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Name: Cole Cabana
Weight: 180 lbs.
High school: Dexter (MI) Dexter
Position: Running back
Jersey number: #24
Last year: Cabana was a senior in high school (LINK). He ran for 1,518 yards and 27 touchdowns, caught passes for 472 yards and 6 touchdowns, and had 444 return yards and 3 return touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 73
Cabana was Michigan’s highest rated recruit for much of the cycle. One of the fastest players in the recruiting cycle, he was explosive with the ball in his hands for the past few years. Whether it was running the ball, catching the ball, or returning kicks, he had a chance to take it to the house every time. He ended up ranked as a 4-star, the #10 running back, and #172 overall in the 247 Composite ranking.
Cabana’s best chance to play in 2023, in my opinion, is on kickoff returns. Michigan has the best backfield duo in the country in Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, and I think the coaching staff will focus on getting those guys the ball as often as necessary to win games comfortable and impressive the College Football Playoff selection committee. Fellow freshman Benjamin Hall made a case in the spring to be the third-string running back, but sophomore C.J. Stokes may also be a factor. The point is that Cabana isn’t really needed on offense; this backfield is the same as 2022 when Michigan ran roughshod over almost everyone.
What Michigan lost, however, is punt returner and part-time kickoff returner A.J. Henning. And as part-time kickoff returner Roman Wilson becomes more important on offense after the departure of Ronnie Bell, I’m not sure if the coaching staff will want Wilson returning kicks anymore. So if Cabana wants to see the field in 2023 and doesn’t mind burning his redshirt, I think Michigan should give him a shot to handle kickoffs.
Prediction: Backup running back and part-time kickoff returner
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