Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Roman Wilson. It’s only on three total receptions, but this guy has 107 yards and 2 touchdowns. One touchdown was a 61-yard catch-and-run bubble screen against Colorado State, and the other was a 42-yard bomb against Hawaii. Good things happen when you run a 4.37 forty and have ball skills. He’s already playing quite a bit, but the speed and big play ability are really enticing.
Who’s your QB? Cade McNamara started the game and completed 9/18 passes for 136 yards and 1 touchdown. It was not a great start. He threw an easy completion into the dirt, had guys drop a couple passes, and had to throw a couple balls away. One play looked like a bad interception initially, until you realized that tight end Erick All fell down coming out of his break; luckily, the pass was ruled incomplete after replayed deemed it hit the ground. Meanwhile, J.J. McCarthy played sporadically, completing 4/4 passes for 30 yards and running 3 times for 50 yards and 1 touchdown. I don’t put too much stock in either performance. McNamara started off slowly last year and had a good season. McCarthy’s package against an inferior team is not a large enough sample size to make an overall decision.
Name: Donovan Edwards Height: 6’1” Weight: 204 lbs. High school: West Bloomfield (MI) West Bloomfield Position: Running back Class: Sophomore Jersey number: #7 Last year: I ranked Edwards #36b and said he would be a backup running back (LINK). He ran 35 times for 174 yards and 3 touchdowns; caught 20 passes for 265 yards and 1 touchdown; and completed 1 pass for a 75-yard touchdown. TTB Rating: 90
Edwards didn’t do much at the beginning of his 2021 season, aside from running away from Northern Illinois. In fact, for the entire season, he only averaged over 4.0 yards per carry three times – against Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Ohio State (the last of which included just 1 carry for 8 yards). He showed some talent, but he just never quite had that breakdown came.
And then came Maryland. Through ten games, Edwards had 2 catches for 14 yards. And in game eleven against the Terps, Edwards broke out for 10 catches for 170 yards and 1 touchdown. Michigan used him as a fifth receiver, and nobody from Maryland was prepared or able to cover him. It was the best receiving performance from a Michigan running back in school history, and it came for a guy with 2 career catches up to that point. Then a couple weeks later, Michigan used the threat of him to get a touchdown against Ohio State and a double pass to have him throw a 75-yard touchdown to Roman Wilson.
Edwards wasn’t exactly flying under the radar coming out of high school, considering he was an elite national recruit. But he’s definitely on people’s radar now. With Hassan Haskins having gone to the Tennessee Titans, Edwards seems to be in line for a lot more snaps, including more opportunities to run the ball. He was listed at 190 pounds last season and is up to 204, so hopefully he’s going to be as durable as possible. His array of skills – running, catching, passing – were on display in high school, and perhaps some were unfamiliar with the fact that he was a Wildcat type quarterback at times in high school, too. It remains to be seen whether he can really run between the tackles with regularity, but he can do a lot of different things. He and Blake Corum should make a nice duo out of Michigan’s backfield.
The following depth chart has removed a variety of players due to graduation, departures for the NFL, and transfers. I have made some updates/changes based upon the spring game and chatter surrounding practices.
It also assumes that every currently rostered player and every signed prospect will be here in the fall of 2022, which is obviously not true.
The spring game will be shown on the Big Ten Network on Saturday, April 2, at 12:00 p.m.
Here are a few things I’ll be curious to watch:
WHO TAKES OVER FOR HASSAN HASKINS? Michigan needs to replace its leading rusher and toughest back in Hassan Haskins, a 6’1″, 220-pounder who is off to the NFL after rushing for 1,327 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2021. The Wolverines have two very talented running backs left, Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, but neither one has proven to be a bruiser or short yardage back. They have home run speed but were listed at 200 and 202 pounds, respectively, last season. Redshirt freshman Tavierre Dunlap (6’0″, 222) might be able to step into the role as a big back, but does he have the instincts and power that Haskins showed? Michigan doesn’t need a leading rusher – that will be Corum or Edwards – but they need someone who can pound the ball inside.