2018 Season Countdown: #95 Ronnie Bell

Tag: 2018 season countdown

2Jun 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #95 Ronnie Bell

Ronnie Bell (image via 810 Varsity)

Name: Ronnie Bell
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 174 lbs.
High school: Kansas City (MO) Park Hill
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Bell was a senior in high school (LINK). He caught 89 passes for 1,605 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Bell was a very divisive signee back in February. He planned to play college basketball at Missouri State, and he had even signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Bears (you didn’t know Missouri State’s mascot, did you?). Then Michigan swooped in with an offer to play football, and that changed everything. The small-college basketball player was suddenly a big-time football recruit, and it’s not hard to see why based on his eye-popping numbers (89 receptions, 1605 yards, 21 TD; 15 carries, 163 yards, 1 TD).

Now Bell joins a roster that is loaded at wide receiver, at least according to the recruiting sites. Michigan brought in four freshmen in the 2017 class, and they have some leftover star power, too (Eddie McDoom, Kekoa Crawaford, etc.). That doesn’t even include Grant Perry, who is a multi-year starter in the slot. Playing time in 2018 is an uphill battle, and I think Bell will redshirt while looking to add size and strength.

Prediction: Redshirt

Hit the jump for some of Bell’s basketball highlights.

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30May 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #96 Michael Sessa

Michael Sessa (image via Hudl)

Name: Michael Sessa
Height: 6’8″
Weight: 205 lbs.
High school: Hinsdale (IL) Central
Position: Quarterback
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #6
Last year: I ranked Sessa #94 and said he would be a backup quarterback. He did not see game action.

The story is largely the same in 2018 as it was in 2017 for Sessa. Sessa is the abnormally tall, skinny quarterback you saw hanging out with the rest of the quarterbacks in Amazon’s All or Nothing series. He will be a redshirt sophomore in the fall, and he will almost certainly be buried on the depth chart like he was last season. Wilton Speight, Alex Malzone, and John O’Korn have all departed and were ahead of him in the coaches’ eyes. Normally it’s a good thing when three people ahead of you are no longer on the roster, but they were replaced by Shea Patterson and Joe Milton, plus an additional year of weightlifting and experience for Dylan McCaffrey. Brandon Peters returns from last season, too, which means Sessa will be watching from the sidelines again this year.

Prediction: Backup quarterback

28May 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #97 Jake McCurry

Name: Jake McCurry
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 180 lbs.
High school: Solon (OH) Solon
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #43
Last year: I did not rank McCurry. He redshirted.

McCurry is a bit of a mystery since we didn’t have an opportunity to see Michigan play the spring game, but I heard some hype about him in the off-season. Hype about skill players at this level is rare since there’s so much talent at wide receiver, cornerback, etc., and even then it must be taken with a grain of salt. It wasn’t too long ago that Nate Schoenle earned a fair amount of attention, and while he has parlayed that into a decent chunk of playing time, it has almost exclusively been as a blocker, not a pass receiver (4 catches, 41 yards for his career). What are the chances that Michigan has playing time for two walk-on receivers with all the ballyhooed recruits on the roster? Probably very slim.

McCurry was, however, the Scout Team Special Teams Player of the Year in 2017 after winning that weekly award three times throughout the season. He has obviously caught the eye of the coaching staff to a certain extent, and he could turn that into some special teams time.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver, special teamer

26May 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #98 Vincent Gray

Vincent Gray

Name: Vincent Gray
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 180 lbs.
High school: Rochester (MI) Adams
Position: Cornerback
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Gray was a senior in high school (LINK).

Michigan took a late flier on Gray, which caused him to decommit from Missouri. Oregon was really his only other offer from a successful program, and Michigan fans showed mixed emotions. Gray finished the cycle as a 3-star, the #63 cornerback, and #702 overall. Maybe he has the size to be an early contributor, but the athleticism and technique leave something to be desired. Michigan didn’t lose any of their corners from last season, so there’s not much opportunity for playing time. Starters Lavert Hill and David Long return, while backup Brandon Watson has established himself as a very solid third corner. The Wolverines also signed several other defensive backs in the 2018 class. It would seem to make sense for Gray to redshirt, although burning redshirts unnecessarily happens on occasion.

Prediction: Redshirt

25May 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #99 Greg Robinson

Guess which one of these guys plays for Michigan now. (image via Scouting Ohio)

Name: Greg Robinson
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 290 lbs.
High school: Hudson (OH) Hudson
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #79
Last year: I did not rank Robinson. He did not see game action.

I have no inside info that Robinson will be a contributor to the team, and at #99, that’s not the expectation, anyway. But by golly, a 6’6″, 290-pounder to throw out there on the scout team offensive line ought to be worth something.

Prediction: Backup offensive tackle

P.S. He’s the big guy in the foreground.