Michigan landed a pretty good recruiting class in 2019, ending up at #8 in the 247 Composite rankings. They addressed a lot of needs – especially on the offensive line – and landed a few elite prospects, like Zach Charbonnet, Daxton Hill, and Chris Hinton, Jr.
But recruiting never stops, and now we turn our eyes to the 2020 class. Today I’ll look at the top five positions that need to be addressed. Keep in mind that I am not including players already committed in 2020, because we all know how fleeting and temporary commitments can be.
2019 Depth Chart: Shea Patterson (Sr.), Dylan McCaffrey (RS So.), Joe Milton (RS Fr.), Brandon Peters (RS Jr.), Cade McNamara (Fr.)
What they need: 2. Patterson will be out of eligibility after the 2019 season, and with Peters aging and seemingly low on the depth chart, he is unlikely to be around in 2020. That would leave McCaffrey, Milton, and McNamara on the roster with presumed starter McCaffrey a redshirt junior at that point. Michigan has landed a commitment from J.D. Johnson in the 2020 class, but you probably want to have approximately five quarterbacks on the roster with the understanding that one guy is likely to depart soon for one reason or another.
2019 Depth Chart: Chris Evans (Sr.), Tru Wilson (Sr.), Zach Charbonnet (Fr.), Christian Turner (RS Fr.), Hassan Haskins (RS Fr.)
What they need: 3. Running back will be a very interesting position going forward, for many reasons. Two of the players listed above are seniors, but Evans’s status is up in the air right now as he is currently suspended from the team. There is a possibility that he could sit out 2019 and return in 2020 as a fifth year senior…or he might play in 2019 and run out of eligibility…or he might declare for the NFL’s supplementary draft…or he might transfer. Who knows? Charbonnet projects as a good player, and Turner showed flashes this season, but Haskins has spent some time practicing at linebacker, so this is a very thin depth chart in 2019, let alone 2020.
2019 Depth Chart: Michael Dwumfour (RS Jr.), Carlo Kemp (RS Jr.), Donovan Jeter (RS So.), Chris Hinton (Fr.), Mazi Smith (Fr.), Carl Myers (Sr.)
What they need: 3. This is a very thin depth chart, considering it’s both defensive tackle spots and I had to squeeze in some people who might not belong. First of all, Hinton might be a strongside end instead of a tackle, and Myers is a walk-on. Kemp started his career as a linebacker, moved to defensive end, and bulked up in 2018 to play defensive tackle because he wasn’t going to play much at end. With the top two guys at each spot already redshirt juniors, Michigan needs an influx of players immediately, which is why they’re exploring grad transfer options for 2019. There is a chance that some of the 2019 recruits could eventually play defensive tackle, such as Michael Morris and David Ojabo, but the need is still there.
2019 Depth Chart: Jon Runyan, Jr. (RS Sr.), Jalen Mayfield (RS Fr.), Trente Jones (Fr.)
What they need: 2. My philosophy on tackles is to recruit tackles non-stop and turn the failed ones into guards. Michigan has been guard-heavy at times, and even now starts a non-prototype (Runyan) at left tackle, even though he won some awards in 2018. Runyan will graduate, leaving Mayfield and Jones. I expect Mayfield to get some experience in 2019, but he’s a guy who could take over at right tackle moving forward, too. Get some tackles in the fold and let things filter out by getting the best five guys on the field.
2019 Depth Chart: Sean McKeon (Sr.), Nick Eubanks (RS Jr.), Mustapha Muhammad (RS Fr.), Luke Schoonmaker (RS Fr.), Erick All (Fr.)
What they need: 2. I say this is a need more for talent than numbers. McKeon will graduate, and it will be interesting to see whether Eubanks returns for a fifth year. Meanwhile, the other players in the pipeline are solid, but they may not be what Michigan wants. New offensive coordinator Josh Gattis is more of a spread guy, and it would be nice to land a matchup problem type of athlete. Shea Patterson’s brother, Nick, is already committed in 2020, but he’s not a matchup issue.
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