Who do you think steps up next year?

Submitted by MattisonMan on March 16th, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I'm a little weary of all the articles saying 'some of these guys need to play a big role this year'. I come to the interwebs for OPINIONS and cat-based photoshop, thank you. So I'd like to see what you all expect from each of these guys this season; 'wildcards' if you will.

-Denard Robinson

-Mike Shaw

-Will Campbell

-Anthony LaLota

-JB Fitzgerald

-JT Turner

-Cullen Christian

-Demar Dorsey

-Marvin Robinson

-Vlad Emilien



March 16th, 2010 at 12:23 PM ^

Well stepping up would imply that you're filling the void of someone who left - so it would really only be applicable to RB, DL, and CB.

Since I think we'll have some sort of RB by committee next year, it breaks down to someone on the DL or the defensive backfield.

I'll lean towards RVB or Woolfolk for this answer. I don't think it's logical to expect the younger guys to replace BG or DW.


March 16th, 2010 at 12:45 PM ^

Although a RB-by-committee scenario is probably pretty likely, I really think Shaw is going to break out this season. Injured freshman year and last year, whether lost in the shuffle or just soph slump, underproduced given his talent.

It obviously sucks that V. Smith is out for spring ball, but I have a gut feeling Shaw makes the most out of this opportunity.


March 16th, 2010 at 12:23 PM ^

LB Mike Jones.... somehow he has flown quite low under the radar on this board, much to my surprise... Sorry, I know he wans't on your list, but I am answering the header question.


March 16th, 2010 at 12:25 PM ^

Obi. Book It.

2 years with the same DC. He's shown flashes of brilliance before, I think he takes off.

I really like Roh and RVB also. I think they will be big this year and bigger for us next.


March 16th, 2010 at 12:39 PM ^

While Roh is my favorite player on this team, I think he might stagnate / step back a little bit this year.

Only reason why I say that is because BG is gone and the "sophomore slump".

I really hope he busts out though.


March 16th, 2010 at 12:28 PM ^

I know the past couple of years have left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, and I think for themselves, Michigan, and Coach Rod, everyone is going to step up. I'm gearing up myself, errr!


March 16th, 2010 at 12:34 PM ^

Yeah, if their decision making ever catches up with their physical attributes they will be great. They just somehow always end up in the wrong position and take poor angles. If GERG cleans that up they can definitely be solid contributors and stop a situation where a running back has Jordan Kovacs in between him and the end zone.


March 16th, 2010 at 1:02 PM ^

I know that yours is commentary on Obi and Mouton, but strictly speaking, the problem with Jordan Kovacs wasn't usually when he was between the running back and the endzone. His issues were when the the running back was between him and the endzone, since his gritty white guy speed is only as fast as the smallest of baby seals.


March 16th, 2010 at 2:35 PM ^

I don't think it's critical for Ezeh and Mouton to "step up" and improve their games. If they don't, they'll simply lose their jobs to guys like Fitz, Demens or Bell. I can't believe any one of those three could put up a worse performance than OE and JM last year. Yes, it would be nice to see the light go on for the five-year veterans, but I'm not holding my breath.

Here's my list of key step-up guys:

Van Bergen


March 16th, 2010 at 12:32 PM ^

If you remember last season's UFR's, it always seemed like Mouton would make some really nice +1 plays, but then mental errors would lead to -1 plays that outnumbered his positive plays.
We know he has the athleticism, he was a highly regarded recruit, and I think he is the epitome of the type of player that needs continuity at the Defensive Coordinator spot.
Hopefully I'm right as this is a position of need.


March 16th, 2010 at 12:32 PM ^

I agree with ebb, I expect big things from Obi this year. As bad as he was last year, I think he has a great deal of potential, and working with GERG for a 2nd year (and now serving as LB coach will help).

I also expect Cullen to be the Freshman play of the year for us, he may night start from week 1, but he will see the field and earn a starting job by mid-season, suring up our d-backfield.


March 16th, 2010 at 12:42 PM ^

I don't think he will be Charles Woodson or Marlin Jackson his freshman year but I expect him to be a solid contributor in place of Donovan Warren. This being the case is probably one of the biggest needs for the entire team this upcoming season.


March 16th, 2010 at 12:46 PM ^

I think we'll see a lot from Denard besides the occasional "wildcat" (I know it's not actually a wildcat, but w/e). We need players like him on the field as much as possible. All it takes is one small mistake by a defense and he's in for a TD.

Zone Left

March 16th, 2010 at 12:47 PM ^

One of the QBs needs to take a solid step forward, and Forcier has the shortest distance to go. If the team can stop being a random turnover generator, Michigan will be much improved.

On D, I think the shortest distance to competency is for Will Campbell to become a terror next to Martin. A really solid defensive line that can stuff the run and get to the QB can allow teams to play really safe everywhere else and still have a solid defense. A great example, unfortunately, was USC vs Jon Navarre's Rose Bowl team. They spent the entire game rushing four, and were able to sit back and make Michigan play excellent offense to succeed vice giving them chunks of yards off of blown coverages.


March 16th, 2010 at 12:53 PM ^

We really need our D-Line & Linebacking core to be solid this year. That will help our young secondary quite a bit. A good defense starts in the trenches applying pressure on the QB and having the linebackers being able to step up and stuff the run.

This will take a lot of pressure off our secondary, that will take sometime in the beginning of the season to find some chemistry.

Mouton I see as a Crable type that has good size and athleticism. He needs to make an impact this year and limit stupid mistakes.

Martin is a guy that I like a lot. He has a huge motor and can be a destructive force. I see some BG in him but he needs to play hard on every play. Sometimes he goes through strectches in a game where he goes unnoticed.

I like the depth that we have added over the last couple years but my main concern is inexperience. I think given one more year we will have a solid defense but at this point RR doesn't have that luxury. The Defense itself will make or break our season. Lets hope we see some nice surprises from the incoming freshman.

Go Blue!


March 16th, 2010 at 1:23 PM ^

Talk about a pro-active attack of irreverence! Man, aniticipating the snark and being a bit self deprecating--now THAT does not smack of Michigan Elitism--although in a reverse psychological way--it really does.

I'm waiting to see which one of these guys steps up, and out onto the dance floor wearing wild, nylon pantaloons while he tries to storm the competition on "Dancing With the Stars"--and I think Anthony Lalota has the potential to tango his way to the championship.

Block IVI

March 16th, 2010 at 1:41 PM ^

I had the opportunity to play basketball with Will Campbell a couple of weeks ago. The kid is huge, physical and surprisingly quick. He has the ability to move around people very fluidly and has a surprising burst of speed. He is a fantastic athlete. I wouldn't be surprised if he really stepped it up next year and was able to start full time by the end of the season.