Name: Ben VanSumeren
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.
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