2022 Season Countdown: #80 Danny Hughes

Tag: 2022 season countdown


28Jun 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #80 Danny Hughes

Danny Hughes (image via Chicago Tribune)

Name: Danny Hughes
Height:
6’0″
Weight:
200 lbs.
High school:
Naperville (IL) Central
Position:
Running back
Class:
Redshirt junior
Jersey number:
#24
Last year:
I ranked Hughes #106 and said he would be a backup running back and special teamer (LINK). He played in thirteen games on special teams and had 1 carry for 5 yards on offense.
TTB Rating:
N/A

Hughes is one of the top walk-on special teamers on the squad. He played in thirteen games last season on special teams, and in the blowout win over Maryland, he even got rewarded with 1 carry for 5 yards. Despite his contributions on special teams, I couldn’t make it make sense to place him higher. There are some freshman and sophomore players who are superior athletes, and I think they could fill Hughes’s role on special teams. Walk-ons provide an opportunity for young guys to retain redshirts, but at a time when kids can hit the transfer portal easily if they’re not getting on the field, we may be entering an era when walk-on special teamers’ importance starts to diminish.

Prediction: Backup running back and special teamer

27Jun 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #81 Jimmy Rolder

Jimmy Rolder

Name: Jimmy Rolder
Height:
6’2″
Weight:
220 lbs.
High school:
Orland Park (IL) Marist
Position:
Linebacker
Class:
Freshman
Jersey number:
N/A
Last year:
Rolder was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 115 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.
TTB Rating:
81

Rolder was a bit of a late bloomer. Originally planning to play baseball in college, his recruitment didn’t really take off until he realized that hitting running backs is a whole lot easier to do than hitting baseballs. His first Power 5 offer didn’t come until October of his senior season. He climbed in the rankings and eventually ended up as a 4-star, the #21 linebacker, and #222 overall in the 247 Composite, and Michigan bested Florida, Iowa, LSU, Ohio State, and Wisconsin for his services.

Rolder did not enroll at Michigan early and is just getting to campus this summer, so the chances of him playing much this fall are slim. Much like Deuce Spurlock (whom I profiled yesterday), if Rolder gets on the field, that means things have probably gone wrong with injuries and performance ahead of him. He also probably needs a year or two in the weight room. He could get some late game snaps to prepare him for 2023, when Michigan may need someone to take up snaps potentially vacated by Mike Barrett.

Prediction: Redshirt

26Jun 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #82 Deuce Spurlock

Deuce Spurlock (image via Madison Record)

Name: Deuce Spurlock
Height:
6’2″
Weight:
220 lbs.
High school:
Madison (AL) Madison Academy
Position:
Linebacker
Class:
Freshman
Jersey number:
N/A
Last year:
Spurlock was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 186 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 pass breakups.
TTB Rating:
78

Spurlock is a good sized linebacker prospect who can run and somehow ended up ranked as the #994 overall prospect in the class and the #91 linebacker. I can’t claim to have watched every linebacker ranked ahead of him, but I find it hard to believe that there are 90 linebackers in the country who are better. Then again, Auburn and South Carolina were Spurlock’s two other best offers, so maybe I’m wrong.

Despite my evaluation that he’s a pretty solid player, I rarely like placing freshman linebackers very high in the countdown. Linebacker is a difficult position to play from a mental standpoint, and naturally, making the transition from high school to college is a big task. However, the need at the position is pretty strong considering the lack of depth and experience. Nikhai Hill-Green and Junior Colson are pretty entrenched as two of the top three guys – with perhaps some Mike Barrett mixed in there – but after that, it’s a roll of the dice to figure out which guy’s next. I could see Spurlock redshirting, and I could also see him being a guy who runs downfield on kickoff and punt coverage in every single game.

Prediction: Backup linebacker

25Jun 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #83 C.J. Stokes

C.J. Stokes (image via SI)

Name: C.J. Stokes
Height:
5’11”
Weight:
190 lbs.
High school:
Columbia (SC) Hammond
Position:
Running back
Class:
Freshman
Jersey number:
N/A
Last year:
Stokes was a senior in high school (LINK).
TTB Rating:
59 71

Michigan beat out Louisville, Minnesota, Missouri, Penn State, and South Carolina for South Carolina native C.J. Stokes. Stokes ended up ranked as a 3-star, the #63 running back, and #798 overall. Playing in a small school league, he dusted the competition on his way to 1,000+ yards in each of his final three seasons and a 13-0 record as a senior.

I have no real reason to distrust Michigan’s running back evaluations. Jim Harbaugh has a track record of production there, even with guys whose talent I didn’t love, such as Karan Higdon and De’Veon Smith. I think Stokes can be a solid college running back. He’s built low to the ground, has some decent agility, and seems to have a good, hard-nosed attitude. Sometimes he seems a little slow to find holes and accelerate through them, and his top-end speed is a little questionable. But Hassan Haskins had some of the same issues, and he turned out just fine. Even so, Michigan has a great 1-2 punch at running back with Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, and the big back role seems to be a battle between Tavierre Dunlap and Kalel Mullings. Add in walk-on Leon Franklin, who got a decent number of carries last year, and Stokes is going to be fighting for scraps or redshirting.

Prediction: Redshirt

23Jun 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #84 Kody Jones

Kody Jones (image via 247 Sports)

Name: Kody Jones
Height:
5’11”
Weight:
175 lbs.
High school:
Memphis (TN) Germantown
Position:
Cornerback
Class:
Freshman
Jersey number:
#12
Last year:
Jones was a senior in high school (LINK).
TTB Rating:
80

There were some tense moments as Michigan tried to hold onto the 4-star, #13 athlete, and #311 overall player in the country, according to the 247 Composite. Despite a steady push from the home state Tennessee Volunteers, Jones chose the Wolverines and eventually decided to stick with the Wolverines. Despite being recruited as a defensive player, Jones played a lot of offense in 2021 as he stepped in to be a dynamic running back.

Jones could play a few positions in college. Originally thought to be a safety, Michigan employed him as a cornerback during the spring after he enrolled early. Jones held up fairly well, and unlike fellow freshman corner Myles Pollard, he did not look overmatched as an athlete. Jones will need to get bigger and work on his technique, but he looks like a young Blake Countess to me. Jones may need to wait a bit to get on the field, and he’s probably not ready as a true freshman. I could see him getting his feet wet this season and maybe playing in just a few games to maintain his redshirt.

Prediction: Redshirt