2022 Season Countdown: #103 Mica Gelb

Tag: 2022 season countdown


27May 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #103 Mica Gelb

Mica Gelb (image via Twitter)

Name: Mica Gelb
Height:
6’4″
Weight:
292 lbs.
High school:
Washington (DC) Woodrow Wilson
Position:
Offensive guard
Class:
Redshirt junior
Jersey number:
#50
Last year:
I ranked Gelb #105 and said he would be a backup offensive guard (LINK). He played in one game.
TTB Rating:
N/A

Gelb is a walk-on lineman who spent his first two seasons mired on the bench before getting rewarded in 2021 with an appearance against Northern Illinois. With Michigan’s depth on the offensive line – and the requirement for developmental time – there typically isn’t much opportunity for walk-ons to play unless they’re starter-quality players, such as Andrew Vastardis. While different packages can bring in tight ends or offensive lineman, and while walk-on defensive backs or receivers can play a lot of special teams, a guy like Gelb won’t get much of a shot to get on the field on game days. But when it comes to practice time, someone like Gelb can be valuable on the scout team and keep some scholarship guys fresh.

Prediction: Backup offensive guard

26May 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #104 Mathew Harrison

Mathew Harrison (image via MGoBlue)

Name: Mathew Harrison
Height:
6’2″
Weight:
205 lbs.
High school:
Ortonville (MI) Brandon
Position:
Wide receiver
Class:
Redshirt junior
Jersey number:
#88
Last year:
I ranked Harrison #111 and said he would be a backup wide receiver (LINK). He played in one game.
TTB Rating:
N/A

Harrison is yet another walk-on wide receiver who earned a little bit of playing time in 2021, along with everyone else against Northern Illinois. They’re all hanging out here in this sub-100 area because if there are 10 walk-on receivers, it’s difficult to separate one from another. The truth is that walk-on wideouts are only going to play in maybe two or three games, and mostly when the game has already been decided.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver

25May 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #105 Sam Staruch

Sam Staruch (image via Twitter)

Name: Sam Staruch
Height:
6’1″
Weight:
180 lbs.
High school:
Lake Orion (MI) Lake Orion
Position:
Wide receiver
Class:
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number:
#84
Last year:
I did not rank Staruch. He did not play in any games.
TTB Rating:
N/A

Staruch was probably not on very many fans’ radar before the spring game, and maybe not even then. An unused walk-on receiver so far in his career, Staruch caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Alan Bowman toward the end of this year’s spring game. He was uncovered in the left flat, so Bowman got a quick snap and flung the ball out to the left, where Staruch easily side-stepped a flailing tackle attempt and walked into the endzone. I don’t think Staruch will see the field much, if at all, this fall but it was a nice moment for him to score a televised touchdown in front of some live fans.

Oh, and he was also the guy whose touchdown celebration was a keg stand, so there’s that.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver

24May 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #106 Andy Maddox

Andy Maddox (image via MGoBlue)

Name: Andy Maddox
Height:
6’4″
Weight:
212 lbs.
High school:
Prairie Village (KS) Shawnee Mission East
Position:
Quarterback
Class:
Redshirt junior
Jersey number:
#14
Last year:
I ranked Maddox #102 and said he would be a backup quarterback (LINK). He served as a student coach.
TTB Rating:
N/A

Maddox is a decently talented quarterback prospect who has yet to see the field at Michigan. For unknown reasons (to me), he spent last season as a student coach. I won’t speculate on why that was, but it is likely that after missing a season of football, he is probably not much further along in his development than he was prior to that point. I like his talent and think he could be a valuable scout team option, but that’s probably his approximate ceiling for this year.

Prediction: Backup quarterback

22May 2022
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2022 Season Countdown: #107 Jake Thaw

Jake Thaw

Name: Jake Thaw
Height:
6’0″
Weight:
190 lbs.
High school:
Westport (CT) Staples
Position:
Wide receiver
Class:
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number:
#26
Last year:
I ranked Thaw #118 and said he would be a backup wide receiver (LINK). He played in one game.
TTB Rating:
N/A

Thaw is yet another solidly talented walk-on wide receiver. Since he has yet to play a down at Michigan, I want to take this opportunity to test out a theory. Is there a chance that walk-ons could be phased out of playing time at big-time programs? For example, if NIL deals are now running the sport, a 4-star receiver is not going to want to lose out on playing time to a 0-star walk-on when that could be a chance to make a big play, score a touchdown, and increase his visibility. Late in a 40-point blowout, a freshman like Darrius Clemons might be able to establish himself for a future NIL deal by scoring a 70-yard touchdown, but if the coaches empty the bench to play someone like Thaw, that could affect Clemons’s bottom line.

This is not specific to Thaw and Clemons (they’re just examples), but I wonder if coaches might start making on-field and depth chart decisions based on NIL.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver