricardo


December 17th, 2009 at 9:46 PM ^

I think you might be confusing having players with depth. Shaw and Cox are not good, simple as that. Smith is quick and a good guy to have for the spread. Our offense was best this season when Minor was healthy and he was running over people. I think that is why Hopkins has a great chance to play, because he brings that type of power we need.


December 17th, 2009 at 10:50 PM ^

How can you say shaw and cox aren't good? Shaw played s a true frosh and impressed. He ws hampered by injuries most of this season. Cox has played too sparingly to even know what he can do. He runs down more down hill than the rest of the backs UM has at the moment (not counting incoming freshmen)

Blue in Yarmouth

December 18th, 2009 at 12:53 PM ^

I see from your post that you haven't followed UM football too much if you think Shaw "is not good, simple as that". Shaw could be a beast if he stays healthy. He has the size of Minor and with significantly more speed.

I don't think anyone has seen enough of Cox (outside the team and coaching staff) to make a comment like you did.


December 19th, 2009 at 2:16 AM ^

...are you smoking?

Shaw is no where near Minor's size

Minor: 6'1'' 216lbs

Shaw: 6' 177 lbs

Shaw is rail thin, that's why he is so fast. That's also why he is injury prone. I agree with you on this: sdono was wrong to say Shaw "is not good, simple as that," but you are more wrong. At least someone could make a legitimate argument that shaw is not a very good back. Lean, injury prone, and lack of vision between the tackles are all legitimate knocks on shaw. He is not Minor.

Seriously, if Shaw had Minor's size, would there be any debate as to who should start against UCONN in the opener? no.

I still like him, though. When he is healthy, he is explosive, has great speed, balance, and runs tough for his size. He doesn't always (read: hardly ever) fall forward, but he doesn't go down easily, either.

Cox has Minor's size: 6' 215 lbs
I think Cox has Minor's rage hidden within, as well


December 17th, 2009 at 3:18 PM ^

Offensive contributors:

  • Hopkins
  • White
  • 2 of Miller, Robinson, Jackson


  • Wilkins
  • Marvin Robinson
  • Chirstian
  • Johnson
  • Maybe even one of Avery, Grimes, Talbott

Special Teams:

  • Dileo
  • Hagerup


December 17th, 2009 at 3:45 PM ^


otherwise, you play people out of necessity. The more freshman we have playing at other positions, the more concerned I'll be.Assuming true freshman can beat out our flawed returners is wishful thinking. It could happen but its very unlikely for anyone other than top 30-40 recruits nationally.

QB: Gardner may be too good to hold back, but I'm in the minority that thinks he won't beat out DRob and will redshirt.

WR: I don't see Miller helping a lot next year. Outside receiver is reasonably deep too (Stonum, Hemingway, Savoy, Stokes,etc). Someone won't redshirt because theres too many guys in one class, but I doubt they make a major impact.

LB: Furman will be behind Ezeh, Mouton, Fitgerald, Leach and a bunch of others. Redshirt. Furman is not a top 20 national recruit that you'd expect to jump in and make an immediate impact.

CB: I would expect freshman to play out of need, but only as backups. The starters should be Turner and Woolfolk if Cissoko and Warren aren't back. Plus there is JT Floyd.

S: Experience is especially critical at this position. I love Johnson especially as a long-term prospect but I don't know about anyone of them stepping up right away. Maybe Robinson because of talent and EE.


December 17th, 2009 at 9:28 PM ^

The only true freshman that we will clearly need in 2010 is Hagerup. Ideally all the others would redshirt and be able to play as 5th year seniors in 2014, but I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them beat out our flawed veterans, especially in the secondary. I hope the veterans play well enough to keep the true freshmen on the bench.

I hope that we don't burn any of their redshirts just to play them in garbage time or on special teams. The one exception I would make to this is if one of them is a clearly better punt/kick returner than any of the veterans.

Double Nickel BG

December 17th, 2009 at 11:00 PM ^

is not a easy position to play as a freshman. In high school you get guys that A) Are bigger than everyone else and can push people around without using leverage and technique. B) Guys that are really fast and big for the high school level, but need to do alot of bulking up to be able to anchor at the college level.


December 17th, 2009 at 4:53 PM ^

Sorry to rain on your parade but I wouldn't expect much contribution from the true freshmen this year.

I see Will Hagerup at punter, Dileo at punt return, Cullen Christian at db and one or two of the wide receivers (Jackson, Miller or Robinson) and maybe Marvin Robinson contributing. Although I think some of those guys might redshirt as well.

Our team has an established two deep at every position except outside wide receiver and none of our recruits are considered to be "oh my god five star can't miss gods" Even Devin Gardner is reported to need a lot of work and he will be behind Forcier for sure and probably Robinson. Anything different is just wishful thinking.

This is not a bad thing by the way. I don't want true freshman seeing the field. There is a reason OSU didn't have a single player on the all-conference freshman team. They don't play freshman, even redshirts, because they are so stocked with upper class talent. That is where we are going and rightfully so.

Now if you want to talk redshirt freshman, then we have Toussaint, Turner, Gallon, Mike Jones, Hawthorne, Lalota, Lewan, Washington, T. Gordon, C. Gordon, Bell, Gibbons, Schofield not to mention rarely playing sophomores Emelien, Stokes, Teric Jones and Campbell.

My early proposed two deep.
qb-Forcier, D. Robinson
rb-Toussaint, Smith, Shaw
lt tk-Dorrestein, Lewan
lt gd-Schilling, Washington
c-molk, koury
rt gd-Omameh, Ferrara, Barnum
rt tk-Huyge, Lewan, Omameh
slot- Odoms, Roundtree, Gallon
x-wr- Hemingway, Stokes
y-wr-Stonum, ?true freshman or Roundtree

ss-Woolfolk, Emelien
fs- Kovacs, Williams
spinner-Bell, Hawthorne, Jones
WLB-Mouton, Demens, Marvin Robinson?
MLB-Ezeh, Fitzgerald
Quick-Roh, Herron
sde-Martin, Banks,
dt-campbell, sageese
wde-VanBergen, Lalota
cb-Turner, Floyd (Warren)
cb-T. Jones, Christian (Cissoko)