2018 Season Countdown: #85 Joe Hewlett

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16Jun 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #85 Joe Hewlett

Joe Hewlett

Name: Joe Hewlett
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 195 lbs.
High school: Northville (MI) Northville
Position: Quarterback
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #27
Last year: I ranked Hewlett #87 and said he would be a backup running back with 1 carry for 3 yards (LINK). He made 4 tackles on special teams.

Hewlett showed his value last season when he played scout team quarterback during the week leading up to the Air Force game. MGoBlue.com says he took over 500 snaps in the week leading up to playing against Air Force’s triple option offense, which makes sense because Michigan doesn’t have any dual-threat quarterbacks. Hewlett was a high school QB who has played safety and running back during his time in Ann Arbor. The coaching staff did find some ways to get him on the field on special teams, where he made 4 tackles.

This year maybe Hewlett can factor in during the week leading up to the Nebraska game, where new head coach Scott Frost values a lot of option principles. But there’s no true triple option offense on the schedule, and his services might not be needed too much in that capacity. He will probably find his way onto the field on special teams at some point, which would be a good reward for a guy who has given five years and has an appreciable amount of talent for a walk-on skill player.

Prediction: Backup running back, special teamer

15Jun 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #86 Joel Honigford

Joel Honigford

Name: Joel Honigford
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 275 lbs.
High school: Sugarcreek (OH) Garaway
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #59
Last year: I ranked Honigford #92 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He redshirted.

Honigford came out of high school at a pretty scrawny 6’6″ and 275 lbs., and so far that weight has not been changed on Michigan’s roster. He was destined for a redshirt last season, which is indeed what happened. Now with a full off-season under his belt, it seems like not much has changed. He has been practicing mostly at offensive guard, where there are a couple fairly entrenched starters in Ben Bredeson and Michael Onwenu. Even if one of those two players stumbles or gets injured, there are more experienced players ready to step in, such as Stephen Spanellis and Jon Runyan, Jr. If Honigford is limited to guard, nothing good happened for him on the roster over the winter, because Michigan’s only losses on the offensive line were center Patrick Kugler, left tackle Mason Cole, and freshman guard Ja’Raymond Hall, who was supposedly a step behind Honigford. I still think Honigford has potential for the future, but for now, he’s a backup.

Prediction: Backup offensive guard

15Jun 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #87 Andrew Vastardis

This is a picture from high school, but I like it. (image via LoCoSports)

Name: Andrew Vastardis
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 305 lbs.
High school: Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge
Position: Center
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #63
Last year: I ranked Vastardis #64 and said he would be a backup offensive guard (LINK). He played on special teams.

Vastardis entered last off-season with a chance to play a backup role as an offensive guard or center. A naturally large gentleman, he turned down an opportunity to play at a lower-level program (Old Dominion) in order to walk on at Michigan. So far that decision has been rewarded with special teams play going into his third season on campus. A lack of lateral mobility and height may relegate him to the center position, where high school All-American Cesar Ruiz currently holds the job. The #2 guy on the depth chart looks to be Stephen Spanellis, who converted from offensive guard last year and played center in the Outback Bowl. That means Vastardis is probably #3 on the depth chart to snap the ball.

Prediction: Backup center

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