MICHIGAN - What spring position battles are you most interested in?

Submitted by Mr. Yost on January 13th, 2015 at 9:33 AM

Post any updates here...or don't, I'm taking back our board!



January 13th, 2015 at 9:43 AM ^

Yes, but what about Ohio State, Penn State's restored victories, Urban's tatoo, Cardale Jone's thoughts on turning pro, tear gas in C-Bus, etc.  There are so many topics to discuss, why waste our time discussing Michigan Football?

/s  <--- in case you didn't get this.


Thanks Yost for trying to restore sanilty.


January 13th, 2015 at 9:38 AM ^

Obvioulsy QB is a big one but I am interested in how the secondary plays out.  We have a lot of starz back there, we just need some players to break through. 


January 13th, 2015 at 9:58 AM ^

I understand the fear about the returning QB's, but I think that too many people in our fanbase have become numb to the horror that is starting a true freshman QB.  Even an elite caliber talent will struggle at times in that scenario.  At a best case scenario you are looking at a freshman Henne type who looked like a deer in headlights in several losses that season.  I am not ready to write off next season as a step to the future, so I would rather roll the dice on a kid with a year or two of college experience.  


January 13th, 2015 at 10:20 AM ^

QB is the obvious choice, but thing about QB is, I think the QB issue is the OC's problem.  Harbaugh will know what he has, and you can't win by giving the position more than it can handle.  So the QB competition might just turn out to be a formality, with Harbaugh spending more time figuring out how to get production out of Morris.

I went back and looked at a few Stanford games and while all eyes were on Luck, their RBs were very, very disciplined.  Our RBs have been inconsistent and spotty, but we have a lot of them, and with Isaac now eligible to get a shot I think Harbaugh is going to run them through a Thunderdome to see who wins the honor of toting the rock.

But the key thing will NOT be a grab-and-go RB.  Stanford didn't work that way.  Their RBs made the PLAY go.  The way their tailback sold the counter in the second half against VT was a thing of beauty, and pass pro will be a must as well.  I honestly don't know who's up to be a Harbaugh tailback what with running IZ last season, so this will be more interesting to watch.


January 13th, 2015 at 9:44 AM ^

in that order.

I'm very interested to see the OL with the all-new coaching staff and theor pedigree of excellence.

Interested also to see how Johnson slots in later after his recovery (if at all), and Green vs. Isaac.

But QB should be fun. 


January 13th, 2015 at 10:55 AM ^

I think between an improved OL, RB competition, and possession-based receivers with a couple of real good looking TE's, we can have a very competent QB without having to resort to gunslinging. It's going to be fun to see guys let it all hang out in competition. No-one anointed. Competition at its best.

Spring is going to be high-energy and fun. 


January 13th, 2015 at 9:48 AM ^

The OL was starting to come together last season and we need guys to step up at the skill postions now.  Someone needs to take RB postion and a couple of the WR's will need to break out.


January 13th, 2015 at 9:58 AM ^

1)   Starting Quarterback /   Back-up quarterback /   3rd-string quarterback

2)   RT - Either Magnuson or Braden

3)   Ty Isaac -  Is he legit?

4)   SS - Someone has to step up and take control of the #1 spot

5)   WDE - Marshall - ready to rotate as the #2 behind Taco  (otherwise, who?)

6)   #1-#3 WR -   Dorbah/Chason/Cole all show up and ready to contribute

Wolverine 73

January 13th, 2015 at 9:59 AM ^

Well, QB obviously, but with both DEs leaving, and with several guys who have played DL quite a lot but not yet become stars (except maybe Glasgow who seemed pretty consistent), I am interested in seeing which four surface as the primary guys and whether anyone busts out this year and becomes a star.  And OL and safety and WR and RB. 


January 13th, 2015 at 10:00 AM ^

Quarterback for sure. I think Speight emerges. Running Back should interesting are we going with running back by committee or one featured back. I think its a coin flip between Green and Issac or Drake Johnson coming off ACL surgery.


January 13th, 2015 at 10:03 AM ^

I'll be interested to see what WR's emerge as primary guys. I'm also interested to see if Drake Harris is healthy enough to play this season. I think there is more than enough depth in this position but a lot of unknowns. I'd like to see Darboh, Chesson, Norfleet and Canteen become big targets.


January 13th, 2015 at 10:05 AM ^

I feel like in order of importance those are the three. QB obviously we need someone to step up and at least be average.


WR - Last year I did not see our receivers getting much separation or being wide open very often. This will be critical to help take some of the burden off a new QB. Can Drake Harris get healthy? 


RB - I feel like this position is too loaded to not have someone step up and be a major factor that other teams have to gameplan for.

Last of the Me…

January 13th, 2015 at 10:07 AM ^

I am most interested in QB. Looking to see improvement and hopefully a clear leader at the position. Poor QB play can really put a damper on the season. I am also interested in RB. We should have some good competition there and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top


January 13th, 2015 at 10:09 AM ^

Right now, far and away I think the most interesting question is what happens at quarterback, probably followed next by wide receiver. If I thought about building a very preliminary depth chart right now, I think those might be the two positions I would be more afraid to project than anything else. Perhaps running back as well because we're going to see scheme changes and for all we know someone different might excel in a revised scheme. 


January 13th, 2015 at 10:13 AM ^

I've sort of assumed that alot of the battles would be fairly clear, as we'll have a small incoming class and aren't losing that many players. This thread is making me realize how much is up in the air. I think what I'm interested in seeing is how much Harbaugh (HARBAUGH!!) and staff shake things up. Whether any players come out of nowhere to be starting at Utah.I think we're all assuming that the offense will be similar to the Stanford O, and not fundamentally different from last year (e.g., not a Kapernick-type attack), but I'm not so sure of anything at this point. Harbaugh (HAR-to-the-BAUGH!1!) may change things up unexpectedly based on what he and the staff see when they get to Spring.

