2018 Season Countdown: #42 J'Marick Woods

    J'Marick Woods (image via Twitter)

    Name: J'Marick Woods
    Height: 6'3"
    Weight: 203 lbs.
    High school: Florence (AL) Florence
    Position: Safety
    Class: Sophomore
    Jersey number: #26
    Last year: I ranked Woods #54 and said he would be a backup safety and special teamer (LINK). He made one start and totaled 9 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss for the year.
    TTB Rating: 80

    For a first-year safety at Michigan, Woods had a solid season. Safety is not an easy position to play as a true freshman when the game is moving quickly, the defense gets more complicated, and you have to communicate so much with your teammates while processing everything the opposing team is doing. Luckily for Woods (and Michigan), there were a couple more veteran guys to handle the majority of the snaps, while Woods was able to sit back and learn. He played spot duty before earning a start in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina.

    This year Woods is roughly in the same spot as last season, but with an extra year of experience under his belt. Starting safeties Josh Metellus and Tyree Kinnel return, and so does utility man Jaylen Kelly-Powell, who has earned a lot of off-season hype. The safeties were the weak spot of the defense last season, however, and Woods could supplant someone like Metellus if he's unable to improve on his performance from last year. Woods is known as a big hitter, but he needs to work on his coverage before becoming a full-time player. And once Kinnel graduates after the 2018 season, Woods could step into a starting role in 2019.

    Prediction: Backup safety, special teamer

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    2018 Season Countdown: #43 Kekoa Crawford

    Kekoa Crawford

    Name: Kekoa Crawford
    Height: 6'2"
    Weight: 195 lbs.
    High school: Rancho Santa Margarita (CA) Catholic
    Position: Wide receiver
    Class: Junior
    Jersey number: #1
    Last year: I ranked Crawford #13 and said he would be a starting receiver with 40 catches for 520 yards and 3 touchdowns (LINK). He made 17 catches for 243 yards and 1 touchdown; he also returned 8 kickoffs for 139 yards (17.4 yards/return).
    TTB Rating: 81

    As you can see, Crawford dropped significantly on the countdown from 2017 to 2018, from #13 down to #43. And that was before he left the team to pursue greener pastures elsewhere. Crawford played a lot last season, especially after starting wide receiver Tarik Black went down with a foot injury midway through the year. Crawford's numbers look okay for a #3 or #4 receiver for a whole season, but he was expected to do more and never seemed to mesh with any of the three quarterbacks who saw game action.

    This year Tarik Black and Donovan Peoples-Jones are both expected to be starters, and they're a year older. Meanwhile, Nico Collins saw more action late in the year, Grant Perry is a senior, and Oliver Martin is coming off a redshirt. The arrow seemed to be trending down for Crawford. I still think he has talent and could have been a decent contributor at Michigan if he stuck around, but with only 2018 and 2019 remaining, he was destined to be overshadowed by Black and Peoples-Jones, if not others.

    Prediction: None; he transferred

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    MLive: Maxwell and Bednarik Award watch lists released

    The Maxwell Award watch list (LINK) and the Bednarik Award watch list (LINK) have been released, with multiple Michigan players on each list.

    Hit the jump for some beautiful ladies.

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    2018 Season Countdown: #44 Oliver Martin

    Oliver Martin (image via MLive)

    Name: Oliver Martin
    Height: 6'1"
    Weight: 198 lbs.
    High school: Coralville (IA) West
    Position: Wide receiver
    Class: Redshirt freshman
    Jersey number: #2
    Last year: I ranked Martin #62 and said he would be a backup slot receiver (LINK). He redshirted.
    TTB Rating:

    Last year I expected Martin to play without being a huge factor on the field, but he was the lone receiver from the 2017 class not to play. Injuries were a part of that. He wasn't totally healthy throughout the year, and Michigan's need at slot receiver wasn't huge.

    Hype for Martin has increased this off-season, and he should find a decent chunk of playing time. One piece of evidence is that rumors were floating around that incumbent slot receiver Grant Perry was exploring transfer options. Perry opted to stay and will almost surely play a large role, but he's hearing footsteps. Furthermore, Michigan lost Maurice Ways, Drake Harris, and Kekoa Crawford since last season, and the only replacement in the 2018 class was Ronnie Bell. Ways and Harris barely played, and Crawford was a disappointment, but there's still room for someone to take some snaps that were vacated. I don't expect Martin to be heavily targeted, but I think he'll be an enticing option for the future and we should get a glimpse of what Michigan will have in store when Perry graduates.

    Prediction: Backup slot receiver; 10 catches for 110 yards and 1 TD

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    Recruiting Update: July 16, 2018

    Frankfort (KY) Western Hills RB Wandale Robinson


    Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy offensive tackle Chris Akporoghene committed to Tennessee.

    Hogansville (GA) Callaway offensive guard Keiondre Jones committed to Auburn.

    Orange (CA) Lutheran tight end Ethan Rae committed to USC.

    Hit the jump for more.

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    Football Study Hall: Mike Norvell's TE-inclusive spread offense

    Ian Boyd talks about Mike Norvell from Memphis and how he uses the tight end in the spread offense (LINK).

    Hit the jump for a good looking woman named Elizabeth Loaiza.

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    2018 Season Countdown: #45 Will Hart

    Will Hart (image via Twitter)

    Name: Will Hart
    Height: 6'3"
    Weight: 196 lbs.
    High school: Hunting Valley (OH) University School
    Position: Punter
    Class: Redshirt sophomore
    Jersey number: #17
    Last year: I ranked Hart #84 and said he would be a backup punter. He punted 13 times for 490 yards (37.7 yards/punt) with 1 touchback, 5 fair catches, and 6 punts inside the 20-yard line.
    TTB Rating: N/A

    Last season was an odd year for punters at Michigan. Michigan brought in freshman Brad Robbins late in the recruiting cycle, and he was expected to be the guy. However, Robbins struggled. Michigan didn't let strong-legged Quinn Nordin pull double-duty as the kicker and punter. So they turned to Hart, who was very inconsistent. At times he hit some decent punts, but he never averaged over 40 yards/punt in any contest throughout the year, and his 37.7 yards/punt average for the entire season was less than stellar. (It would have been last in the Big Ten if he had enough punts to qualify.)

    This year I expect Robbins to be the guy, and he averaged 40.4 yards/punt (#11 in the Big Ten). However, he has not proven to be consistent enough to ward off Hart permanently, and it might be important for Hart to give Robbins competition and keep him on his toes. There's a chance Hart won't punt a single ball this year, but based on last season, this is still a question mark for the Wolverines.

    Prediction: Backup punter

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