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Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . A.J. Henning. Assuming Ronnie Bell is out for a while (hopefully not!), I think Henning is probably the guy who needs to see more touches. Michigan needs a guy who can run through tackles and make something happen after the catch. As much as I like Cornelius Johnson, Roman Wilson, and other guys, I’m not sure that any receiver besides Henning can offer that ability after the catch. Henning had a 74-yard touchdown on an end around and caught 1 pass for 11 yards from J.J. McCarthy.
Name: Chuck Filiaga Height: 6’6″ Weight: 337 lbs. High school: Aledo (TX) Aledo Position: Offensive guard Class: Fifth year senior Jersey number: #66 Last year: I ranked Filiaga #25 and said he would be the starting left guard (LINK). He started six games. TTB Rating: 86
Filiaga was a highly regarded member of the monster 2017 recruiting class, and his recruiting ratings seemed on the verge of paying off going into 2020. Like with almost everyone else, his first game as a starter against Minnesota seemed to go pretty well. But everything went downhill from there. The fears with Filiaga seemed to rise to the fore when he struggled to identify defenders and move laterally. Despite starting all six games, he was the weakest member of the line, or at least of the initial starting group.
A little bit to my surprise, Filiaga stuck around for 2021. His teammates reportedly love him, so maybe he’s just a team-oriented guy who fits in well with his guys, but most projections have Trevor Keegan replacing him at left guard. Of course it’s a nice idea to have a huge, experienced guy coming off the bench to potentially sub in at a couple positions, but a lot of guys would have headed off for a guaranteed starting position. It’s entirely within the realm of possibility that Filiaga will earn a starting job; however, I expect Filiaga to be a backup or else be a frustrating member of the starting crew.
It’s time for unbridled speculation, because this is sadly a rather dull time to be a Michigan fan, what with all the bad football and lack of football we’re seeing. Keep in mind that this information is purely speculative.
So what kind of attrition are we likely to see going into the 2021 season?
Name: Chuck Filiaga Height: 6’6″ Weight: 345 lbs. High school: Aledo (TX) Aledo Position: Offensive guard Class: Redshirt junior Jersey number: #66 Last year: I ranked Filiaga #67 and said he would be a backup offensive guard (LINK). He played in twelve games, four at offensive guard and twelve on special teams. TTB Rating: 86
Filiaga has always had questions swirling around him about whether he could manage his weight effectively. He was listed at 341 pounds last year, and perhaps it’s a coincidence, but he did not play much. The four games in which he played offensive line were either blowout wins or blowout losses. There were four senior starters ahead of him and a redshirt freshman tackle who recently declared for the NFL draft, so talent was abundant. But Filiaga also wasn’t even one of the top couple guys off the bench, which were Ryan Hayes and the loser of the Jalen Mayfield/Andrew Stueber starting tackle battle (that Mayfield won if only by default when Stueber got injured).
I have Filiaga here at #25 as the lowest ranked lineman who is projected to be a starter. He could probably be ranked higher if not for the fact that Mayfield, now NFL-bound, is ahead of him. I have questions about Filiaga’s endurance and mobility, especially since he’s now listed four pounds heavier at 345 than he was last year. I was hoping he would drop some weight and get into the 330 range. Based on last year, I was not impressed with his ability to bend and use leverage to his advantage.
Every year the new season brings changes big and small. It seems that the 2020 season will bring some pretty significant changes to what we see on the field at Michigan, from players to coaches. Here’s a look at the expected changes and what we might see in 2020.
The impact is rated as being positive (+), negative (-), or neutral (=).
Out: QB Shea Patterson In: Dylan McCaffrey/Joe Milton Patterson was just the third quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards in a season, but many weren’t happy with his performance. Redshirt junior McCaffrey and redshirt sophomore Joe Milton will battle it out, and the belief (on my end) is that the loser of that battle will not finish out his career at Michigan. McCaffrey is the better overall player – both passing and running – but a concussion and a collarbone injury have ended his previous two seasons. Impact: =