Way Too Early 2017 Depth Chart: November 2016

Way Too Early 2017 Depth Chart: November 2016


November 29, 2016

Wilton Speight (image via Times Leader)

Back in August I took a look at how the depth chart might look in 2017 (LINK), and then I updated it in September (LINK). With the regular season in the rear view mirror, there are some moves to make. Of course, things are always fluid, there will be early departures, there will be injuries, etc. But now that we know how the 2016 team looks, we might have a better view of next season.

Hit the jump for another early look at 2017.





QB: Wilton Speight (RS Jr.), John ‘Korn (5th), Brandon Peters (RS Fr.), Alex Malzone (RS So.), Dylan McCaffrey (Fr.)
RB: Chris Evans (So.), Karan Higdon (Jr.), Ty Isaac (5th), Kareem Walker (So.), Kingston Davis (So.), A.J. Dillon (Fr.), O’Maury Samuels (Fr.), Kurt Taylor (Fr.)
FB: Henry Poggi (5th), Khalid Hill (5th)
WR: Eddie McDoom (So.), Drake Harris (RS Jr.), Maurice Ways (RS Jr.), Zach Gentry (RS So.)
WR: Grant Perry (Jr.), Kekoa Crawford (So.), Nate Johnson (So.)
TE: Ian Bunting (RS Jr.), Devin Asiasi (So.), Tyrone Wheatley (RS So.), Sean McKeon (So.), Nick Eubanks (RS Fr.)
LT: Grant Newsome (Jr.), Juwann Bushell-Beatty (RS Jr.), Ja’Raymond Hall (Fr.), Kai-Leon Herbert (Fr.)
LG: Ben Bredeson (So.), David Dawson (5th), Joel Honigford (Fr.)
C: Mason Cole (Sr.), Patrick Kugler (5th)
RG: Patrick Kugler (5th), Michael Onwenu (So.), Jon Runyan (RS So.), Stephen Spanellis (RS Fr.)
RT: Nolan Ulizio (RS So.), Andrew Stueber (Fr.)

SDE: Rashan Gary (So.), Lawrence Marshall (RS Jr.)
DT: Maurice Hurst (5th), James Hudson III (Fr.)Phillip Paea (Fr.), Donovan Jeter (Fr.)
NT: Bryan Mone (RS Jr.), Michael Dwumfour (So.)
WDE: Chase Winovich (RS Jr.), Carlo Kemp (So.), Shelton Johnson (RS So.), Ron Johnson (RS Fr.), Corey Malone-Hatcher (Fr.), Kwity Paye (Fr.), Luiji Vilain (Fr.)
SAM: Jabrill Peppers (RS Jr.), Noah Furbush (RS Jr.), Joshua Uche (So.), Wyatt Shallman (5th)
MIKE: Mike McCray (5th), Reuben Jones (RS So.), Elysee Mbem-Bosse (So.), Ben Mason (Fr.)
WILL: Devin Bush (So.), Jared Wangler (RS Jr.), Devin Gil (So.), Joshua Ross (Fr.)
CB: Lavert Hill (So.),  Keith Washington (RS So.)
CB: David Long (So.), Brandon Watson (RS Jr.), Benjamin St-Juste (Fr.)
FS: Tyree Kinnel (Jr.), Jaylen Kelly-Powell (Fr.), Tru Wilson (So.)
SS: Josh Metellus (So.), Khaleke Hudson (So.), J’Marick Woods (Fr.)

K: Quinn Nordin (RS Fr.), Ryan Tice (RS So.)
P: Ryan Tice (RS So.), Quinn Nordin (RS Fr.)
LS: Scott Sypniewski (5th)

Currently committed true freshmen, who cannot enroll until January or sign National Letters of Intent until February, are listed in italics.

Also, there are several players on here whom I do not expect to return to Michigan in 2017.

83 comments

  1. Comments: 669
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Nov 29, 2016 at 7:15 AM

    From your fingertips to god’s ears on that Grant Newsome thing.

    • Comments: 50
      Joined: 8/17/2015
      JC
      Nov 29, 2016 at 10:37 AM

      Seeing Speight’s pocket presence makes me a little more comfortable with what could be a worse line in 2017, but I do not think Newsome will be back by 2017. I think he’ll take the redshirt year he never had.

    • Comments: 1611
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 29, 2016 at 1:11 PM

      Yeah, I mean, he’s technically a “returning starter.” It’s kind of tough to account for his injury in the depth chart, so I just left him there.

  2. Comments: 16
    Joined: 8/15/2016
    mos12
    Nov 29, 2016 at 8:55 AM

    Need to land some elite D-Line talent. Solomon would be awesome. That DT looks a little thin.

