1. Brady Hoke. The first year head coach has brought back a winning attitude and solid defensive play, things that were sorely missing for a few years.
2. Greg Mattison. The new defensive coordinator, brought back to Michigan after stints with the Florida Gators and Baltimore Ravens, took last season’s defensive players, added a few freshmen, and concocted the #17 defense in the country.
3. Denard Robinson. The quarterback looked shaky at the beginning of the season while adjusting to offensive coordinator Al Borges’s offense, but Robinson turned it on toward the end of the year. He’s one of the most electrifying players in the entire country.
4. Mike Martin. The nose tackle had an excellent year for Michigan, especially in the second half of the season. More so than creating havoc inside, it was exciting to see the 6’2″, 304-pounder chase down plays from sideline to sideline. Michigan hasn’t had a nose tackle this athletic in my memory.
5. David Molk. The four-year starter at center won the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s top snapper. It’s a well deserved award for a quick and intelligent lineman with an old-school attitude.
Thanks to all the Wolverines for working hard and giving us fans an exciting 2011 season. Hopefully even better things are to come in 2012, including a Sugar Bowl victory against Virginia Tech on Tuesday. Go Blue!