Recruiting Update: July 16, 2018

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15Jul 2018
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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

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

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