2017 Breakout players

Submitted by Duval Wolverine on July 5th, 2017 at 9:30 AM

With less than 60 days left before Michigan football is back, who do you think will be a standout player this season that comes out of nowhere?  Chesson was one I considered in 2015, especially towards the end of the year, and K. Hill last year.  

I say the breakout player on offense will be Bunting and Keith Washington on defense.



July 5th, 2017 at 1:55 PM ^

Crawford and Hudson were my picks, but what is crazy is there will so many new guys contributing, almost everyone will be breaking out in some form. Right know the coaches don't even know who the starters are going to be. The offense has the greatest unknowns if you ask me. Who is the starting QB?. What is the starting o-line?. What is the rotation in the back field?. Anyone who thinks they know can jump in and help because I have no clue as far as the offense. Starting defense is set except for the corners so will see. I also think Furbush contibutes greatly this year playing both the viper and Mike. The Defense will shine and to that I have no doubt. I have faith in the coaches to find the fit for our o-line and we have the size and talent to do well. Just like last year lets see what the QB can do against the top teams. That is where I would like to see a break out season. You hearing me Speight or Peters. It is there for the taking and if one of you can deliver this teams potential is unreal. There is major talent everywhere and at least two deep.


July 5th, 2017 at 9:37 AM ^

I think it's really easy to say one of the WRs will, just because so much production has to be replaced. So with that, I will say Kekoa Crawford. 

My gut though... I'm going to go with Devin Bush. I really like his style, and think Don Brown will utilize his speed well.


July 5th, 2017 at 3:36 PM ^

of a breakout because he played a lot last year, but on defense I think it will be Winovich. I think he has a monster year in sacks, TFL and being tough against the run. I think he really makes a name for himself.

On offense I think Black will have a big year. Thought he looked great in the Spring game, seemed to have a good grasp on the offense already. He ran good routes and has great hands. I could see him developing into our #1 WR.

the real hail_yes

July 5th, 2017 at 9:40 AM ^

Seems like Gary is too obvious to be a breakout candidate, but he would be my choice if allowed...

If not, I'm going with Winovich. He was incredibly disruptive in limited snaps last year and will get a chance to make a name for himself this season


July 5th, 2017 at 9:53 AM ^

Tarik Black and David Long.

I have a feeling we're going to see a deep rotation on both sides of the ball, giving many players a chance to make big plays and move into starting roles by the end of the season.

Perkis-Size Me

July 5th, 2017 at 9:58 AM ^

Some of these will be obvious, but some are just wild guesses:


Gary - because obvious. He will be the cornerstone of the defense for the next two years at least. He will become the bane of any and all QB's existence.

Hurst - we know what he can do, but he's a breakout because now he finally gets a chance to be a starter. He and Gary are going to wreak havoc together this Fall. 

Bush - the upgrade in athleticism at the LB position will be very apparent when Bush steps on the field. 

Long - hope to see great things from him. Need someone in the secondary to step up with everyone that's left. 

Hudson - he won't be Peppers, but he doesn't have to be. 


Black - I think DPJ will be the more complete player when their careers at UM are both said and done, but right now, I think Black has the bigger impact. He'll be used a ton in red zone situations due to his size, so I think he'll reel in somewhere between 5-7 TDs on the year. 

Evans - he showed what he can do last Fall. He's fast and shifty. Now he is "the guy," and with him putting on an extra 10-15 lbs of muscle, if he can break a few more tackles here and there, he'll be pretty darn good. I don't know if he'll reach 1000 yards just because there are a lot of horses in the RB stable this Fall, but he will be Harbaugh's go-to. 

Bredeson/Onwenu - this is what I'm really hoping for. If anyone on the offense breaks out, I pray it be on the OL. Bredeson and Onwenu getting their feet wet last year will help them a lot this year, and they both have a ton of potential. If they both start playing up to that potential, we'll finally have a run game we can lean on in those big games that get tight in the 4th quarter. That was the big difference between 10-2 and 12-0 last Fall. 

Snake Oil Steve

July 5th, 2017 at 11:45 AM ^

If we want to be national title contenders in 2018 Bredeson and Onwenu need to progress and be on track for elite/near-elite interior O-Line play next year. Both are entirely capable of getting there, but time will tell how this year goes. I'm not discounting our chances of making the Playoffs this year, but the Buckeyes still have the talent edge (until next year when the team is fully Harbaughized) and trips to Madison and Happy Valley, while they don't scare me, will be tricky. Will be difficult for such a young team to run the table in those 3 games.

On defense, I think Chase Winovich has a breakout year. His production last year (5 sacks in limited PT) was outstanding. Hudson will also be a force, but first year PT will see some hiccups.


July 5th, 2017 at 9:59 AM ^

I hope the true freshman D lineman are not liabilities. I'm not really expecting any of them to "break out", just hopefully not go backwards while the starters are taking rests.

As far as a real break out, I think Ian Bunting is going to put up some good numbers. I also think we'll see a lot of good things from the RB's this season.


July 5th, 2017 at 10:21 AM ^

I'll go with the wildly un-sexy guesses of the truly under-valued: Nordin / Robbins. Without excellent special teams and field position, we wouldn't have the success we did last year. Here's to hoping that tradition continues this year!


July 5th, 2017 at 10:21 AM ^

Chris Evans; however, in order for it to come to fruition Bredeson and/or Onwenu will also have to breakout. Based on what I saw last year, Evans is very capable of supplanting Barkley as the best back in the big ten.

Perkis-Size Me

July 5th, 2017 at 12:30 PM ^

That's a tall order. Barkley is the one guy on PSU's offense who's game I legitimately have to respect, even though Michigan has completely shut him down the last two years. I'm guessing that even if Evans rushes for over 1000 this Fall, Barkley will still get the accolades. Part of that is because he is their primary weapon, whereas Evans can be spelled by Higdon, Isaac, Walker, etc. Barkley is the bell cow, and we're still for now in a "RB by committee" mode. 


July 5th, 2017 at 10:26 AM ^

Are going to get some burn.  The fact that Myers and Robo get mentioned makes me think DBush will have an average year, and is maybe one more year away from fully understanding the position and being an all Big Ten type player. 


July 5th, 2017 at 10:31 AM ^

Offense: Runyan, I think he wins the RT job coming out of camp.

Defense: Washington, would like to see him lock down a starting CB position.  Has the length, listed at 6'1" that coaches like at the CB position.

Wildcard:  Drake Harris, hope the move to CB works out. 


July 5th, 2017 at 10:44 AM ^

On offense: Nico, Dpj, and Peters.

Nico: betweenness Oliver and Nico, our WR coming in late, Nico seems like the guy who is going to see all the talk about DPJ and Black and take it as a challenge of his identity.

DPJ: NFL ready body with elite talent. Does he push as hard on the field as he does to be a doctor? Only time will tell.

Peters: Wilton had a very good year minus the last three games/injury at Iowa. However, Peters has shown in the testing and at the spring game that he has a much higher ceiling. These next 65 days will tell us if I am correct, or flawed in my thinking.

Defense: Hudson and Hill

Hudson: the new viper in a position created for him were Peppers was a super athlete filling a hole. He will strike people down.

Hill: freak athlete that the top tear schools wanted. Great skills on the ball and in coverage. Can he tackle consistently? The next big Michigan CB? Long could go here for the same reasons plus length.

HM: Walker, TW Jr., Winovich...