Name: Joe Kerridge
Weight: 249 lbs.
High school: Traverse City (MI) St. Francis
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #36
Last year: I ranked Kerridge #47 and said he would be the backup fullback. He started at fullback and had 3 carries for 56 yards, plus 6 catches for 53 yards.
Kerridge had an exciting season in 2014. He had just one carry going into last year, but he busted a 52-yarder against Maryland. Granted, it was a fake punt that saw him burst through the line unmolested, but that’s a rare opportunity for a fullback. As the season wore on, he seemed to get more involved in the offense and average 8.8 yards/catch, which isn’t bad for a lead blocker. Going into the year, I had him pegged as a backup to Sione Houma, but that was not to be.
This year I have no such illusions about Houma beating out Kerridge. I do think Houma is a quicker and more elusive runner, but Kerridge is a bruiser who can lead up through the hole, catch the ball well, and run pretty decently (for a fullback, anyway). Houma’s case isn’t made any stronger by the fact that he had surgery in the spring that would keep him out until fall camp. There is certainly a role for a fullback in Michigan’s offense with Jim Harbaugh at the helm. It’s worth noting that Stanford fullback Owen Marecic had 31 carries for 61 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground in 2009-2010. Michigan has a few good-sized tailbacks to slam the ball up inside near the goal line and on short yardage, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kerridge get a couple of those short touchdown runs.
Prediction: Starting fullback; 7 carries, 15 yards, 3 touchdowns