    • Comments: 1611
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 29, 2016 at 1:11 PM

      Agreed about the DT positions. That’s one reason I would like to see Onwenu on defense, not at offensive guard. But it would be nice to get Tufele and/or Solomon.

  3. Comments: 218
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Nov 29, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    I nt think JOK stays, and think JBB fits best at RT… we desperately need a Left Tackle, or else WCB won’t ever pipe down

    • Comments: 450
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Nov 29, 2016 at 11:02 AM

      So you want to make this about me, and not about the team? Okey-doke.

      As far as next year’s team is concerned, the depth chart is frankly not very inspiring. Is there any position group where you can say confidently that we’ll be great? Or even as good or better than this year? Maybe QB, but other than that, there’s a heck of a lot of finger-crossing and “I trust the coaches” required to make it look like a serious Big Ten title contender.

      • Comments: 1918
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Nov 29, 2016 at 12:35 PM

        This year’s team is arguably the 2nd best in the country so it’s a pretty high bar to set. We aren’t Alabama. We are good enough to beat OSU in Columbus.

        To your questions:

        DL will be great again (at least the starters, depth will be adequate pending recruiting).

        TE will be better than this year.

        QB will be better than this year.

        Other positions should be as good or better (RB/FB, WR)

        The big worries are at kicking, OL and DB.

        • Comments: 110
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          GKblue
          Nov 29, 2016 at 6:47 PM

          My worries are quality depth (this will be a very youthful team), OL, LB, DB, FGs.

        • Comments: 450
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Nov 29, 2016 at 8:23 PM

          This year’s team is (not arguably) the third place team in one division in one conference in the country. The bar is much, much higher than we’ve achieved this year. And no…we in fact were not good enough to beat OSU in Columbus.

          DLine is never just the starters, and you know that. Even if we had the same starters back, with less depth, that position group is not as good. And “depth adequate pending recruiting” means our depth will be OK IF we land some topnotch recruits that we don’t even have yet, and IF they are good enough to contribute at a high level right away. That’s the definition of finger-crossing.

          TE-Asiasi and Wheatley combined for 4 catches and 45 yards. I guess we have different definitions of “so exciting”. That certainly doesn’t project reasonably to “better than this year” (i.e. an all-conference caliber TE in Butt) in any reality I’m aware of. More finger crossing.

          QB-sure, if Speight is back, and even marginally better, and Peters develops. Though that still puts pretty much all of our hopes for even a decent season on a completely healthy Speight. And does it concern anybody that the alleged quarterback whisperer has been able to do nothing with O’Korn or Morris even after two years?

          RB-maybe as good, but we lose our most productive back, and return no one who did anything against quality opposition. And since you habitually put the fault for failure of the running game on the Oline, expecting improved production from this group seems a bit disingenuous for you.

          WR-Just as with TE, as good or better based on what? We return 5 guys who combined for 14 catches to replace Darboh and Chesson. “if we get DPJ and the freshman develop as you’d expect them to” is even more finger-crossing. This year we returned both starters, who had combined for 108 catches and almost 1500 yards in 2015, so it was perfectly reasonable to expect us to be very good this year. We have nothing like that kind of returning production for 2017.

          Yes, Oline and DB are huge concerns. After two years, I’m not seeing anything promising from Drevno, and neither is anyone else. And at LB, we return one very good starter who has probably reached their peak, and have no one else who impressed this year.

          A lot of young players are going to have to make an enormous amount of progress for us to be even close to as good next year. We only improved by one game over last year, with very light graduation losses and bringing in a big, talented recruiting class, and even then, that extra win was because of State turning to shit. With much heavier graduation losses this year, we will be lucky to get 10 wins in 2017.

          • Comments: 1918
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Nov 30, 2016 at 12:27 AM

            man. we’re screwed. I hope we can beat Rutgers next year.

            • Comments: 450
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Nov 30, 2016 at 6:51 AM

              Silly straw man. Guess that’s all you can muster in response to a request for actual facts and logic.

              • Comments: 218
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Nov 30, 2016 at 9:24 AM

                We beat Wisconsin, and our wasn’t close, and beat the pants off pennst…
                I’d say that’s enough to argue we’re more than 3d best in the division

                Are those facts enough to sway your logic?

                • Comments: 1611
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 9:43 AM

                  Maybe there’s a difference between third best and third place. Factually, we are in third place in the division. There’s really no arguing that.

                  But third best? I don’t know. We had the same overall record as PSU and beat them 49-10. I think we’re better than them. We had a worse record than OSU and barely lost to them on the road. I’ll say we’re worse than them, but only by a smidgen.

