2018 Season Countdown: #85 Joe Hewlett

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16Jun 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #85 Joe Hewlett

Joe Hewlett

Name: Joe Hewlett
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 195 lbs.
High school: Northville (MI) Northville
Position: Quarterback
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #27
Last year: I ranked Hewlett #87 and said he would be a backup running back with 1 carry for 3 yards (LINK). He made 4 tackles on special teams.

Hewlett showed his value last season when he played scout team quarterback during the week leading up to the Air Force game. MGoBlue.com says he took over 500 snaps in the week leading up to playing against Air Force’s triple option offense, which makes sense because Michigan doesn’t have any dual-threat quarterbacks. Hewlett was a high school QB who has played safety and running back during his time in Ann Arbor. The coaching staff did find some ways to get him on the field on special teams, where he made 4 tackles.

This year maybe Hewlett can factor in during the week leading up to the Nebraska game, where new head coach Scott Frost values a lot of option principles. But there’s no true triple option offense on the schedule, and his services might not be needed too much in that capacity. He will probably find his way onto the field on special teams at some point, which would be a good reward for a guy who has given five years and has an appreciable amount of talent for a walk-on skill player.

Prediction: Backup running back, special teamer

15Jun 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #86 Joel Honigford

Joel Honigford

Name: Joel Honigford
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 275 lbs.
High school: Sugarcreek (OH) Garaway
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #59
Last year: I ranked Honigford #92 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He redshirted.

Honigford came out of high school at a pretty scrawny 6’6″ and 275 lbs., and so far that weight has not been changed on Michigan’s roster. He was destined for a redshirt last season, which is indeed what happened. Now with a full off-season under his belt, it seems like not much has changed. He has been practicing mostly at offensive guard, where there are a couple fairly entrenched starters in Ben Bredeson and Michael Onwenu. Even if one of those two players stumbles or gets injured, there are more experienced players ready to step in, such as Stephen Spanellis and Jon Runyan, Jr. If Honigford is limited to guard, nothing good happened for him on the roster over the winter, because Michigan’s only losses on the offensive line were center Patrick Kugler, left tackle Mason Cole, and freshman guard Ja’Raymond Hall, who was supposedly a step behind Honigford. I still think Honigford has potential for the future, but for now, he’s a backup.

Prediction: Backup offensive guard

15Jun 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #87 Andrew Vastardis

This is a picture from high school, but I like it. (image via LoCoSports)

Name: Andrew Vastardis
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 305 lbs.
High school: Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge
Position: Center
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #63
Last year: I ranked Vastardis #64 and said he would be a backup offensive guard (LINK). He played on special teams.

Vastardis entered last off-season with a chance to play a backup role as an offensive guard or center. A naturally large gentleman, he turned down an opportunity to play at a lower-level program (Old Dominion) in order to walk on at Michigan. So far that decision has been rewarded with special teams play going into his third season on campus. A lack of lateral mobility and height may relegate him to the center position, where high school All-American Cesar Ruiz currently holds the job. The #2 guy on the depth chart looks to be Stephen Spanellis, who converted from offensive guard last year and played center in the Outback Bowl. That means Vastardis is probably #3 on the depth chart to snap the ball.

Prediction: Backup center

14Jun 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #88 German Green

German Green (image via Inside Texas)

Name: German Green
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 178 lbs.
High school: DeSoto (TX) DeSoto
Position: Safety
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Green was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 42 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and a 3 pass breakups.

German Green, the twin brother of Gemon Green, is the less heralded of the twins. He ended up as a 3-star, the #98 safety, and #1229 overall. Part of that is the knee injury German suffered as a junior in 2016, which caused him to miss the season. Part of that is a lack of explosive athleticism, which is what I see on film. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard talk that Michigan’s staff is actually higher on German than Gemon.

As for the 2018 season, Michigan returns its incumbents at the safety spots, they brought in a grad transfer in Casey Hughes, and they have a guy they like in J’Marick Woods. There’s not a ton of room to step in at safety, unless it’s as the #4 or #5 guy in blowouts. I do not see German Green making an impact this season, but he does have the frame to fill out nicely and could be a long, lanky defensive back who uses his size instead of athleticism to make plays.

Prediction: Redshirt

12Jun 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #89 Hassan Haskins

Hassan Haskins (image via Land of 10)

Name: Hassan Haskins
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 207 lbs.
High school: Eureka (MO) Eureka
Position: Running back
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Haskins was a senior in high school (LINK). He ran 255 times for 2,197 yards and 31 touchdowns; he also caught 12 passes for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he added 1 punt return touchdown. On defense, he had 25 tackles, 9 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries.

Haskins is perhaps the least heralded of the running backs Michigan brought in with the 2018 class. That’s to be expected when a guy’s next best offers are from the likes of Eastern Michigan, Memphis, and New Mexico. Regardless, he was still a First Team All-State running back in Missouri, and he rushed for almost 2,200 yards with 30+ touchdowns. That was good enough to earn him an invitation to the International Bowl, where he played well but was second fiddle to Michigan commit Christian Turner, who was on the same team (LINK).

I like a lot of what Haskins brings to the table. He doesn’t have great top-end speed, but he has toughness, vision, the ability to run behind his pads, etc. I think he runs similarly to Saquon Barkley (but slower), and the best comparison I have for him as a Michigan running back is Brandon Minor. If he’s anywhere between Minor and Barkley, I think Michigan fans would be happy with that. He still looked thin to me at the International Bowl, and if he was already 205-207 lbs., then I think he needs to get up to about 215 lbs. or so. The departure of Kareem Walker moves Haskins a little closer to seeing the field, but I think he’ll be slightly behind Turner and Michael Barrett going into the season.

Prediction: Redshirt