MLive: USA Today projects Michigan at 10-2, MSU at 6-6

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7Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #27 Tarik Black

Tarik Black (image via BCSN)

Name: Tarik Black
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 208 lbs.
High school: Cheshire (CT) Cheshire Academy
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #7
Last year: Black was a senior in high school.
TTB Rating:

Black was a big recruiting win for Michigan out of Connecticut. In the final composite rankings, he was the #17 wide receiver and #118 overall. The Wolverines beat out Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and Notre Dame, among others. He was a U.S. Army All-American and then enrolled early in Ann Arbor. During the spring, he looked like perhaps Michigan’s best receiver, and he was a go-to target, at least against fellow freshman Benjamin St-Juste.

Black looked faster than I expected from him in the spring game, and there are some who think he has looked like Michigan’s top wideout. I can’t see anyone arguing that he’s lower than fourth, which is still pretty solid for a true freshman receiver; personally, I think he’s one of the top two guys on the outside and should start this coming fall. He has good speed and very good size, and he’s a solid route runner. He has been more impressive than superstar classmate Donovan Peoples-Jones, but it’s hard to rank any freshman receiver too highly. After all, Michigan’s best freshman receiver was Mario Manningham in 2005, when he had 27 catches for 433 yards and 6 touchdowns. I don’t think Black’s yards per catch will supersede Manningham’s 16.0, but I expect roughly similar production.

Prediction: 35 catches, 450 yards, 5 touchdowns

7Aug 2017
Blog, homepage 1 comment

2017 Season Countdown: #28 Henry Poggi

Henry Poggi

Name: Henry Poggi
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 257 lbs.
High school: Baltimore (MD) Gilman
Position: Fullback
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #19
Last year: I ranked Poggi #41 and said he would be a part-time starting fullback. He started seven games and ended with 1 carry for 4 yards, plus 6 catches for 45 yards.
TTB Rating: 79

Poggi split fullback time with Khalid Hill in 2016. Poggi was treated as the big, bruising blocker who could kick out defensive ends and trap defensive tackles, while Hill was the guy who would lead on toss sweeps and grab short-yardage carries. I thought Hill played better than Poggi, but somehow the coaching staff still started for half of the season.

Despite Poggi not being an offensive skill weapon, I think he has value to the team because he’s big enough and strong enough to be an effective blocker against bigs. Michigan uses multiple tight ends and sometimes multiple fullbacks at once, and Poggi and Hill are the only two guys ready for that spot this year. The next guy is probably freshman Ben Mason, and after that it drops off to small-ish walk-ons. If Michigan didn’t play Hill ahead of Poggi last year full-time, then I don’t see why that would change going into 2017. I expect another low-key season for Poggi, but he should be a battering ram in the power running game.

Prediction: Part-time starting fullback

6Aug 2017
Blog, homepage 23 comments

Sammy Faustin, Wolverine

Naples (FL) Naples defensive back Sammy Faustin (image via Naples Daily News)

Naples (FL) Naples safety Sammy Faustin committed to Michigan last Wednesday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Arizona, Kentucky, Maryland, UCF, and USF, among others.

Faustin is 6’2″, 190 lbs. He claims a 4.63 forty, a 305 lb. bench, and a 385 lb. squat.

RATINGS
ESPN: N/A
Rivals: 3-star CB
Scout: 3-star, #78 CB, #913 overall
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #74 CB, #734 overall

Hit the jump for more on Faustin’s commitment.

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