                • Comments: 450
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 10:30 AM

                  We beat Penn State when they were injury riddled and not playing well. They haven’t lost since, and we’ve lost twice, both losses to teams that Penn State beat. Yes, head-to-head matters, but it’s not everything (otherwise Iowa should get in ahead of us). If it’s a question of which team is playing better right now, as opposed to who was playing better in September, it’s by no means clear that the answer is us.

              • Comments: 1918
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Nov 30, 2016 at 1:00 PM

                There’s so many flaws in what you’re arguing it’s difficult to know where to begin.

                Focusing on receptions as a metric for TE development/potential is one of the most obvious and oft repeated by you.

                • Comments: 450
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 1:30 PM

                  Yes, apparently there are so many flaws in what I said that your argument that catching passes isn’t important in judging a tight end is the best thing you can come up with to refute them all. I guess it’s their blocking that you find “so exciting”.

                • Comments: 1918
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 1:56 PM

                  Yes – it is their blocking.

                  There’s plenty more to argue but I don’t think there’s much point.

                • Comments: 450
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 9:23 PM

                  No, there isn’t, since you obviously have nothing in the way of facts to back up what you say. All you have is the transparent nonsense that you don’t know where to start. That’s never stopped you before dude.

                  Bring it on.

          • Comments: 1611
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Nov 30, 2016 at 4:29 AM

            I mean, The Game literally came down to an inch. Maybe two or three inches. No, we weren’t “good enough to beat OSU in Columbus,” technically, but we were an 1-3 inches away from being good enough to pull that off.

            As for the tight ends, Wheatley and Asiasi are probably both going to be better blockers than Butt. And there’s really no telling whether they can be as productive (or more so) than Butt, because the tight end plays weren’t designed for them. They were often used to run picks or drag defenders away from Butt. When it’s, say, Wheatley and McKeon drawing defenses away from Asiasi, who knows?

            We had a couple guys who did good things against quality competition, including Chris Evans and Ty Isaac. Next year we might have Drake Johnson back, we’ll presumably have the services of Kareem Walker and some good freshmen, etc. I think Smith will be missed in some ways, but his 4.91 yards/carry is #20 in the conference among qualifying players.

            • Comments: 669
              Joined: 8/13/2015
              Roanman
              Nov 30, 2016 at 6:19 AM

              Throw in a first down late on a mugged slot receiver and that spot might not happen at all.

            • Comments: 450
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Nov 30, 2016 at 6:50 AM

              Lots and lots of college football games appear to come down to one play, a few inches. But only wins and losses go in the standings, and we lost. And the fact remains that we gave away three TDs in that game. The officials didn’t do that to us. Those were our own shortcomings, and that’s why we lost.

              And when you say “And there’s really no telling whether they can be as productive (or more so) than Butt”, you make my point perfectly. Lanknows doesn’t seem to get that. Wishing and hoping are not valid ways to project the future.

              • Comments: 1611
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Nov 30, 2016 at 9:38 AM

                I don’t think we “gave away” three TDs; maybe two. And the officials MIGHT have done that to us, since some of the questionable calls/non-calls either ended drives for us or kept drives going for them.

                No, there’s no way to tell – which is why it’s a prediction – but I see why Lanknows says they can be exciting. Tyrone Wheatley is already a better blocker than Butt, and I think Asiasi can be a better receiver.

                • Comments: 450
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 10:36 AM

                  We fumbled on their two yard line. Speight threw a pick-6, and another interception deep in our territory that they quickly turned into a TD. Yes, that’s giving away three touchdowns. No amount of questionable calls changes the fact that if not for our mistakes, it should have been 24-0 in the 3rd quarter.

                • Comments: 218
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 2:50 PM

                  They didn’t score after the fumble WCB, they faked a punt, and we got the ball right back and scored

                  Fact.

                • Comments: 1918
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 1:53 PM

                  You’ve been knocking this team all year. The coach, the talent, bunch of other stuff…yet they “should” have been beating the #2 team in the country 24-0. This doesn’t compute.

                • Comments: 450
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 9:26 PM

                  The circumstances of the game were what they were, and have nothing to do with anything I’ve said about the team.

                  Seriously, dude…are you really making that argument?

              • Comments: 1918
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Nov 30, 2016 at 1:54 PM

                Only wins and losses go in the standings is false. Check the CFB rankings and note where WMU sits.

                • Comments: 450
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 9:30 PM

                  I said standings, not rankings. You do know the difference, don’t you, dude?

                  Seriously? Your arguments are getting lamer and more foolish all the time. Show me any conference STANDINGS where anything but wins and losses are considered.