I do think they'll put us in the best position to succeed. I have no idea what that is. They may not either, yet, particularly on offense.


January 13th, 2015 at 10:13 AM ^

I want to see what Isaac can do at the RB spot as I see him as the starter for next season. I also want to see if Green can grow into the power back he looks like he could be - and will need to be to run in the offense Harbaugh has run in the past.

At WR, I want to see if Canteen/Harris/Ways can make a splash opposite Darboh, as I don't see Norfleet or Chesson being that #2 guy.

Mr Miggle

January 13th, 2015 at 10:25 AM ^

due to players graduating. QB and DE fit in that category. I'm interested in two that weren't really resolved last season, RB and SS. Are one of the previous contenders going to step up or will we see a new face take over?. 


January 13th, 2015 at 10:39 AM ^

I have a slightly differnt take on what happens in the Spring. Instead of straight up position battles between players I wonder to what degree this coaching staff challenges players to compete against the wall within. I know that you want to leave Spring with a depth chart and the position battles happen - but I'd be interested to know how Coach Harbaugh will use the Spring to find competitors and grinders.


January 13th, 2015 at 10:40 AM ^

QB, QB, QB, QB. If we get solid play from that position, I think our season will exceed some expectations, but if not, we are looking at 7 maybe 8 wins. 

It will also be interesting to see who emerges as the number one receiver and running back. I guess my theme here is that I think overall our D will be fine, but our O has some question marks. 

the Glove

January 13th, 2015 at 11:02 AM ^

QB- way to many people are counting Morris out.

RB-No clue who takes this.

DBs-can Peppers take a spot from the upper classmen? I think so.

Safeties-will this tire fire ever end?


January 13th, 2015 at 11:11 AM ^

I think Morris will win the job but that competition will be fierce. I say RB bc there's so many bodies but I don't think it'll matter who the "starter" is. All 5 will see snaps with Green, Smith, and Ty probably seeing the most. And can Norfleet keep his job? Or will we see Peppers step back into punt returner? Maybe kick returner too? Maybe someone else emerges.


January 13th, 2015 at 11:16 AM ^

There are going to be some good battles for spots because despite our woes, we actually return a good amount of (untapped) talent. For example:

RB - a decent RB behind a good OL is going to be very productive. A great RB behind a good OL can be a game changer. Fortunately, for the first time in years, I expect that we will have a good to very good OL. The talent is there, and hopefully Drevno and Harbaugh can maximize it. So, who will run behind this good line? I expect it to be Isaacs, with green getting a lot of reps both as the thunder back and in two back sets. This could he a position of reL strength.

WR - despite horrible QB play, Darboh turned into a productive receiver in the 2nd half of the season. Expect that to continue. We also have some talented young receivers in Canteen, Ways and Harris. And don't forget about Little Fleetwood in the slot, and Chesson (who could benefit from some better technique coaching). There are a lot of options, so hopefully 2-3 emerge.

TE - we all know that Harbaugh loves him some TE-type players. I expect Butt to lock down the #1 role, but I actually think that we might see more of Shallman. He is kind of a forgotten man on the roster but he can run, catch and has the size to block. I expect him to emerge as a regular contributor. Also, perhaps an increased role for Hill?

OL - this should get interesting. With another year of growth, I can see Cole being a really solid LT with Mags taking RT (lefty QB so this might be a more important spot). As for the interior, with Kali's, Glasgow and Miller returning, if the coaching is there, we could have a really good line. Alternatively, Braden could possibly hold off Mags at RT if he improves.

Finally QB. I know we are all down on Shane but I am not giving up. Poor kid missed his senior HS year with mono, then spent two years learning completely different systems under Borges and Nuss. Even Devin, an elite athlete and potentially great QB crumbled under the Borges / Nuss translation. If Harbaugh can work his magic, Shane could really start to reach his potential.

That's my tl;dr take on the offensive spots. Defense coming in a few minutes in a separate response.


January 13th, 2015 at 12:36 PM ^

QB is the obvious one, but who comes out at WR is very interesting to me.  All the RBs will get some run this year, but a couple of players who can catch the ball effectively will be huge for this team.


January 13th, 2015 at 12:38 PM ^


QB is going to be important, but this offense is going to depend on the OL. If we get the improvement I suspect from the OL, we can win a lot of games with an average QB. Anything better than average is gravy.

If we get an OL that plays at last season's level, we will need greatness out of the QB position just to win 8-9 games. Interestingly, that's what I thought we would get last season: average OL, hit or miss running game, great Gardner, and 9-10 wins.

I hate having to depend on one player so much, as we've done since Coach Rod took over. Great QBs like Denard are amazing to watch and will win you a lot of games, but they are few and far in between. Give me a Stanford/Wiaconsin offense that can win you some games with just average QB. I think that is what we'll have here.


January 13th, 2015 at 1:10 PM ^

WIth a new set of coaches that are going to start fresh with their own eyes, it will be interesting to see who the 1s and 2s are across all 11 positions.  I wouldn't be surprised if there's major shuffling on the O-line.  Kugler, Dawson, and others may thrive with Drevno as the coach.


January 13th, 2015 at 1:25 PM ^

1.  QB

2. QB

3. Harbaugh versus the QBs

I really think every other position is at least serviceable.  The QB position is a huge concern.  I believe the QB position is ultimately what led to Hoke’s poor performance.