2020 Season Countdown: #38 Luiji Vilain

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8Aug 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #38 Luiji Vilain

Luiji Vilain (image via MLive)

Name: Luiji Vilain
Height: 
6’4″
Weight: 
253 lbs.
High school: 
Alexandria (VA) Episcopal
Position: 
Defensive end
Class: 
Redshirt junior
Jersey number: 
#18
Last year: 
I ranked Vilain #39 and said he would be a backup weakside end (LINK). He played in seven games and made 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble.
TTB Rating:
 90

Vilain is going into his fourth year at Michigan without a lot to show for it. Injuries were a big issue for his first two years, and he was finally relatively healthy in 2019 for the first time. It shouldn’t take until year three to even see the field for a top-100 prospect, but that was the situation with Vilain. When he got on the field, he flew under the radar except against Notre Dame, which was a big night for everyone wearing a winged helmet.

As you can see that “sack” and “forced fumble” were basically due to the fact that he was the closest guy to an inept Notre Dame quarterback.

Vilain is ranked in approximately the same spot once again in 2020. Michigan has two solid starting ends in Aidan Hutchinson and Kwity Paye, but there is a little clearer path to playing time with no Michael Danna standing in the way for backup snaps. Vilain’s role for 2020 may depend on how much David Ojabo and Gabe Newburg developed in their redshirt seasons and in the off-season. This is almost a now-or-never situation for Vilain, who would be unlikely to return for a fifth year in 2021 if he doesn’t show the ability to be the heir to senior Kwity Paye’s starting end spot.

Prediction: Backup defensive end

7Aug 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #39 Sammy Faustin

Sammy Faustin (image via Maize ‘n’ Brew)

Name: Sammy Faustin
Height: 
6’2″
Weight: 
195 lbs.
High school: 
Naples (FL) Naples
Position: 
Safety
Class: 
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: 
#17
Last year: 
I ranked Faustin #57 and said he would be a backup safety and special teamer (LINK). He played in nine games and made 2 tackles.
TTB Rating:
 76

Faustin entered college as a little bit of a corner/safety project. He played corner in high school but was more the physical type than the coverage type. Last year the safety position was pretty full with veterans Josh Metellus and Brad Hawkins, plus elite recruit Daxton Hill. So opportunities were limited.

With Hawkins and Hill returning to man the starting positions, there is a chance for the guy who’s next in line to step into playing time. It will be very interesting to see who that guy is, but if I were a betting man, I would put my money on Faustin. There are some true freshmen who could press for playing time, but without spring ball and with limited voluntary workouts, the upper hand goes to the returning players. I think Faustin’s upside is limited, but he’s a safer pick at a position that requires reliability.

Prediction: Backup safety, special teamer

6Aug 2020
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2020 Freshman Jersey Numbers

Andre Seldon, Jr.

Michigan has shared jersey numbers, heights, and weights for the freshmen.

Here’s a rundown of the jerseys and just the noteworthy heights/weights:

#0: CB Andre Seldon, Jr. – 5’8″, 172 lbs.
Last worn by…nobody. This is the first year #0 is allowed. Wide receiver Giles Jackson will reportedly also wear #0.

Hit the jump for more.

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6Aug 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #40 Hassan Haskins

Hassan Haskins (image via Freep)

Name: Hassan Haskins
Height: 
6’1″
Weight: 
220 lbs.
High school: 
Eureka (MO) Eureka
Position: 
Running back
Class: 
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: 
#25
Last year: 
I ranked Haskins #64 and said he would be a backup running back and special teamer (LINK). He ran 121 times for 622 yards and 4 touchdowns; he caught 6 passes for 40 yards; and he made 3 tackles on special teams.
TTB Rating:
 74

Haskins was one of several breakout offensive players in 2019, along with Jalen Mayfield and Ronnie Bell. As a freshman in 2018, he bounced back and forth between running back and linebacker. Then with some injuries and the suspension of Chris Evans, he was suddenly thrust into the mix at running back once again and performed admirably. He topped the 100-yard mark twice (Illinois, Notre Dame), but he seemed to be pretty unstoppable against the Fighting Irish, a team many thought would be a difficult matchup for the Wolverines. In a rainstorm, he ran the ball 20 times for 149 yards (7.5 yards/carry) and 1 touchdown, also notching a season-high 49-yarder and leapfrogging a Notre Dame safety.

Despite the breakout season, I have Haskins down here at #40 when he was the primary backup last year. Why? Well, the aforementioned Chris Evans returns to the team after a one-year hiatus, and Evans is a little more versatile. Haskins can be slippery and powerful, but his big-play ability is lacking and he doesn’t present a mismatch for linebackers in the passing game since, well, he’s been a part-time linebacker himself.

I imagine Haskins will take a step down on the depth chart this year, leaving room for Evans and Zach Charbonnet to take the bulk of the snaps. He will probably be the third running back, but the #3 back in 2019, Tru Wilson, handled the ball fewer times (44) than in any of the five seasons since Jim Harbaugh arrived (previous low: Derrick Green’s 47 in 2015).

Prediction: Backup running back; 35 carries, 175 yards, 1 touchdown

6Aug 2020
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Snapshots: Joe Milton vs. 2019 Opponents

Joe Milton (image via Wolverines Wire)

I have previously broken down Dylan McCaffrey as I evaluate the 2020 quarterback battle (HERE and HERE).

Now here’s a look at Joe Milton’s performance against a few opponents in blowouts. It’s important to keep in mind that Milton was often working with backups, and practice reps for the #3 guy are limited.

As a reminder, I awarded grades on the following scale:

  • +1: Good play that not everyone can make
  • 0: Average play that an average player can make
  • -1: Poor play

Click on the play number for the YouTube link.

PLAY 1: The line doesn’t do Milton any favors – especially right guard Griffin Korican, who allows pressure that prevents Milton from stepping up – but a quick throw on an arrow route gets batted down as Milton tries to throw it through the defensive end.
Milton grade: -1

Hit the jump for the rest.

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