                  Now you’re thinking…oh, crap…he’s right..I said something stupid and can’t defend it, but shit…I can’t admit I’m wrong. Not to him.

                  Love to see what you’re going to do next.

                • Comments: 1918
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Dec 01, 2016 at 11:48 AM

                  PSU is ahead of OSU in the conference standings but behind in the CFP standings (you can call that a ranking if you want) Whatever you call it – it is more important than the conference standings and associated tie-breakers.

            • Comments: 1918
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Nov 30, 2016 at 1:11 PM

              Jeeeeez. Ty Isaac again? He had a good game against Wisconsin (8 for 48). Otherwise against other top defenses (UCF, Colorado, Iowa, OSU) he ran for 2.2 ypc (14 for 31 yards).

              Dude got 3.5 ypc if you include Wisc. Smith got 3.9 in those games (71 carries for 279 yards) and the gap widens if we include decimated Penn State.

              Evans might do better, but if you’re expecting Isaac to replace Smith, it’s going to be a step back in talent and ability. Speed ain’t everything.

              All the other points are spot on but the continued insistence that Isaac is a talent and implication that he’ll produce if just given a chance is nausea-inducing.

              • Comments: 1611
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Nov 30, 2016 at 1:29 PM

                I expect it to be RB-by-committee next year, but last year’s stats don’t necessarily reflect the next year’s rotation. You can pull up De’Veon Smith’s 2015 numbers for a corollary. He ran for 2.8 yards/carry against Utah, 2.4 against MSU, 3.0 against PSU, 2.3 against OSU, and a whopping 4.3 against Florida. Do those sound like the numbers of a guy who should be the leading man the next year? No. But he was.

                So I’m not saying Isaac will be The Man. He might not even be in a Michigan uniform. But he is capable of producing.

              • Comments: 1918
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Nov 30, 2016 at 1:40 PM

                Yes – Smith’s numbers were better than his peers in meaningful situations. Last year and this year.

                I think Isaac has been passed by Evans and Higdon and the talent coming in will only continue. I would guess he looks for playing time elsewhere a la Green, especially if Johnson is asked back (which I would be a little surprised by but there may be reasons for it).

                Harbaugh’s got HIS guys now.

              • Comments: 1611
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Nov 30, 2016 at 2:45 PM

                First of all, if you look at the depth chart, I have Isaac #3 behind Evans and Higdon. So I’m not sure what your point is, exactly.

                Regardless, if you look at the numbers they put up in important situations, Higdon’s are inferior to Isaac’s. Higdon piled up the majority of his production late in blowout wins. Over the final four games of the season, he had 15 carries for 19 yards. If you want to argue that Higdon is one of “Harbaugh’s guys,” then I agree somewhat. But those numbers don’t support the idea that Higdon is better than Isaac.

                The numbers do put Evans first…which is why I have him at #1.

            • Comments: 1918
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Nov 30, 2016 at 3:05 PM

              “We had a couple guys who did good things against quality competition, including Chris Evans and Ty Isaac…I think Smith will be missed in some ways, but his 4.91 yards/carry is #20 in the conference among qualifying players. ”

              I’m arguing with this. Isaac did significantly worse than Smith and Evans against quality competition. He doesn’t belong in this conversation.

              As for Higdon vs Isaac – Higdon is 2 years younger and was recruited by Harbaugh. The YPC numbers don’t make a case for Higdon but the playing time decisions do.

              In the last 5 games Isaac got 12 touches while Higdon got 25. Higdon got 6 carries against Iowa and Ohio State, Isaac got 1.

              Furthermore we saw a similar situation the year before. Perhaps for off-field reasons, but regardless that’s 2 years in a row that Higdon ended up playing while Isaac largely did not.

              Anyway, if you’re putting Higdon ahead of Isaac – what are we arguing about? Why bring up a guy who looks unlikely to be anything more than a 3rd string RB (and even that may be optimistic).

              • Comments: 1918
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Nov 30, 2016 at 3:11 PM

                I think Higdon is a promising back, like a poor-man’s Smith, looks to be a solid grinder and all-around back. I think Evans is the one guy we have who is a potential star but can he handle the workload, can he block, etc.

                Then there’s the young guys coming up behind.

                Guys like Isaac and Drake Johnson (and Mo Ways and Drake Harris) are depth players and nothing more. Something unexpected could happen, sure. Maybe David Dawson is ready for a big senior year too. Maybe John O’Korn is going to kill it this offseason and pass over Speight. You never know.

