2018 Season Countdown List

Tag: 2018 season countdown

31Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown List

If you were looking to see the whole 2018 Season Countdown list in one place, here it is with links to each one:

  1. Shea Patterson
  2. Khaleke Hudson
  3. Chase Winovich
  4. Rashan Gary
  5. Cesar Ruiz
  6. Donovan Peoples-Jones
  7. Karan Higdon
  8. Ben Bredeson
  9. Tarik Black
  10. Devin Bush, Jr.
  11. Lavert Hill
  12. Quinn Nordin
  13. David Long
  14. Zach Gentry
  15. Chris Evans
  16. Michael Dwumfour
  17. Tyree Kinnel
  18. Ben Mason
  19. Jon Runyan
  20. Sean McKeon
  21. Aubrey Solomon
  22. Michael Onwenu
  23. Juwann Bushell-Beatty
  24. Grant Perry
  25. Josh Metellus
  26. Brad Robbins
  27. Devin Gil
  28. James Hudson III
  29. Ambry Thomas
  30. Bryan Mone
  31. Brandon Watson
  32. Brandon Peters
  33. Kwity Paye
  34. Nico Collins
  35. Noah Furbush
  36. Stephen Spanellis
  37. Carlo Kemp
  38. Eddie McDoom
  39. Ben VanSumeren
  40. Joshua Uche
  41. Josh Ross
  42. J’Marick Woods
  43. Kekoa Crawford
  44. Oliver Martin
  45. Will Hart
  46. Lawrence Marshall
  47. Jaylen Kelly-Powell
  48. Camaron Cheeseman
  49. Tyrone Wheatley, Jr.
  50. Donovan Jeter
  51. Jordan Glasgow
  52. Andrew Stueber
  53. Nate Schoenle
  54. Nick Eubanks
  55. Drew Singleton
  56. Luiji Vilain
  57. Brad Hawkins
  58. Kareem Walker
  59. Nolan Ulizio
  60. Casey Hughes
  61. Dylan McCaffrey
  62. Myles Sims
  63. Cameron McGrone
  64. O’Maury Samuels
  65. Tru Wilson
  66. Aidan Hutchinson
  67. Michael Barrett
  68. Jared Wangler
  69. Deron Irving-Bey
  70. Phillip Paea
  71. Christian Turner
  72. Benjamin St-Juste
  73. Reuben Jones
  74. Mustapha Muhammad
  75. Ron Johnson
  76. Kurt Taylor
  77. Grant Newsome
  78. Jordan Anthony
  79. Jalen Mayfield
  80. Joe Milton
  81. Ryan Hayes
  82. Julius Welschof
  83. Chuck Filiaga
  84. Gemon Green
  85. Joe Hewlett
  86. Joel Honigford
  87. Andrew Vastardis
  88. German Green
  89. Hassan Haskins
  90. Carl Myers
  91. Taylor Upshaw
  92. Andrew Robinson
  93. Sammy Faustin
  94. Luke Schoonmaker
  95. Ronnie Bell
  96. Michael Sessa
  97. Jake McCurry
  98. Vincent Gray
  99. Greg Robinson
  100. Jameson Offerdahl
  101. Dane Drobocky
  102. Jess Speight
  103. Matt Mitchell
  104. Adam Fakih
  105. Spencer Dickow
  106. Matt Baldeck
  107. Peter Bush
  108. Matt Brown
  109. Hunter Reynolds
  110. Jared Davis
  111. Adam Shibley
  112. Tyler Cochran
  113. Jack Dunaway
  114. Conner Edmonds
  115. Ryan Veingrad
  116. Tyler Plocki
29Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #1 Shea Patterson

Shea Patterson (image via MLive)

Name: Shea Patterson
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 205 lbs.
High school: Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy
Position: Quarterback
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #2
Last year: I did not rank Patterson. He was a part-time starter at Ole Miss and was 166/260 (63.8%) for 2,259 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions.
TTB Rating: N/A

So much has been said about Patterson that there’s not much left. He was the starter at Ole Miss last year before getting injured, and then there was a whole bunch of idiocy going on at Ole Miss, and he got out of town (as did several of his teammates). He passed for 300+ yards in five out of seven games, and he had 400+ passing yards twice. In the two games where he was below 300 yards, he completed fewer than 50% of his passes, threw 0 touchdowns, and threw 5 interceptions; those games came against #1 Alabama and #18 LSU. Was that a function of those teams being very good? Was it because Ole Miss wasn’t good? Does Patterson just fold in big games? It’s hard to say.

One thing is for sure, though: there are going to be plenty of big games for Patterson to prove himself at Michigan, whether it’s Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Wisconsin, or Ohio State. I initially thought Patterson would have a great season this year with all the tools available to him, including a few good tight ends and a bunch of talented wide receivers like Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black, Eddie McDoom, Grant Perry, Nico Collins, etc. Unfortunately, McDoom transferred and Black is on the shelf with a broken foot. I think Patterson’s season may be trending downward, but if I could put him even higher on this list, I would. With every receiver that drops out of the picture, that raises the importance of having Patterson healthy. Patterson is a guy who can extend plays, which can help guys with maybe a little less talent get open. Michigan is undoubtedly going to roll out some walk-ons or young guys who aren’t quite ready, but that’s the nature of the game sometimes. I expect Michigan’s offense to evolve a little bit this year, become a little more up-tempo, and become more spread-oriented. Patterson is likely going to throw some silly interceptions and take care of the ball less than what we want as fans, but sometimes his gambles will pay off in big ways, too.

