2018 Season Countdown: #46 Lawrence Marshall

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14Jul 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #46 Lawrence Marshall

Lawrence Marshall (#93, image via MLive)

Name: Lawrence Marshall
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 268 lbs.
High school: Southfield (MI) Southfield
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #93
Last year: I ranked Marshall #61 and said he would be a backup defensive tackle (LINK). He made 5 tackles and 1 fumble recovery.
TTB Rating: 72

Marshall had a chance last season to step up at defensive tackle last season, and he . . . sort of did. A converted defensive end, Marshall hasn’t shown the same explosiveness he displayed in high school, so Michigan bulked him up and made him an interior guy. He has 11 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in four years on campus, and it looked like he might not return for a fifth year. However, he stuck around through the spring, and reports were generally positive. He’s not developing into a star, but he’s developing nonetheless.

I contemplated putting Marshall below Donovan Jeter, but Marshall has the experience and isn’t coming off an injury. I have to think the coaching staff offered to bring him back for a fifth year for a reason. They didn’t want him to come back just so he can waste away on the sideline and eat up a scholarship, so I expect Marshall to play. Maybe he’ll be the second 3-tech, or maybe he’ll be #3. Either way, I expect him to be a rotation guy and get a decent amount of playing time behind Michael Dwumfour and perhaps others.

Prediction: Backup defensive tackle

14Jul 2018
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Visitors: 2018 BBQ at the Big House

Tulsa (OK) Booker T. Washington S Daxton Hill (image via Pistols Firing)

Here’s an early look at the expected visitors for the upcoming BBQ at the Big House. I’m sure this list will change in the coming weeks, since the BBQ isn’t scheduled until the final week of July.

2019

Erick All – TE – Fairfield (OH) Fairfield: All is committed to Michigan (LINK).

Zach Carpenter – OG – Cincinnati (OH) Moeller: Carpenter is committed to Michigan (LINK).

Isaiah Foskey – TE – Concord (CA) De La Salle: Foskey is a 6’5″, 240 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Penn State, UCLA, and USC, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #5 tight end, and #177 overall. He was offered as a freshman by the Michigan staff, and he attends the alma mater of former Michigan tight end Devin Asiasi (who transferred to UCLA after one season in Ann Arbor).

Daxton Hill – S – Tulsa (OK) Booker T. Washington: Hill is a 6’0″, 187 lb. prospect with offers from virtually every big-time program in the country. He’s a 5-star, the #1 safety, and #8 overall. His crystal ball picks are 80% in favor of Oklahoma. UPDATE: Hill is no longer planning to visit for the BBQ.

Jamal Hill – S – Morrow (GA) Morrow: Hill is a 6’2″, 190 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, and Pitt, among others. He’s a 3-star, the #66 safety, and #870 overall. As a junior in 2017, he made 67 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, and 16 pass breakups.

Hit the jump for several more visitors.

read more

13Jul 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #47 Jaylen Kelly-Powell

Jaylen Kelly-Powell (#16, image via Zimbio)

Name: Jaylen Kelly-Powell
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 173 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Position: Safety
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #16
Last year: I ranked Kelly-Powell #66 and said he would be a backup safety and special teamer (LINK). He made 2 tackles.
TTB Rating: 77

Kelly-Powell was a freshman last season with an undefined position. Was he a safety, a cornerback, or a nickel? Michigan tried him everywhere in the defensive backfield to see where he fit best. Ultimately, they decided he probably had the best chance of contributing at the nickel corner position. He’s one of those tweeners who doesn’t have the speed/athleticism to be great at corner, and he’s not physical enough – at least not yet – to be a safety.

This year not much has changed in the defensive backfield, except Utah transfer Casey Hughes has entered the fold as a potential contributor at safety or nickel. Spring reports were positive about Kelly-Powell, though, and some observers said he looked excellent. I’m skeptical of spring practice reports without seeing evidence of it myself, but there were some who said Kelly-Powell will force his way onto the field somewhere. The problem is it’s a loaded defensive backfield, and there aren’t enough positions to get all the good players on the field. The four starters (David Long, Lavert Hill, Tyree Kinnel, Josh Metellus) all return, along with highly touted corner Ambry Thomas and experienced veteran Brandon Watson. Then you have Hughes, big-hitting J’Marick Woods, and a whole cadre of freshmen.

Prediction: Backup nickel corner

13Jul 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #48 Camaron Cheeseman

Camaron Cheeseman (#33, image via Denver Post)

Name: Camaron Cheeseman
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 225 lbs.
High school: New Albany (OH) Gahanna Lincoln
Position: Long snapper
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #38
Last year: I ranked Cheeseman #85 and said he would be the backup long snapper (LINK). He started at long snapper.
TTB Rating: N/A

Cheeseman got to Michigan in 2016 and redshirted, even when starting long snapper Scott Sypniewski got hurt. Andrew Robinson replaced Sypniewski, so I assumed Cheeseman would continue to be a backup, only to Robinson.

That turned out not to be the case, as Cheeseman started all year long. So I assume Cheeseman will once again be the starter in 2018, but you never know with these types of things. Off-season insider reports weren’t brimming with news about the long snapper competition. Either way, Robinson has experience and should be okay if Cheeseman isn’t. Usually I rank the starting long snapper a little higher, but I think Michigan has two pretty solid guys.

Prediction: Starting long snapper

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