                • Comments: 1611
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 3:38 PM

                  That’s fine if you believe that, but Higdon hasn’t done anything on the field to support that. You’re basically arguing on how he looks running the ball late in blowouts and projecting that onto more critical situations. And that’s fine, but that’s all it is. So if you want to go by looks, then let’s call that what it is. If you want to argue by numbers, then you’re going to run into a problem. So either numbers matter or they don’t. It can’t be both ways.

              • Comments: 1611
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Nov 30, 2016 at 3:36 PM

                The thing you’re arguing with can’t be argued. Those are facts. So…you can’t argue. I won’t allow it.

                You’re repeating things that have already been established. Higdon took snaps away from Isaac. Sometimes Isaac took snaps away from Higdon. I put Higdon ahead of Isaac on the depth chart. Yes, Higdon is two years younger and was recruited by Harbaugh, obviously. We’re not breaking new ground here. The discussion at this point is superfluous.

              • Comments: 1918
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Nov 30, 2016 at 4:22 PM

                What are you talking about? I’m saying Higdon is ahead based on playing time.

                • Comments: 1611
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 4:45 PM

                  …which is why I have him at #2. That doesn’t negate what I said above about Evans and Isaac.

                • Comments: 1918
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 5:25 PM

                  You brought up Smith and implied he was very replaceable. Yet his production was far better than his backups against meaningful competition.

                  Your argument was that 2 of his backups “did good things” against good competition. For Isaac this was limited to Wisconsin game. For Evans it was Iowa. In other meaningful games they either didn’t play much or got shut down.

                  I don’t know why you brought up Isaac or production against good competition when Smith was clearly the better back. It seemed like you were trying to say or imply something.

                  RB might be better than it was this year, but Ty Isaac is a senior who is what he is and bringing up his exploits against Wisconsin doesn’t change that. Evans is a freshman and so has more potential to grow but it’s not a sure thing that’s he’s a better back than Smith. Higdon didn’t show much against good competition but still appears to be better than Ty Isaac in the eyes of the coaching staff if no one else.

                  I think this thread has gone off the rails a bit and the noise to signal ratio is below my tolerance.

      • Comments: 1611
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Nov 29, 2016 at 1:14 PM

        I don’t think the team will necessarily be better, but there’s a chance for them to win more games. Michigan crushed a lot of teams, and a drop-off brings them a little closer to the pack, maybe. But a break here or there (QB stays healthy, a couple calls, a big turnover or two, etc.) could push them past the likes of Ohio State when they come to Ann Arbor. We can be worse but have a better season, if that makes sense.

        • Comments: 1918
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Nov 29, 2016 at 3:59 PM

          It makes a lot sense. The 2016 schedule was very tough the way it set up with a back-loaded road schedule and little preparation before that.

          Michigan’s schedule next year is more difficult on paper (relative to a year ago) but also more balanced.

          Hell, I’d rather play 10 games on the road and get OSU at home than vice versa.

        • Comments: 669
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Nov 30, 2016 at 6:41 AM

          Two years of Hoke bashing is about to bite us. I think we drop back to 9, and maybe 8 wins. We are going to be young on both lines and as we’ve seen in the recent past, that’s a tough one. Our boy Speight is going to have to use all his powers to keep from getting decked regularly. Our other boy Brown is going to be having to be dialing up the junk all day, every day. Young DBs will be under a lot of pressure and will make the occasional mistake.

          I know what the Buckeyes and Sparty have coming back, I haven’t bothered to look at Wisconsin or Penn State. I would think that we’ll be 4th at best among the teams that matter for returning personnel with appreciable minutes.

          As usual, the whiny and ignorant among us will not understand what they are looking at and will demonstrate their chronic, bitter hatred on a weekly basis. It’ll be a different kind of a year. Interesting though, as you’ll get to watch young players figuring it out under pressure. Should be fun.

          • Comments: 450
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Nov 30, 2016 at 7:00 AM

            Why is Hoke bashing going to bite us? And no, we won’t be particularly young on the lines. Cole, Kugler, Dawson and JBB are not young, and Bredeson got a fair amount of PT this season.

            BTW, if you want to engage in playground name-calling, have the balls to name names, rather than hiding behind oblique bullshit. Do you have that kind of courage?

            • Comments: 110
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              GKblue
              Nov 30, 2016 at 8:19 AM

              Not Roanman, but I’ve got some balls.

              Probably off the top of my head the four most prolific posters on this site are Thunder, Lanknows, you (WCB), and Roanman.

              It’s Thunder’s site and I personally think he is the class of this site and not only is that convenient but it makes many of the rest of us have his back.

              The rest of you minus the snark and condescending attitude (esp with each other) are really very impressive to me in your football knowledge, both in specifics and historical recall.

