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With the class of 2015’s redshirt seniors having wrapped up their careers, I wanted to quantify what that class of players contributed to Michigan on the field. There were 14 total players who signed National Letters of Intent for the Jim Harbaugh/Brady Hoke combo class.
Hit the jump.
Starts: 114 (Zach Gentry, Karan Higdon, Grant Newsome, Grant Perry, Jon Runyan Jr., Nolan Ulizio, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.)
Passing attempts: 1 (Grant Perry)
Passing completions: 1 (Grant Perry)
Passing yards: 12 (Grant Perry)
Rushing attempts: 471 (Karan Higdon)
Rushing yards: 2,616 (Karan Higdon)
Rushing touchdowns: 27 (Karan Higdon)
Receptions: 144 (Brian Cole, Zach Gentry, Karan Higdon, Grant Perry, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.)
Receiving yards: 1,819 (Brian Cole, Zach Gentry, Karan Higdon, Grant Perry, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.)
Receiving touchdowns: 8 (Zach Gentry, Grant Perry, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.)
Tackles: 182 (Zach Gentry, Karan Higdon, Reuben Jones, Tyree Kinnel, Grant Perry, Keith Washington)
Tackles for loss: 10.5 (Reuben Jones, Tyree Kinnel)
Sacks: 1 (Tyree Kinnel)
Interceptions: 2 (Tyree Kinnel)
Pass breakups: 11 (Tyree Kinnel)
Forced fumbles: 1 (Tyree Kinnel)
Return touchdowns: 2 (Tyree Kinnel, Grant Perry)
Players from the class not mentioned above: K Andrew David, DE Shelton Johnson, QB Alex Malzone
Transfers: 6 (Brian Cole, Andrew David, Reuben Jones, Nolan Ulizio, Keith Washington, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.)
Retirees: 1 (Grant Newsome)
Looking at the 2015 recruiting class in retrospect, it’s pretty stunning how little of a contribution Michigan received from the class. Yes, it was a small class and a transition year, but it’s not too surprising that the 2018 and 2019 seasons were a little underwhelming when there was so little left from the 2015 class. A few notes:
- Michigan landed two quarterbacks (Zach Gentry, Alex Malzone), but the only pass attempt from the 2015 class came from wide receiver Grant Perry.
- Nobody had a rushing attempt – not a wide receiver or quarterback – other than Karan Higdon.
- Michigan landed virtually zero contributors on defense outside of safety Tyree Kinnel. The vast majority of tackles (163 out of 182) came from Kinnel, and he was the only one to register a sack, interception, forced fumble, or pass breakup.
- Safety Brian Cole, offensive tackle Nolan Ulizio, and cornerback Keith Washington went on to have decent careers as starters at other Power 5 programs. At Michigan, unfortunately, Cole couldn’t follow the rules, Ulizio struggled mightily in half a season as a starter, and Washington played a position with a logjam of NFL talent. All three potentially could have contributed in 2019, at the very least, with some questionable safety play at times, help needed at offensive tackle, and a cornerback position that was on the verge of imploding when Ambry Thomas’s status was in question.
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