2017 Season Countdown: #20 Keith Washington

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14Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #20 Keith Washington

Keith Washington (image via Twitter)

Name: Keith Washington
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 170 lbs.
High school: Prattville (AL) Prattville
Position: Cornerback
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #6
Last year: I ranked Washington #54 and said he would be a backup cornerback. He made 3 tackles.
TTB Rating: 68

Washington entered college in 2015 with very little experience at defensive back. Instead, he was a standout dual-threat quarterback in high school. So the transition from high school QB to college CB was bound to take some time. He looked lost in the 2016 spring game, he got overpowered, he lost contain, and he didn’t look like he knew how to tackle very well. He was sprinkled in on special teams in 2016 and made a few tackles, but he largely went unnoticed.

Fast forward to the 2017 spring game, and everything may have changed. The first thing is that he looked noticeably larger than the 170 lbs. he had been listed at during his first two seasons on campus. Second, he looked like he knew what he was doing. His technique had improved, and he was playing faster. Washington is an example of why some people aren’t too concerned about an inexperienced defense under Don Brown, because a year of experience in a complicated defense can make a huge difference. In Washington’s case, he may have a bit of a breakout season. Hardcore Michigan fans know who he is, but a casual fan may wonder “Where did this guy come from?” when he takes the field this fall. I think Washington will take on a more prominent role, and to my eyes, he looked like the best cover corner on the team in the spring game.

Prediction: Starting cornerback; 20 tackles, 2 interceptions

13Aug 2017
Blog, homepage 61 comments

2017 Season Countdown: #21 Brandon Peters

Brandon Peters (#18, image via MLive)

Name: Brandon Peters
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 216 lbs.
High school: Avon (IN) Avon
Position: Quarterback
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #18
Last year: I ranked Peters #75 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.
TTB Rating: 90

Michigan fans have been desperate for a pro-level quarterback recruit for several years, and that guy finally came in 2016. Some expected an immediate push for playing time, but that was unlikely for a player who played against merely solid competition in high school and didn’t have individual QB training. There was a steep learning curve for Peters, and there were even rumors that he was a bit homesick and considering going back closer to home. The biggest knock on him throughout last season and the spring was a lack of command, for the offense for the team.

Some of those issues still exist, and news came out recently that returning starter Wilton Speight and fifth year senior John O’Korn have separated themselves from the rest of the quarterbacks during fall camp. That comes after a spring in which Peters often looked like the most talented QB on the roster, including in the spring game. I still believe Peters is the more valuable backup puzzle piece, because Michigan needs to groom him for 2017 and beyond. O’Korn will graduate after this season, and he might be the guy who steps in if something happens to Speight. But I think Peters can do a good job, and he needs game experience. The coaching staff needs to get him on the field and see what they have. I have a hard time picturing Peters overtaking Speight either this season or next, but there’s a chance that Speight enters the NFL early or suffers further injury to his shoulder, and Michigan needs to prepare for that possibility.

Prediction: Backup quarterback

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