2019 Season Predictions

Tag: Will Hart


28Aug 2019
Blog, homepage 22 comments

2019 Season Predictions

Joshua Uche

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Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s time! Fighting in the maize and blue corner, it’s . . . the 2019 season predictions. You can check out my 2018 season predictions and how they fared here (LINK).

LEADING RUSHER
I am not confident in this pick whatsoever, but I’m sticking with what I predicted a couple weeks ago: Tru Wilson edges out Zach Charbonnet. Charbonnet is the most talented back to land at Michigan in years, if not decades, so I’m very willing to be wrong on this one. In fact, I want to be wrong. Please prove me wrong by rushing for 850 yards, Zach Charbonnet…
Prediction: Tru Wilson, 700 yards

Hit the jump for the rest of the prognostications.

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7Aug 2019
Blog, homepage 2 comments

2019 Season Countdown: #24 Will Hart

Will Hart (image via Twitter)

Name: Will Hart
Height:
6’3″
Weight:
206 lbs.
High school:
Hunting Valley (OH) University School
Position:
Punter
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number:
#17
Last year:
I ranked Hart #45 and said he would be the backup punter (LINK). He was the First Team All-Big Ten punter after averaging 47 yards per punt.
TTB Rating:
N/A

Hart had one of the biggest one-season turnarounds in memory. As a redshirt freshman in 2017, he was below average when forced into duty as the starting punter. He averaged just 37.7 yards per punt, which was literally the worst average in the Big Ten, if he had had enough attempts to qualify.

The 1991 Minnesota Twins ain’t got nothin’ on Will Hart.

Hart went worst to first, averaging 47.0 yards per punt in 2018. He had a long of 65, 19 kicks that went 50+ yards, and landed 15 kicks (out of 43) inside the 20-yard line. The #2 punter in the conference was Penn State’s Blake Gillikin at 44.0 yards per punt. That 47.0 average is the highest in Michigan history, and his single-game average of 59.3 against Nebraska is also a program record.

In one year Hart went from the worst punter in the conference to the best punter in Wolverines history.

This year Hart figures to be a stalwart once again. Former presumed starter Brad Robbins entered the transfer portal in the off-season, but he’s still listed on Michigan’s roster as a 6’1″, 199 lb. junior. I don’t imagine he will win the job back. This is Hart’s gig to lose, obviously. It’s hard to expect another record-breaking season, but expectations are still high. Obviously, going from 37.7 yards per punt to 47 is almost a 10-yard difference in field position, as long as the punt coverage can still get downfield and hold returners to modest or no gains. Luckily, Hart gets a lot of air time instead of counting on rugby-style bounces and rolls, so big returns haven’t been an issue.

Prediction: Starting punter

26Jul 2019
Blog, homepage 24 comments

Morning Roundup: July 26, 2019

Trey Burke (image via CBS Sports)

Trey Burke signed a one-year contract to play for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Middle Tennessee State is still looking for its starting quarterback (LINK).

Andrew Kahn gives a mini-preview of Army (LINK).

A few updates on pre-season watch lists and such:

  • Will Hart is on the Ray Guy watch list for the country’s best punter
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones is on the Paul Hornung Award watch list for being the nation’s most versatile player
  • Michigan transfer Ryan Tice (CMU) is on the Lou Groza watch list for the nation’s best kicker

Hit the jump for more.

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10Jan 2019
Blog, homepage 36 comments

Review of 2018 Season Predictions

Nico Collins (image via MGoBlue)

I always like to look back at my predictions for the previous season to see how well I judged the year beforehand. Here’s the link to my 2018 Season Predictions (and the comments): LINK.

LEADING RUSHER
Prediction: Karan Higdon, 1100 yards
Actual: Higdon, 1178 yards
Thoughts: Higdon was about as effective as I thought he would be, although he would have ended up with more yardage if he didn’t miss one regular season game (due to injury) and then the bowl game (due to selfishness). I was surprised he was named First Team All-Big Ten, but there were some other backs in the conference who were not as effective as I thought they would be.

LEADING RECEIVER
Prediction: Donovan Peoples-Jones, 750 yards
Actual: Nico Collins, 632 yards
Thoughts: Collins had a breakout season, going from 3 catches for 27 yards in 2017 to leading the team in receiving yardage (and being #2 in receptions) in 2018. Peoples-Jones was just behind Collins by a mere 20 yards and led the team in receptions (47), but Collins was the big downfield target.

LEADING TACKLER
Prediction: Devin Bush, Jr., 95 tackles
Actual: Bush, 79 tackles
Thoughts: As the middle linebacker, Bush was an obvious choice, but his instincts and sideline-to-sideline speed ensured that he would make plays all over the field. Safety Tyree Kinnel was not far behind with 74 tackles in one more game, since Bush missed the bowl game.

Hit the jump for the rest of the review.

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27Nov 2018
Blog, homepage 8 comments

2018 All-Big Ten Defense and Special Teams

Devin Bush, Jr.

The Big Ten released its all-conference defense and special teams units on Tuesday (LINK). Devin Bush, Jr. was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as well as the Linebacker of the Year. Other Michigan honorees include:

COACHES

First Team
Line: Chase Winovich
Line: Rashan Gary
Linebacker: Devin Bush, Jr.
Defensive Back: Lavert Hill
Defensive Back: David Long, Jr.
Punter: Will Hart

Second Team
Defensive Back: Josh Metellus

Third Team
Return Specialist: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Honorable Mention
Line: Bryan Mone
Linebacker: Khaleke Hudson
Linebacker: Josh Ross
Linebacker: Joshua Uche
Defensive Back: Tyree Kinnel

MEDIA

First Team
Line: Chase Winovich
Linebacker: Devin Bush, Jr.
Defensive Back: Lavert Hill
Punter: Will Hart

Second Team
Line: Rashan Gary
Defensive Back: Josh Metellus

Third Team
Defensive Back: David Long
Return Specialist: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Honorable Mention
Line: Kwity Paye
Linebacker: Khaleke Hudson
Linebacker: Joshua Uche
Defensive Back: Tyree Kinnel

The #1 story I take away from this is that Michigan’s defense is pretty darn good. But the #2 story is that other coaches in the conference pegged Josh Ross as an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten linebacker, but he couldn’t wrangle the starting gig away from Devin Gil.