Do not read if you only care about the next 2 years - Michigan football will be a veteran group. However, due to the disaster class of 2010 and resulting imbalanced classes the 2017 squad could be among the youngest we've seen in a while. Hence the 2015 and 2016 classes will be critical to make 2017 (2018) a success; we need both the correct positions filled, and a great majority of those players to "hit".
Below is a table showing each position and who on the current roster + the six 2015 commits fits into those positions (excluding kickers). As I was doing my position by position analysis for 2015-2016 I unfortunately noticed some serious "donut holes" (i.e. upperclassmen not followed by a bevy of underclassmen) in quite a few spots, bringing up some similar worries to the 2013-2014 OL situation.
Per the MGo depth chart here is how many openings we currently have in each recruiting class (of course there will be attrition to increase the #s) but it showcases the massive departures post 2016.
- 2015: 12 (this assumes both Glasgows and Kerridge get scholarships as they should and accounts for Bosch/Ferns departues) - 6 spots are already filled
- 2016: 17
- 2017: 26(!)
- 2018: 18
Put another way 43 (17+26) current scholarship players will use up eligibility by the end of 2016. That's 50% of the roster - and it's not far away. Hence a very young 2017 squad. Normally it would be something closer to 38-42%.
Again reverse engineering:
- A 2015 recruit will be either be a true JR or RS SO in 2017 - that's fine, but currently we only have room for 12 of them and 1 is a kicker.
- A 2016 recruit will be either a true SO or RS FR in 2017, not ideal for front line starter especially for line play or places like safety.
So a lot of the 2015 and 2016 recruits will be playing in 2017 with those class designations just due to vacancies.
|FB||1||Above Ave||W. Shallman|
|WR||6||Average||J. Dukes, R. Douglas, F. Canteen,|
|D. Harris, M. Ways, B. Cole|
|TE||2||Above Ave||K. Hill, I. Bunting|
|OT||5||Average||M. Cole, C. Fox, LTT, JBB, G. Newsome|
|OG||3||Above Ave||D. Dawson, D. Samuelson, J. Runyan|
|C||1||Above Ave||P. Kugler|
|NT||2||Urgent||B. Mone, B. Pallante|
|DE||2||Urgent||H. Poggi, L. Marshall|
|LB||4||Above Ave||M. McCray, C. Winovich, N. Furbush,|
|CB||3||Above Ave||R. Dawson, J. Peppers, B. Watson|
Surprising areas of concern - DTs and RBs.
- I've been in the camp that this class is so small we don't need a RB. I was wrong. We have 1 - count him - 1 RB on the roster for 2017. You need 3 to account for injuries and competition. Due to small class size can only take 1 this year but we probably need 2 next year to account for 1 of those 3 not "hitting".
- Our DTs are loaded for 2015-2016. But they almost all go away by end of 2016. For some reason we were not recruiting this position under Hoke for the 2015 class. (Swim lanes Brady! Swim lanes!) Do we really want RS FR or true SO starters on the interior of the line? It's not ideal - we've been overpowered there so often the past 2 years. We need a 2015 DT who will be a true JR or RS SO in 2017. And the 2016 class of DTs - probably 3 of them - will be primary backups even as true SO or RS FR. This all assumes Mone doesn't blow up the next 2 years and goes pro. In that case, well it gets worse.
Major areas of concern - S and DE, CB*
- No surprise on the DEs. With the misses of Hand, McDowell (who is probably more of a DT down the road), and now Roseboro we are thin in 2015 (4 DEs on roster), and very thin in 2016 (3). An urgent need for both the 2015 AND 2016 recruiting classes.
- S is scary. Again boggling why we stopped recruiting Montae Nicholson. At this point Kinnel is starting in 2017 no matter how good he is and his running mate at the other S is a blank space. If we don't have room for a 2nd safety in 2015 it will be a true SO or RS FR from 2016's class next to Kinnel - ugh. Assuming Kinnel is not a miss. And those 2 guys will be backed up by solely class of 2016 guys in 2017. The first solution coming to mind is "convert some corners" - well we don't have any to convert - we are thin at corner too!
- CB* - I am placing this here because of the increased reliance on 3 CB defensive sets... and Peppers. If Peppers leaves for the NFL you basically have 2 CBs - Brandon Watson and Reon Dawson. For 3 spots (incl a nickelback). That math doesn't work. We need 5 to account for flameouts and injuries. We will be young herein 2017 - again.
Hate to say it but some attrition in the next few weeks would do the balance of the depth chart between years some good in the long term.
Ignoring names here is what is most urgent in the 2015 class in the remaining 6 slots. I am creating an "up to" 9 slots for an "up to" 15 person class, assuming "up to"3 attritions from here. I mean we are not going to say no to Clark and TE is a need but in the big picture unfortunately we have needs even greater than TE (not that TE is not a need, we only have 2 of those in 2017)
- S #2 (S #1 is Kinnel)
- DE #1 (was Roseboro)
- DT #1
- CB #1 (was Taylor or Crawford)
- RB #1 (was Weber)
- LB #1 (was Kirkland Jr)
- CB #2 (was Taylor or Crawford)
- DE #2
- Best available player - Clark
*No room for a 2nd OG - this means Dawson, Samuleson Runyan are your only choices for 2 starters in 2017 unless we have a RS FR starting from the 2016 class. Not preferred.
*No room for a 2nd LB to provide competition and account for injuries and flameouts. So the 2016 LBs - true SO or RS FR will be at minimum key backups. People want to convert Furbush to fix the DE issue but we have a LB issue too - 4 guys for 3 slots.
*No room for a center so if Kugler is a flameout or is hurt not sure what we do here - you would normall say "convert a guard" but we only will have 3 of those so it's a class of 2016 RS FR or true SO backing up Kugler.
*No room for a FB on a manball team. In theory you could get a walkon in 2015 but for now it's Shallman backed up by a class of 2016 FB in 2017.
The curse of the 2010 class continues to haunt us.