2019 Season Countdown: #48 Ben VanSumeren

Tag: Ben VanSumeren

17Jul 2019
Blog, homepage 19 comments

2019 Season Countdown: #48 Ben VanSumeren

Ben VanSumeren (image via Twitter)

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

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.


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

20Aug 2018
Blog, homepage 5 comments

Final TTB Ratings for 2018

Aidan Hutchinson (image via Hudl)

Thanks to Bryan and Keith for the recent, generous donations through Paypal!

It’s been a long time coming because I’ve been so busy, but here are the final TTB Ratings for the class of 2018.

A note on the ratings: These are Michigan-specific ratings, so a guy who would be an instant starter at Eastern Michigan might not be quite so much of an individual standout playing against Michigan’s opponents . . . and he might even have a hard time getting on the field over some other Wolverines. It’s tricky trying to determine how the depth chart will shake out over the next three to five years, but I’m here for the heavy lifting. For more of an explanation, check out this page here (LINK).

Hit the jump for the final rankings.

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19Jul 2018
Blog, homepage 4 comments

2018 Season Countdown: #39 Ben VanSumeren

Ben VanSumeren (image via MLive)

Name: Ben VanSumeren
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 232 lbs.
High school: Essexville (MI) Garber
Position: Fullback
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: VanSumeren was a senior in high school (LINK). He was 11/25 passes for 249 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. He caught 85 passes for 1,259 yards and 13 TDs. He ran the ball 54 times for 387 yards and 6 touchdowns. And he made 43 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 1 sack.
TTB Rating: 78

That summary after “last year” is called filling up the stat sheet, my friends. VanSumeren did a little bit of everything for his high school team, and sometimes that’s what it looks like when you have a big-time football recruit playing at a small school. Talent gap aside, it’s amazing that he just touched the ball so much, especially when 85 of those touches came on receptions. It’s not too hard to get a running back 150+ touches a year, but when a guy is lining up at receiver most of the time, that’s impressive.

I kept holding off on VanSumeren when I was making this list. I thought about him in the 60s. Then I thought about him in the 50s. Still not high enough. Then I thought about him in the 40s. And I finally thought it appropriate to place him at #39. Michigan lost co-starting fullbacks Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi, leaving behind sophomore Ben Mason and position-switching fifth-year senior Jared Wangler, plus a few walk-ons. On top of that, Mason is coming off a knee issue and might take some snaps at linebacker. With as much as Hill and Poggi played over the past two seasons, I think Mason and VanSumeren will be those two guys this year. Michigan might go with a few less fullback sets due to having Shea Patterson at quarterback and wanting to spread the field, but I still think Jim Harbaugh and Pep Hamilton are going to stick to their roots.

Prediction: Backup fullback