2013 Season Countdown: #85 Wyatt Shallman

Tag: 2013 season countdown

5Jun 2013
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2013 Season Countdown: #85 Wyatt Shallman

Wyatt Shallman

Name: Wyatt Shallman
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 245 lbs.
High school: Novi (MI) Catholic Central
Position: Running back
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #33
Last year: Shallman was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 65.

Shallman committed to Michigan in February 2012, joining his former teammate Matt Godin as a Wolverine. Michigan’s coaching staff offered him as a running back, despite a reported size of 6’3″ and 245 lbs.; information has since indicated that he was more like 225 lbs., which makes the tailback position a little more feasible.  But throughout the recruiting process, Michigan fans have been contemplating whether he’ll play running back, fullback, H-back, tight end, defensive end, or outside linebacker.

I have taken some heat from various corners of the internet for discounting Shallman’s chances of making an impact at tailback.  It’s extremely rare that a guy who is 6’3″ and 225 lbs. coming out of high school ends up as an impact college runner, let alone if he’s closer to 245.  I do think he can play  tailback in certain situations, such as short yardage and goal line spots. However, I also think he’ll have some other talented runners to beat out in the coming years, including a higher rated, more explosive player in the form of Derrick Green, who happens to be about 220 lbs. himself.  Shallman should be able to redshirt while the coaches figure out where he fits best.

Prediction: Redshirt

4Jun 2013
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2013 Season Countdown: #86 DeVeon Smith

DeVeon Smith

Name: DeVeon Smith
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 216 lbs.
High school: Warren (OH) Howland
Position: Running back
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Smith was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 63. He ended his senior year with 1,740 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Smith committed to Michigan in March 2012. Despite the pursuit of other, higher rated tailbacks in the class (like Derrick Green and Ty Isaac), Smith never wavered from his initial commitment.  He went on to have a stellar senior season and set the county’s all-time career rushing record.

Michigan lost just one tailback after last season (senior third down back Vincent Smith), but they brought in three in the recruiting class.  Starter Fitzgerald Toussaint, who missed the last few games of the year with a broken ankle, should be ready for the season, although his effectiveness will still be in question. Behind him are junior Thomas Rawls and redshirt sophomore Justice Hayes, both of whom have played without being particularly effective; somewhere in the mix are redshirt freshman Drake Johnson and sophomore Dennis Norfleet, the latter of whom was mostly used as a returner last year. That gives Michigan four guys with game experience taking handoffs, and there doesn’t seem to be a need to play all three freshmen, perhaps not even two of them. However, Derrick Green is a 5-star running back recruit, and historically that means he’ll play as a freshman.  My bet is that Smith waits at least a year before seeing the field.

Prediction: Redshirt

3Jun 2013
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2013 Season Countdown: #87 Patrick Kugler

Patrick Kugler

Name: Patrick Kugler
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 270 lbs.
High school: Wexford (PA) North Allegheny
Position: Center
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Kugler was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 86.

The son of an NFL offensive line coach (who has since been hired as UTEP’s head coach), Kugler committed to Michigan in February 2012.  His high school team went on to an undefeated season and a Pennsylvania state championship, while Kugler himself was selected for the Under Armour All-America Game, where he won the starting center job.

Kugler is perhaps the most college ready center to come to Michigan in the last 20 years, partly due to good size and partly due to his bloodlines and technique.  However, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a true freshman center in major college football, since that position typically requires the experience and intelligence to call protections.  The Wolverines have a couple options who are older and a little bigger, though perhaps not as talented in the long run.  I expect Kugler to spend this season on the bench.

Prediction: Redshirt

2Jun 2013
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2013 Season Countdown: #88 Reon Dawson

Reon Dawson

Name: Reon Dawson
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 175 lbs.
High school: Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison
Position: Cornerback
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Dawson was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 62.

Dawson spent a good deal of the recruitment process committed to Illinois. He committed to the Illini in May 2012 before getting offered by the Wolverines in December and committing about a month later, joining high school teammate Mike McCray II in Michigan’s class.

As you can see from that picture above, he’s pretty skinny. At a reported 6’2″ and 175 lbs., he’s probably about 6’1″ and 165 lbs.  That probably means that he’ll redshirt.  Michigan has burned the redshirts of a few little used cornerbacks in recent years (Delonte Hollowell, Terry Richardson) by using them on special teams, but there are some other defensive backs who can probably fill some of those coverage roles.  I expect Dawson to be one of the guys who waits until 2014 before seeing the field.

Prediction: Redshirt

1Jun 2013
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2013 Season Countdown: #89 Csont’e York

Csont’e York (image via Rivals)

Name: Csont’e York
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 190 lbs.
High school: Harper Woods (MI) Chandler Park
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: York was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 76.

York committed to Michigan last spring as a very under-the-radar prospect.  He was not garnering a lot of recruiting hype, but he had the height and the frame that Brady Hoke and his staff have been coveting.  Chandler Park Academy doesn’t get a whole lot of press coverage, so it was a bit difficult to follow his senior year, but the vibe seemed to be that he made some spectacular catches but lollygagged at times.  Speed is not his best quality and competition is relatively poor, so there weren’t many jaw-dropping highlights.

York seems to be one who will need a considerable deal of coaching to get on par with the college game, and he’s not the type of elite athlete who can just wow his way onto the field.  Freshman receivers can often contribute, but Michigan has three in this class, and my guess is that he’s the most likely to bide his time on the bench.  If he does get on the field, it will probably be on a limited basis where he ends up with no more than 1 reception in garbage time.

Prediction: Redshirt