2017 Season Countdown: #21 Brandon Peters

Tag: 2017 season countdown

13Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #21 Brandon Peters

Brandon Peters (#18, image via MLive)

Name: Brandon Peters
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 216 lbs.
High school: Avon (IN) Avon
Position: Quarterback
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #18
Last year: I ranked Peters #75 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.
TTB Rating: 90

Michigan fans have been desperate for a pro-level quarterback recruit for several years, and that guy finally came in 2016. Some expected an immediate push for playing time, but that was unlikely for a player who played against merely solid competition in high school and didn’t have individual QB training. There was a steep learning curve for Peters, and there were even rumors that he was a bit homesick and considering going back closer to home. The biggest knock on him throughout last season and the spring was a lack of command, for the offense for the team.

Some of those issues still exist, and news came out recently that returning starter Wilton Speight and fifth year senior John O’Korn have separated themselves from the rest of the quarterbacks during fall camp. That comes after a spring in which Peters often looked like the most talented QB on the roster, including in the spring game. I still believe Peters is the more valuable backup puzzle piece, because Michigan needs to groom him for 2017 and beyond. O’Korn will graduate after this season, and he might be the guy who steps in if something happens to Speight. But I think Peters can do a good job, and he needs game experience. The coaching staff needs to get him on the field and see what they have. I have a hard time picturing Peters overtaking Speight either this season or next, but there’s a chance that Speight enters the NFL early or suffers further injury to his shoulder, and Michigan needs to prepare for that possibility.

Prediction: Backup quarterback

12Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #22 David Long, Jr.

David Long (image via Twitter)

Name: David Long, Jr.
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 187 lbs.
High school: Los Angeles (CA) Loyola
Position: Cornerback
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #22
Last year: I ranked Long #49 and said he would be a backup cornerback. He played in four games.
TTB Rating: 92

Long entered 2016 with a fair amount of hype, and he played early like many expected. However, he didn’t make any flash plays, and he didn’t play for long. Due to an undisclosed injury, he sat out after four games, presumably preserving his redshirt. The early word was that he was ahead of Lavert Hill, but that situation may have changed since then.

Hill continued to play throughout the season, and the coaching staff seems to think he’s the most talented corner on the roster. The coaches also implied that both Hill and Long need to toughen up and play through the bumps and bruises that come along with playing high-level football. There’s a four-way battle for the starting cornerback jobs between Long, Hill, Keith Washington, and Brandon Watson. I don’t think Long is going to win that battle, but considering his talent and early experience from last season, he should be a key backup on the outside. Michigan has some highly ranked recruits and a couple lower-rated guys who have developed nicely, so it will be interesting to see how the cornerback spots all shake out through the season.

Prediction: Backup cornerback

11Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #23 Michael Dwumfour

Michael Dwumfour (image via Scout)

Name: Michael Dwumfour
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 300 lbs.
High school: Wayne (NJ) DePaul Catholic
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #50
Last year: I ranked Dwumfour #97 and said he would redshirt. He played in two games, making 2 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.
TTB Rating: 69

Dwumfour entered college in 2016 looking like he needed to reshape his body a little bit and add some weight. He was listed at 286 lbs., which is on the lighter side for a defensive tackle, but he was a little soft in the middle. The coaching staff liked him enough to play him early, but he didn’t see any time beyond the Penn State game in late September.

Now Dwumfour has shot up the charts – at least the countdown chart – because of the dearth of defensive tackles. Starters Maurice Hurst, Jr. and Bryan Mone look to be solid to very good, but after that, Michigan is counting on Dwumfour and freshman Aubrey Solomon, among others, to contribute. Dwumfour missed a big chunk of the spring with shoulder problems, enough that the coaching staff bumped weakside end Ron Johnson all the way down to 3-tech. Johnson is back to playing end, but the Wolverines need Dwumfour healthy to eat some snaps at a physically demanding position. He has earned some hype for his performance when healthy, but as the undersized Hurst’s primary backup, Michigan could have some serious depth issues if they start to get dinged up inside.

Prediction: Backup defensive tackle

10Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #24 Cesar Ruiz

Cesar Ruiz (image via Scout)

Name: Cesar Ruiz
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 315 lbs.
High school: Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy
Position: Center/offensive guard
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #51
Last year: Ruiz was a senior in high school.
TTB Rating: 99

Michigan started recruiting Ruiz when he was an underclassman teammate of Ron Johnson and Brad Hawkins at Camden (NJ) Camden. For his junior and senior seasons, Ruiz transferred to IMG Academy and got some high-level coaching. He looked raw at center when he was in tenth grade (surprise!), but he improved by leaps and bounds when put into the atmosphere at IMG. Throughout the recruiting process, he was the #1 center in the nation, and Michigan led most of the way. He flirted with other schools, but the choice always seemed likely to be the Wolverines.

After enrolling early in January, we got a good look and a fair amount of information about the prognosis for Ruiz as a freshman. Reports were glowing about his readiness and versatility, since he doubles his value with the ability to play offensive guard. The coaches have been working him out at both center and right guard, where he is pushing presumptive starters Patrick Kugler and Michael Onwenu, respectively. Physically, he looked ready to play in the spring game, but he was late to react to a couple blitzes that hurt his offense. Things move quicker in college, even if you were playing elite teams as part of an elite program in high school. There are always concerns when you have a freshman offensive lineman playing significant minutes, and it’s likely that Ruiz will have to step in for some good sized stretches this fall. After all, what are the chances that all three of Michigan’s interior linemen stay healthy for the whole season? I think Ruiz will handle himself well for a freshman, but I did a piece on what the #1 centers have done in the past, and it’s not great (LINK). Expectations shouldn’t be sky-high right now, but the kid can play.

Prediction: Backup center/guard

9Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #25 Jordan Glasgow

Jordan Glasgow (image via Orlando Sentinel)

Name: Jordan Glasgow
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Aurora (IL) Marmion Academy
Position: Safety
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #29
Last year: I ranked Glasgow #84 and said he would be a backup safety and special teamer. He made 12 tackles and 1 fumble recovery.
TTB Rating: N/A

Before the spring game of 2017, you probably knew two things about Jordan Glasgow. One, he’s the youngest of the Glasgow brothers, all of whom walked on to Michigan’s program and got drafted so far. Two, he was the dude who missed the tackle on Florida State’s kickoff returner, Keith Gavin, in the Orange Bowl. The latter is probably the most embarrassing moment of the youngest Glasgow’s whole football career, because there’s a very good chance that Michigan would have won the bowl game and been 11-2 to end the season.

Surely he wants to give people something else to remember. Of course, this didn’t erase the Orange Bowl gaffe, but he did make an endzone interception in the spring game and return it 103 yards for a touchdown against a Wilton Speight-led offense. He also made 2 tackles and 1 pass breakup on defense in the spring game. He probably won’t start this fall unless injuries occur, but right now he appears to be a primary backup to Viper Khaleke Hudson and strong safety Joshua Metellus. He should get a fair amount of playing time, and maybe he can make something happen in game action to forget his most embarrassing moment.

Prediction: Backup Viper/strong safety, special teamer