              But here is a suggestion from just a regular guy.

              Trying to throw out volume of verbage or number of posts or personal attacks amongst the three of you just doesn’t really boost your cred. It comes to each of you from your love of the game and the institution and willingness to share your views in a respectful manner.

              Now to a couple points of your post. I think whether starting or simply the two deep; youth is going to be a major factor in both the OL and DL. And (this is humor WCB) isn’t oblique a blocking scheme?

              • Comments: 218
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Nov 30, 2016 at 9:30 AM

                Add GKblue to the list of fine posters

                GO BLUE!

            • Comments: 669
              Joined: 8/13/2015
              Roanman
              Nov 30, 2016 at 12:35 PM

              I don’t think there’s any confusion here Whiny.

              I’ve been consistently clear about my contempt for you. I find your commenting to be small, ugly, deliberately contentious and for the most part lacking anything of value.

              Hoke bashing is about to bite us because kids being recruited are way paying attention. Many of them when they tune into the coach getting hammered think they’ll just go look somewhere else. Hoke was under fire for a long time. there are rising sophomores and juniors that we could use about now playing for other universities to both our and their detriment.

              Hoke badly needed to be fired, but the Michigan faithful did themselves no favors in terms of both prestige and recruiting with their public treatment of both Hoke and RR. If you want to argue that’s how it is, I am inclined to agree with you on that part of it. The difference here being that Michigan likes to think of itself as being better. In those two particular cases, we weren’t.

              • Comments: 450
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Nov 30, 2016 at 1:38 PM

                My commenting is fact-based, and unlike yours, doesn’t depend on snark and personal attacks to make arguments.

                And are you seriously claiming that legitimate criticism of a coach or a program on message boards is going to drive recruits away from a school that they otherwise really want to go to? Because if it is, they’re not going to have many schools to choose from, even assuming they give much attention to such things.

                • Comments: 669
                  Joined: 8/13/2015
                  Roanman
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 1:44 PM

                  Your first statement is completely false. Your commenting is only based on snark, as the volume and day after day consistency of down votes you receive ought to drive home.

                  Your question was answered above.

                • Comments: 450
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 9:34 PM

                  Show me posts of mine that don’t contain any statements on matters of fact. Right here. Right now. Or I call stark raving bullshit.

                  That you don’t like the things I point out doesn’t make them “snark”.

                • Comments: 218
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Nov 30, 2016 at 9:47 PM

                  How about when you sais ohio scored 21pts on our 3 turnovers, and I reminded you that after the fumble is when botched the fake punt (we scored)

          • Comments: 1918
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Nov 30, 2016 at 1:35 PM

            Can you explain how Hoke-bashing is going to bite us?

            WCB actually has a point that the OL and DL aren’t going to be very young. At least not relative to other teams.

  4. Comments: 21
    Joined: 9/2/2015
    BigSouthFork
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    If Newsome isn’t able to go because of injury, what’s the chances of it being something like:

    LT Cole
    LG Bredeson
    C Kugler
    RG Dawson/Onwenu
    RT JBB

    This assuming there are no freshman capable of stepping in immediately.

    • Comments: 21
      Joined: 9/2/2015
      BigSouthFork
      Nov 29, 2016 at 11:41 AM

      Or that Cole doesn’t decide to go pro.

    • Comments: 1918
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Nov 29, 2016 at 12:41 PM

      My guess:

      LT: True Freshman (Wilson)?
      LG: Onwenu
      OC: Cole
      RG: Bredeson OR Kugler/Dawson
      RT: Bredeson OR JBB/True Freshman

      No offense to Dawson, Kugler, or JBB but I don’t have much faith that they won’t be beaten out by a freshman.

      Would also expect UM to beat the bushes for a grad transfer.

      • Comments: 21
        Joined: 9/2/2015
        BigSouthFork
        Nov 29, 2016 at 2:29 PM

        Why would Bredeson move from LG to RG? That doesn’t make much sense to me. He’s played LG fairly well and in your scenario you have a true freshman LT. Wouldn’t you want Bredeson to stay put, play the same position he knows and help the freshman out? As more of a run blocker, doesn’t Onwenu seem a better fit on the right as well? I’m also not ready to write Kugler or Dawson off yet. Seems everyone has been down on them from midway through their freshman years. While our OLine has been far from great, it’s not like they’ve had complete scrubs in front of them.

        • Comments: 1918
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Nov 29, 2016 at 3:28 PM

          This is all way-early guesswork either way, but Bredeson’s a true freshman, so it’s not like he’s entrenched on one side.