Prediction: Starting quarterback; 3100 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions

28Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #2 Khaleke Hudson

Khaleke Hudson (image via MGoBlog)

Name: Khaleke Hudson
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 220 lbs.
High school: McKeesport (PA) McKeesport
Position: Linebacker
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked Hudson #8 and said he would be the starting Viper with 65 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions (LINK). He made 83 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions (returned for 22 yards), and 9 pass breakups.
TTB Rating: 80

Hudson was probably the breakout star of the year for Michigan, at least on defense. Taking over the position of first round draft pick Jabrill Peppers, we didn’t know what we were going to see. Practice reports said he was as good as or better than Peppers. Peppers did leave some things to be desired, but that hype still seemed outlandish. But for once, the practice hype was real. Hudson started off fast and played well all year long. His game against Minnesota was an all-timer after he racked up 15 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks. Those 8 tackles for loss are a Michigan school record and tied the NCAA’s mark for that stat. (The previous school record was set by linebacker Larry Foote against Iowa in 2001.) Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, David Long, Lavert Hill, and Shea Patterson are getting a lot of hype, but meanwhile Hudson is putting up some of the most impressive numbers of all time.

Now we head into the 2018 season with Hudson entrenched at Viper and having bulked up to 220 lbs. There’s no reason to expect anything less from him this year, except a) that would be ridiculous and b) other teams should be identifying and game planning for him. That Minnesota performance was probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but Hudson should still rack up some big numbers. He can cover, he can blitz, and he can stop the run. The reason he’s up here at #2 on the team is . . . we don’t know what’s behind him. Walk-on Jordan Glasgow exists, but he hasn’t shown anything to suggest he can approximate Hudson’s performance. Otherwise, Brad Hawkins, Jr. has spent some time practicing at Viper, and Michigan has moved freshman Michael Barrett from slot receiver/running back to Viper. To get the best players on the field, Michigan might have to restructure its whole defense to play more SAM-type linebackers like Noah Furbush or Joshua Uche. That would negatively impact the team’s versatility and playmaking ability.

Prediction: Starting Viper; 75 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 2 interceptions

27Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #3 Chase Winovich

Chase Winovich (image via MGoBlue)

Name: Chase Winovich
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 255 lbs.
High school: Jefferson Hills (PA) Jefferson
Position: Defensive end
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #15
Last year: I ranked Winovich #6 and said he would be the starting weakside end with 40 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 9 sacks (LINK). He made 79 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks.
TTB Rating: 79

Winovich started to show what he can do back in 2016, but last year was his true breakout. He went from being a high-energy Taco Charlton backup to a high-energy Chase Winovich starter in the span of a year. After bouncing around from linebacker to tight end early in his career, he settled in at defensive end and became an All-Big Ten player (First Team for media, Second Team for coaches). His sack production dropped off after the first four games (he had 5.5 sacks in the first four games and only 2.5 in the final nine), but he still flew all over the field, managing 10 tackles against Ohio State and 18 against Wisconsin. Keep in mind that’s a weakside end making 18 tackles against the two best teams in the conference when it really counts at the end of the season.

This year should be another huge year for Winovich, though it’s hard for me to see him taking another giant step in production. He’s listed 10 pounds heavier than he was in 2017, and that might help his strength a little bit, but he already had a high motor and was a pretty disciplined football player. Winovich flirted with going to the NFL during the off-season, but he decided to come back for whatever reason. I don’t know that he’s going to prove much more in college, but I’m glad he came back for another year wearing the winged helmet. Winovich may not be as ultra-talented as Rashan Gary, but he’s more irreplaceable because of his attitude and the fact that all the guys behind him are young and unproven. The backup weakside ends include redshirt freshman Luiji Vilain, who has been banged up once again, and true freshman Aidan Hutchinson. I look forward to watching Winovich use his hustle and leverage to frustrate offensive tackles and quarterbacks once again in 2018.

Prediction: Starting weakside end; 70 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 8 sacks

26Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #4 Rashan Gary

Rashan Gary (image via USA Today)

Name: Rashan Gary
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 283 lbs.
High school: Paramus (NJ) Catholic
Position: Defensive end
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #3
Last year: I ranked Gary #2 and said he would be the starting Anchor (LINK). He made 65 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
TTB Rating: 100

Gary had an excellent season in 2017. He was named First Team All-Big Ten by the coaches and Second Team by the media. His best career game came against Ohio State at the end of the regular season, when he made 7 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. He has versatility to play inside and out, and it’s rare that other teams can get the best of him. His season-long performance was good enough to win him the Richard Katcher Award for the team’s best defensive lineman or outside linebacker.

You’re probably wondering why the former #1 recruit in the country and an All-Big Ten guy is sitting at #4 on my list, and that’s fair. But keep in mind that this list is about importance, not talent. Gary will be the starting Anchor once again in 2018, without a doubt. The big question is what’s behind him. The Wolverines have been grooming junior Carlo Kemp over the past couple seasons to play strongside end or 3-tech, and Michigan has also moved sophomore Kwity Paye to strongside end. Defensive line coach Greg Mattison has always done a great job of developing his players, and Michigan can replace Gary with a solid college player. That’s not necessarily the case with the three players remaining on the countdown. On top of all that, Gary has been very good but not outlandishly productive. (For a comparison, Gary’s 16.5 career TFLs and 6.5 sacks are well behind Ohio State Buckeye Nick Bosa’s 23 TFLs and 13.5 sacks over the same time period.) Gary is a very good player, but the team would miss him less than a few other guys. I expect this to be his final season in Ann Arbor.

Prediction: Starting Anchor; 60 tackles, 7 sacks; First Team All-Big Ten