2020 Season Countdown: #44 Ben VanSumeren

Tag: Ben VanSumeren


2Aug 2020
Blog, homepage 51 comments

2020 Season Countdown: #44 Ben VanSumeren

Ben VanSumeren (image via Detroit Free Press)

Name: Ben VanSumeren
Height: 
6’2″
Weight: 
244 lbs.
High school: 
Essexville (MI) Garber
Position: 
Running back
Class: 
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: 
#40
Last year: 
I ranked VanSumeren #48 and said he would be a backup running back (LINK). He played in five games and ran the ball 6 times for 20 yards.
TTB Rating:
 78

Michigan’s transition to the Josh Gattis offense was a positive for a lot of people, but probably not someone like VanSumeren. Brought in as more of a traditional fullback, he was left without a real position on offense. At 6’2″ and 236 pounds, his speed and quickness were lacking as a runner. Though he spent the spring of 2019 getting a lot of reps due to injuries, the season itself saw him finish as the #5 tailback.

The outlook has not changed much going into 2020, and VanSumeren has reportedly made another position switch, this time to linebacker. It’s not clear exactly what role he would fill on defense, but he was rumored to potentially become a pass rusher off the edge, a role that Josh Uche previously inhabited. I do not see VanSumeren having a lot of success in that type of role, but like fellow fullback/linebacker recruit Ben Mason (who has also spent time at defensive tackle), it appears the coaching staff will try to shoehorn him into a role. I would not be surprised to see him line up at linebacker, defensive end, fullback, and/or tailback in 2020, but I would be surprised to see him become a standout at any one of those spots.

Prediction: Backup linebacker

28Dec 2019
Blog, homepage 7 comments

Afternoon Roundup: December 28, 2019

Ben Van Sumeren (image via Wolverines Wire)

The holidays are busy. I hope you all are doing well and enjoying Washington State vs. Air Force highlights!

A couple wrap-up items from recent days on players with decisions to make:

  • Nick Eubanks is returning for a fifth year at tight end, which is good because I don’t think he would get drafted in 2020.
  • Kwity Paye is returning for his senior year at defensive end, which is also good because I don’t think his draft stock would be very high.
  • It sounds like Ambry Thomas is coming back, although he hasn’t come out with that decision as definitively as the first two.

Hit the jump for more.

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17Jul 2019
Blog, homepage 19 comments

2019 Season Countdown: #48 Ben VanSumeren

Ben VanSumeren (image via Twitter)

Name: Ben VanSumeren
Height:
6’2″
Weight:
236 lbs.
High school:
Essexville (MI) Garber
Position:
Running back
Class:
Redshirt freshman
Jersey number:
#40
Last year:
I ranked VanSumeren #39 and said he would be a backup fullback (LINK). He played in four games and redshirted.
TTB Rating:
78

There’s one thing I can say about myself that I can be proud of:

I’m no Skip Bayless.

The thing about these countdowns – and my review posts – is that I hold myself accountable and make it plain to see when I’m wrong. And I was very wrong about VanSumeren and, to an extent, Michigan’s offense last year. With Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi having graduated after the 2017 season, I thought Michigan would go right back to the fullback well with a heavy dose of Ben Mason and the next most fullback-y guy, VanSumeren.

That turned out not to be the case. Mason got some pretty good playing time, fifth year senior Jared Wangler played some, and VanSumeren redshirted while playing very little in four games.

Oops.

This spring VanSumeren saw some playing time at tailback, partly because there were a bunch of injuries and the suspension of Chris Evans. VanSumeren isn’t a classic running back, and it’s somewhat concerning that he was forced into such a prominent role, even if it was just practice. I think he will be relatively low on the depth chart, but I do think he will start to get some carries and perhaps some receptions in 2019.

Prediction: Backup running back