          Putting two 350 pounders on the same side of the line could help with the run game but if you want to say Onwenu and Wilson would make more sense on the right side I wouldn’t argue.

          The only issue is it leaves LT open. The question posed here assumes Newsome isn’t available so who do you trust to protect Speight’s blindside?

          Lots of questions and few answers. Every potential lineup comes with some issues.

        • Comments: 1918
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Nov 29, 2016 at 3:32 PM

          Michigan could have played Kugler or Dawson this year, but went with JBB and then a freshman instead. Not too encouraging.

          Clearly Kugler made some progress this year so at least there’s that. I wouldn’t rule them out either, but counting on them to start is even more dubious.

          The Bosch-Cole-Newsome-Onwenu-Bredeson freshman tradition is likely to continue.

  5. Comments: 80
    Joined: 10/22/2015
    SinCityBlue
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    I think JOK bails and transfers out with Morris at QB. Even if it were to a non Power Conference school. I know I’d take either of them in a heartbeat here at UNLV. Love me some Gentry as a big WR ala Funchess in his last year here. Thunder, is this something you’ve been hearing or just speculating?

    • Comments: 21
      Joined: 9/2/2015
      BigSouthFork
      Nov 29, 2016 at 11:45 AM

      I was surprised to see Gentry listed at WR also, but look at that depth at TE. Having only really seen McDoom on reverses and not running routes I’m worried about that spot. Maybe seeing a lot more power formations with 2-3 TE’s, especially with the questions about the line.

      • Comments: 450
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Nov 29, 2016 at 11:58 AM

        Pass catching in general is a concern. We have bodies, but little or nothing in the way of proven productivity.

        As far as Gentry, does it really matter whether he’s listed as 5th string TE or a 4th string WR?

      • Comments: 1611
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Nov 29, 2016 at 1:19 PM

        I know I’m fully on the McDoom hype train, so maybe I’m biased, but I think route running was one of his strengths coming out of high school. I think he’ll be just fine in that department. My biggest concern with him is mainly his size/strength and blocking.

        • Comments: 21
          Joined: 9/2/2015
          BigSouthFork
          Nov 29, 2016 at 2:34 PM

          I hope that train is rolling too. Just would have felt a little more positive about the position heading into next year having seen something downfield though. We know he has the speed, you feel confident in the routes, but what about his hands or going up and fighting for it?

    • Comments: 1611
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 29, 2016 at 1:15 PM

      Gentry has been playing WR for a big chunk of this season.

  6. Comments: 1918
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    This is way too early.

    Oh, you already said that.

    This exercise is always fun but we expect a huge recruiting class that will fill a lot of holes (DL, OL, WR). Hard to say much when something like 1/4 of the roster is unknown.

    QB: I’d be surprised if OKorn and Morris don’t grad transfer.
    RB: Not sure Isaac will be back. Freshman will get a shot but Higdon/Evans are most likely the 1-2 punch.
    FB: Nice to get both back but we’ll need to work on developing a replacement for 2018. Hill had his moments but the FBs missed way too many blocks this year and inexperience was a big part of that. Let’s not repeat the mistake that happened under Kerridge/Houma.
    WR: I feel like we are loaded here if we get DPJ and the freshman develop as you’d expect them to. Thought we had a great group in ’16 but nah. I don’t expect much downgrade.
    TE: Asiasi and Wheatley are so exciting. Butt was overrated but did draw a lot of attention. Bunting bit of a forgotten man but for good reason. I expect improvement overall but we’ll need Wheatley and Asiasi because…
    OL: A shitshow again. Expect a freshman to start once again, maybe more than one. Newsome’s health is huge issue. Michigan can’t have an elite O until this is fixed.

    Overall the offense should be improved IMO as long as they figure a few things out on the OL.

    The defense dropping off is inevitable.

    DL: Starters might be almost as good as this years, but freshman will be needed to rotate in. Huge opportunity for savvy recruits.

    LB: It’ll be interesting. Bush looked solid but who replaces Peppers is anyone’s guess.

    DB: The big worry spot. Clark coming back would be huge. I don’t think anymore that Watson will get passed over. But the big worry is safety. Kinnell, Hudson, and Metellus all look promising but the lack of depth and experience is likely to be a problem.

    Lot of pressure on Nordin to step up.

  7. Comments: 24
    Joined: 9/30/2015
    ScKon
    Nov 29, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    Thunder,

    Who do you expect leave that would be a starter to 2 deep guy? Peppers, obviously, but I don’t see many others with great draft stock. Admittedly, I’m no Mel. K.

    • Comments: 1611
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 29, 2016 at 1:56 PM

      I don’t think anyone except Peppers will leave early for the NFL. Elsewhere, I can see one or two linemen transferring, and I think the QB position is going to thin out. Also, I’ve heard about some guys further down the depth chart leaving, as well as a medical.

      • Comments: 181
        Joined: 9/3/2015
        suduri xusai
        Nov 29, 2016 at 4:47 PM

        I am really hoping that Peppers come back…….

        • Comments: 1611
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 30, 2016 at 9:34 PM

          I hope he does, but I really doubt it.

  8. Comments: 141
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    crazyjoedavola
    Nov 29, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    I am very interested in seeing how Michigan will perform next year, and it will be a great opportunity for Harbaugh to show off his coaching chops. He will no longer have a team loaded from top to bottom with highly ranked upperclassmen from Hoke’s strong classes. He will have talented youngsters and a tough schedule to traverse. I think that next year will be a bit a bump on the road, like 6-8 win season, but after that we should start rolling as long as Harbaugh stays and signs top 10 classes every year.

    • Comments: 181
      Joined: 9/3/2015
      suduri xusai
      Nov 29, 2016 at 4:47 PM

      6-8 wins? No way. At least 10-2 regular season next year.

      • Comments: 141
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        crazyjoedavola
        Nov 29, 2016 at 9:53 PM

        Have you seen the schedule? Florida, Wisconsin, Penn St, Ohio St, and Michigan St will all be tough games, games against AFA, Cincy, Indy and Minny could be tricky. The only games that look like sure wins are Rutgers, Maryland and Purdue.

        • Comments: 181
          Joined: 9/3/2015
          suduri xusai
          Nov 29, 2016 at 10:23 PM

          Yes, and this is still Michigan coached by Harbaugh et al.

  9. Comments: 6
    Joined: 11/17/2015
    funkywolve
    Nov 29, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    Fullback – as Lanknows mentioned the depth at fullback for future seasons (2018 and beyond) is non-existent. At least one, if not two players, will probably get moved to fullback this off season to start getting them ready for 2018. It’ll be interesting to see who gets a look at the fullback.

    • Comments: 1611
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 30, 2016 at 9:39 PM

      Yeah, it will be interesting. There aren’t really a lot of prime candidates. Right now I would say Jared Wangler, Dane Drobocky, and Carlo Kemp might be possibilities if we’re looking at potential position-changers.

  10. Comments: 1918
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 29, 2016 at 3:55 PM

    I continue to be surprised at the worry about WR.

    When freshman play meaningful snaps out of merit (rather than necessity) that tends to mean very good things. Harris and Ways are capable players. Crawford and McDoom are better already and very likely to improve faster too.

    Then you have Perry who is pretty good as well and will likely make a leap as he evolves into a primary go-to target.

    The future is very very bright and I’m not talking about 2018 and beyond.

    • Comments: 1611
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 30, 2016 at 9:41 PM

      I agree about wide receiver. Wide receiver is a position where people can frequently step into a void and play well. There’s a certain level of competence you can reach where a baseline of talent will get you open based on play calling, matchups, etc.

  11. Comments: 24
    Joined: 9/30/2015
    ScKon
    Nov 29, 2016 at 3:58 PM

    Top recruits will notice the number of true freshman who logged playing time. That along with the coaching staff selling the fact that a ton of seniors are graduating and there is a great opportunity for immediate playing time should resonate with many of these top targets. The days of assuming a redshirt season right out the gate, then having to climb a hill to surpass those a class or two ahead of you (who have some game experience) are over.
    I’m excited for next season…… You can imagine how driven Jimmy is going to be to assure osu gets what they have coming….
    GO BLUE.

    • Comments: 181
      Joined: 9/3/2015
      suduri xusai
      Nov 29, 2016 at 4:49 PM

      Well, I know we almost have Peoples-Jones locked down, but Alabama and OSU have five 5-star kids each while we have 0 right now…… I am not particularly impressed with Jim’s recruiting, especially after all the hype.

  12. Comments: 181
    Joined: 9/3/2015
    suduri xusai
    Nov 29, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    OL and DL will be huge problem areas… God.. when will we completely load up on OL and DL…

    • Comments: 1611
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 30, 2016 at 9:45 PM

      If the defensive line will be a problem, it will be a first. Michigan has generally had very good defensive lines ever since Brady Hoke/Greg Mattison returned in 2011. I realize there’s not a ton of experienced depth, but Mattison and Don Brown will probably turn it into a positive next year.

  13. Comments: 1611
    Joined: 7/13/2015
    Nov 30, 2016 at 9:33 PM

    Well, there’s some arguing going on, but on the plus side, this might be the most comments on any post in TTB history. We’re at 76 and counting.

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