Review of 2018 Season Predictions

Tag: Rashan Gary


10Jan 2019
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Review of 2018 Season Predictions

Nico Collins (image via MGoBlue)

I always like to look back at my predictions for the previous season to see how well I judged the year beforehand. Here’s the link to my 2018 Season Predictions (and the comments): LINK.

LEADING RUSHER
Prediction: Karan Higdon, 1100 yards
Actual: Higdon, 1178 yards
Thoughts: Higdon was about as effective as I thought he would be, although he would have ended up with more yardage if he didn’t miss one regular season game (due to injury) and then the bowl game (due to selfishness). I was surprised he was named First Team All-Big Ten, but there were some other backs in the conference who were not as effective as I thought they would be.

LEADING RECEIVER
Prediction: Donovan Peoples-Jones, 750 yards
Actual: Nico Collins, 632 yards
Thoughts: Collins had a breakout season, going from 3 catches for 27 yards in 2017 to leading the team in receiving yardage (and being #2 in receptions) in 2018. Peoples-Jones was just behind Collins by a mere 20 yards and led the team in receptions (47), but Collins was the big downfield target.

LEADING TACKLER
Prediction: Devin Bush, Jr., 95 tackles
Actual: Bush, 79 tackles
Thoughts: As the middle linebacker, Bush was an obvious choice, but his instincts and sideline-to-sideline speed ensured that he would make plays all over the field. Safety Tyree Kinnel was not far behind with 74 tackles in one more game, since Bush missed the bowl game.

Hit the jump for the rest of the review.

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30Dec 2018
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Peach Bowl: Florida 41, Michigan 15

 

If they don’t care, why should I? This was my attitude going into the game, and it was even more so throughout the game. Four NFL-bound players sat out the game (LB Devin Bush, Jr., RT Juwann Bushell-Beatty, DE Rashan Gary, RB Karan Higdon), and both Gary and Higdon should have been there for their teammates, their coaches, and their school. Bush and Bushell-Beatty were more questionable because of supposedly disqualifying injuries, but I sincerely doubt all four of those guys would have missed the game if they were playing in the College Football Playoff. I get it: they have to do what’s best for them. I also get this: I don’t like it. I can’t get excited about a game in which four starters, including two potential 1st-rounders and the first 1,000-yard running back in seven years, sit at home instead of trying to get their teammates and coaches to 11 wins.

Hit the jump for more.

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11Dec 2018
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Should I stay or should I go now?

Devin Bush, Jr. (image via Wolverines Wire)

With an outstanding defense and a competent offense, a lot of Michigan players will need to decide whether to stay at Michigan for 2019 or to head for greener pastures in the NFL (or elsewhere). Here’s a look at the players that I have the biggest questions about going forward.

Ben Bredeson – OG – Junior

Bredeson, a 6’5″ and 320 lb. offensive guard, has said that he is leaning toward returning to Michigan in 2019. Bredeson was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school who made eight starts as a true freshman and has been a full-season starter for the past two years. He has been a Second Team All-Big Ten selection for the past two seasons, both by the coaches and the media. While he has been a good player at Michigan and anchors the left side of the line for a left-hand-dominant team, he has not yet proven to be the road-grader that many expected. Bredeson would most likely get drafted in 2019, but I think he would be a third-day selection. If he returns to develop for one more year, I think he could potentially work his way up into the second day with an outside shot at the first round.
Verdict: Stay in school

Devin Bush, Jr. – LB – Junior

Bush is listed at 5’11”, 232 lbs., and the biggest knock on him is that he lacks size. Well, he’s probably not going to get any bigger at this point. His father, who played at Florida State and in the NFL, was listed at 6’0″, 210 lbs. The younger Bush was 1st Team All-Big Ten and an All-American in 2017, and he is quite possibly headed for the same accolades here in 2018. He finished the 2018 regular season with 80 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 6 pass breakups. He’s a sideline-to-sideline player who hits like a ton of bricks and can cover. At worst he’s a backup linebacker and special teams player in the NFL; at best he’s a tackling machine who fits in well with the new age of small, quick linebackers. I don’t see much of a reason for him to stay at Michigan in 2019, but I would be happy if he did.
Verdict: Go pro

Rashan Gary – DE – Junior

Gary, of course, has already decided to go pro. As the #1 overall recruit in the 2016 class, it was expected by many that he would be headed to the NFL as soon as possible. Not only has he hit three years, but he also suffered from some shoulder problems during his college career. In an attempt to preserve himself for the NFL, it makes sense that he would want to jump into the draft now. It would be very unfortunate if he came back next year, suffered further shoulder injuries, and still wasn’t getting paid for his efforts and pain. I think Gary made the right choice.
Verdict: Go pro

Hit the jump for a look at some other players who might be considering leaving.

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27Nov 2018
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2018 All-Big Ten Defense and Special Teams

Devin Bush, Jr.

The Big Ten released its all-conference defense and special teams units on Tuesday (LINK). Devin Bush, Jr. was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as well as the Linebacker of the Year. Other Michigan honorees include:

COACHES

First Team
Line: Chase Winovich
Line: Rashan Gary
Linebacker: Devin Bush, Jr.
Defensive Back: Lavert Hill
Defensive Back: David Long, Jr.
Punter: Will Hart

Second Team
Defensive Back: Josh Metellus

Third Team
Return Specialist: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Honorable Mention
Line: Bryan Mone
Linebacker: Khaleke Hudson
Linebacker: Josh Ross
Linebacker: Joshua Uche
Defensive Back: Tyree Kinnel

MEDIA

First Team
Line: Chase Winovich
Linebacker: Devin Bush, Jr.
Defensive Back: Lavert Hill
Punter: Will Hart

Second Team
Line: Rashan Gary
Defensive Back: Josh Metellus

Third Team
Defensive Back: David Long
Return Specialist: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Honorable Mention
Line: Kwity Paye
Linebacker: Khaleke Hudson
Linebacker: Joshua Uche
Defensive Back: Tyree Kinnel

The #1 story I take away from this is that Michigan’s defense is pretty darn good. But the #2 story is that other coaches in the conference pegged Josh Ross as an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten linebacker, but he couldn’t wrangle the starting gig away from Devin Gil.

26Nov 2018
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Rashan Gary is headed to the NFL

Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary has spent his final season at the University of Michigan. It was announced today that he would be skipping his senior year to enter the 2019 NFL Draft, which most people expected.

Gary was the #1 overall recruit in the 2016 class. During his career at Michigan, he has made 136 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.

Gary’s college career did not develop as expected. While he was solid and took on a lot of double-teams, which helped to limit his production, those career numbers are not as productive as most expected when the Wolverines landed the #1 recruit in the nation. Consider that his predecessor at the strongside end position, Chris Wormley, finished his career with 122 tackles, 32.5 tackles for loss, and 18 sacks in four years (for an apples-to-apples comparison, his first three years netted 83 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 12 sacks). Wormley was a 3rd round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2017 NFL Draft with 11 tackles and 1 sack so far in his pro career so far.

Gary’s best days might be ahead of him, and he’s someone Michigan fans should be proud of for wearing the winged helmet. Gary carries himself with class, stays away from negative attention, and by all accounts, has an excellent work ethic. I look forward to watching his NFL career.

Meanwhile, there will be several candidates to replace him in 2019, including Kwity Paye (who played quite a bit when Gary suffered a shoulder injury this year), Aidan Hutchinson, Carlo Kemp (who played defensive tackle this year because he didn’t want to ride the bench behind Gary), and others.