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12Apr 2024
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2024 Season Countdown: #126 Bryson Kuzdzal

Bryson Kuzdzal

Name: Bryson Kuzdzal
Height:
5’11”
Weight:
185 lbs.
High school:
Ada (MI) Forest Hills Eastern
Position:
Running back
Class:
Redshirt freshman
Jersey number:
#41
Last year:
I did not rank Kuzdzal. He redshirted.
TTB Rating:
N/A

Kuzdzal was a preferred walk-on for Michigan in the class of 2023, and he’ll be getting a national championship ring for his good taste of choosing the Wolverines over MSU as his walk-on destination. As a high school senior in the fall of 2022, he ran for 1,379 yards and 22 touchdowns, caught 1 touchdown pass, and returned 3 kicks (2 kickoffs, 1 punt) for touchdowns while averaging 10.4 yards per carry. But with a loaded backfield, he was unlikely to play in 2023, and he didn’t.

This fall the depth chart doesn’t look much better for his chances. Despite the graduation of Blake Corum and the transfer of C.J. Stokes to Charlotte, Michigan returns Donovan Edwards and Kalel Mullings – the #2 and #3 backs from last season – and they added freshmen Jordan Marshall and Micah Ka’apana in the 2024 class. Throw in Tavierre Dunlap, Ben Hall, and Cole Cabana, and it’s a pretty full running back room. Kuzdzal could potentially get some garbage time snaps, but Michigan has invested more scholarship spots at running back than a couple seasons ago when a guy like Leon Franklin was getting a fair number of snaps.

Prediction: Redshirt

12Apr 2024
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Visitors: April 12-14, 2024

Kissimmee (FL) Osceola linebacker Elijah Melendez (image via 247 Sports)

2025

Mariyon Dye – DE – Elkhart (IN) Elkhart: Dye is a 6’5″, 235 lb. prospect with offers from Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, and Tennessee, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #16 EDGE, and #107 overall. This was a midweek visit.

Elijah Melendez – LB – Kissimmee (FL) Osceola: Melendez is a 6’2″, 215-pounder with offers from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and Ohio State, but he chose the least successful program of his top group – the Miami Hurricanes – to commit to back in December 2023. He’s a 4-star, the #16 linebacker, and #138 overall in the class of 2025. On the plus side, he is going against Mario Cristobal’s wishes in order to take a three-day visit to Ann Arbor, so there is some hope for Michigan here as linebacker coach Brian Jean-Mary tries to get him to flip.

D.J. Sanders – DT – Bellville (TX) Bellville: Sanders is a 6’4″, 290 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, and Texas A&M, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #11 defensive lineman, and #111 overall.

Kainoa Winston – S – Washington (DC) Gonzaga: Winston is a 5’11”, 185-pounder with offers from Georgia, LSU, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Penn State, and others. He’s a 4-star, the #9 safety, and #88 overall. He has already set officials for UNC, Oregon, and PSU, and Michigan is trying to get on that list.

10Apr 2024
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2024 Season Countdown: #127 Manuel Beigel

Wallingford (CT) Choate Rosemary Hall DT Manuel Beigel

Name: Manuel Beigel
Height:
6’5″
Weight:
280 lbs.
High school:
Wallingford (CT) Choate Rosemary Hall
Position:
Defensive tackle
Class:
Freshman
Jersey number:
N/A
Last year:
Beigel was a senior in high school. He made 10 tackles and 4 sacks.
TTB Rating:
79

Beigel is a transplant from Germany who is a blank slate. Jim Harbaugh tried to go heavy on international prospects over the past several years, recruiting Beigel, fellow German Julius Welschof, Frenchman Aymeric Koumba, Canadian Luiji Vilain, Canadian Benjamin St-Juste, and several other foreign players who did not end up signing with the Wolverines.

I’m not sure what to think of Beigel so far because his film is so limited, but athletically, he looks to be top-notch when it comes to movement for his size. A soccer player when he was younger, he maintains foot quickness and change-of-direction skills rarely seen in players his size. The real questions are about his technique and strength, both of which seem to have a way to go. Already at 6’5″ and 280 pounds, he is likely to end up as a 3-tech defensive tackle, but he looks like a guy who might get pushed around and washed out of the play in the Big Ten. My guess is that he redshirts this season while learning some nuances of big-time college football.

Prediction: Redshirt

9Apr 2024
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2025 Recruiting Update: April 9, 2024

Fort Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage RB Byron Louis (image via 247 Sports)

ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2025

Fort Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage running back Byron Louis (4-star, #15 RB, #203 overall) was offered by Michigan. He ran 160 times for 1,224 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior in 2023. Louis also has offers from Alabama, Florida State, Miami, and Ohio State, among others. The Buckeyes are among the leaders and could land him relatively soon, perhaps opening the door for Michigan to land an Ohio running back like Marquise Davis or Bo Jackson.

Saint Louis (MO) Cardinal Ritter running back Jamarion Parker (4-star, #28 RB, #323 overall) decommitted from Arkansas. He’s now considered to be a Nebraska lean.

Pocola (OK) Pocola tight end Dakotah Terrell was offered by Michigan. Terrell is a 6’9″, 215-pounder who was offered by new tight ends coach Steve Casula. Terrell has been a standout basketball player who is now interested in pursuing football instead of basketball. Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and UNLV have also offered.

Hit the jump for more.

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8Apr 2024
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2024 Season Countdown: #128 Zach Ludwig

Zach Ludwig (image via MGoBlue)

Name: Zach Ludwig
Height:
6’3″
Weight:
202 lbs.
High school:
South Park (PA) South Park
Position:
Linebacker
Class:
Freshman
Jersey number:
N/A
Last year:
Ludwig was a senior in high school.
TTB Rating:
55

Ludwig is one of the most interesting commitments during my time covering Michigan football. The nephew of (former) strength coach Ben Herbert, Ludwig got an offer from the Wolverines and committed, without seeming to have any other schools pursuing him. When scouring his film, it was hard to see where he might fit in – quarterback, tight end, linebacker, long snapper? Nobody really seems to know. Even the status of his “scholarship offer” seems to have been in question.

Now that Herbert is the strength coach for the Los Angeles Chargers, one has to wonder if Ludwig will stick around in Ann Arbor. Regardless, at a listed 6’3″ and 202 pounds, Ludwig is unlikely to play as a freshman. Perhaps when he adds some strength down the road, he can be considered a threat to play some special teams.

Prediction: Redshirt