|Michigan needs plenty of offensive|
lineman in 2013, and Logan Tuley-Tillman
could be one of them
(image via The Wolverine)
I'm still enjoying your website and input on all things Michigan. I was wondering that now that NSD is over, where exactly does Michigan stand team-wise? By that I mean: I know coaches like to have so many offensive and defensive lineman, so many cornerbacks, so many running backs, etc., in terms of the total of 85 grants in aid allowed on a team at one time.For a chart-like substance to help answer your question, I'll refer you to MGoBlog's Depth Chart by Class. That will at least show how deep Michigan is from a pure numbers standpoint.
Knowing that Michigan was well below those desired totals and distribution levels in several areas on the team, how does Michigan stack up now after NSD; and how, if at all, will that affect Michigan going forward next season (playing wise) and into the next recruiting cycle. Is Michigan meeting its goals and achieving "balance" on the team?
In other words, how is our "mix" and are we moving in a good direction; and where do you see the emphasis on recruiting for the 2013 class? Any insight you might provide, I'm sure I will find interesting, even if you feel this a dumb question. Thanks very much. Happy New Year.
Michigan is well on its way to balancing the team. They were left in a precarious position at a couple spots, including defensive tackle, offensive line, and linebacker. The defensive tackle issue was addressed with the additions of Ondre Pipkins and Willie Henry. The offensive line is still a huge need for the class of 2013, but we knew it would remain a point of emphasis, no matter how many kids Michigan signed in 2012. If Colorado offensive guard Alex Kozan signs with Michigan in the coming days, that will mitigate the need somewhat. And the linebacker positions were well addressed with four inside linebacker types.
Below I'll address the needs as they stand now, although attrition should always be expected. Keep in mind that there are only 18 spots available in this class as of now (16 seniors graduating plus 2 open scholarships), and the numbers I suggest only add up to 18.
Projected 2013 Depth: Devin Gardner (Sr.), Russell Bellomy (RS So.)
Michigan already has one quarterback committed in the form of Warren (MI) De La Salle's Shane Morris. They struck out on the high-profile targets in 2012, and decided not to pursue a lower rated guy. Personally, I think that was a mistake, as there are only two quarterbacks who are officially connected to the program for 2013. Keep in mind that Morris can't even receive an official, written scholarship offer until August 1. He appears to be 100% committed to Michigan, but anything can happen in the world of recruiting. With the lack of depth here, Michigan only needs one guy, but a second quarterback wouldn't be a bad idea.
Projected 2013 Depth: Fitzgerald Toussaint (RS Sr.), Thomas Rawls (Jr.), Justice Hayes (RS So.), Drake Johnson (So.), Dennis Norfleet (So.)
Michigan absolutely, positively needs a big-time running back in the class of 2013. Aside from Toussaint, the guys on the roster are placeholders or role players, not the types of dominant backs that should be on Michigan's roster. At least one freshman needs to be a great one, and Michigan will probably take a second guy, too. Brady Hoke has said before that he expects to take a couple running backs every year, because many of them can move to other positions (fullback, wide receiver, safety, linebacker, etc.) and still contribute due to their instincts and athleticism.
Projected 2013 Depth: Stephen Hopkins (Sr.), Sione Houma (So.)
Committing a third scholarship to a fullback would be overkill. Even though Hopkins will be a senior, fullback is a position where Houma could hold down the starting job for 2014 with a freshman backup.
Projected 2013 Depth: Jeremy Gallon (RS Sr.), Drew Dileo (Sr.), Jeremy Jackson (Sr.), Jerald Robinson (RS Jr.), Jehu Chesson (So.), Amara Darboh (So.)
The receiver position is upperclassman-heavy with half the receivers scheduled to graduate after 2013. Freshman can contribute at wide receiver, so it's not mandatory that all three of those guys have replacements waiting in the wings. But you probably want about eight receivers on the roster at any given time, so two is the bare minimum here.
Projected 2013 Depth: Ricardo Miller (RS Jr.), Devin Funchess (So.), A.J. Williams (So.)
Michigan could take two here, but only one is necessary. Funchess might redshirt this year because of his lack of size, so that would give Michigan a junior, sophomore, and redshirt freshman in 2013, plus anybody Michigan brings in for the class.
Projected 2013 Depth: Taylor Lewan (RS Sr.), Michael Schofield (RS Sr.), Chris Bryant (RS So.), Jack Miller (RS So.), Blake Bars (So.), Ben Braden (So.), Kyle Kalis (So.), Erik Magnuson (So.)
Coaches want to keep the numbers on the offensive line somewhere between 12 and 15, so the bare minimum here is four, but there's such a high washout rate with offensive linemen that you have to aim higher. Injuries, a lack of playing time, a lack of desire, etc. all contribute to guys leaving early. As mentioned above, Alex Kozan's pending commitment could lower this number to four, but I could also see the coaches taking six if they're the right guys.
Projected 2013 Depth: Jibreel Black (Sr.), Frank Clark (Jr.), Keith Heitzman (RS So.), Chris Rock (RS So.), Matt Godin (So.), Mario Ojemudia (So.), Tom Strobel (So.), Chris Wormley (So.)
You want to keep a steady flow of guys so they don't have to play before they develop physically. From a pure numbers standpoint, there's not a strong need for a defensive end here, but for continuity's sake, Michigan will probably take one or even two.
Projected 2013 Depth: Quinton Washington (RS Sr.), Richard Ash (RS Jr.), Ken Wilkins (RS Jr.), Willie Henry (So.), Ondre Pipkins (So.)
While Henry and Pipkins look like difference makers in time - if not immediately - the lack of contributions by Washington, Ash, and Wilkins so far might necessitate grabbing another freshman like Pipkins who can contribute early. There's also the chance that one of those big defensive ends, such as Matt Godin or Chris Wormley, could end up playing defensive tackle. In fact, I would almost guarantee that one of those guys becomes a defensive tackle at some point. If that happens sooner rather than later, then maybe you only need one guy here.
Projected 2013 Depth: Isaiah Bell (RS Sr.), Cam Gordon (RS Sr.), Jordan Paskorz (RS Jr.), Jake Ryan (RS Jr.), Brennen Beyer (Jr.), Desmond Morgan (Jr.), Antonio Poole (RS So.), Joe Bolden (So.), Royce Jenkins-Stone (So.), Kaleb Ringer (So.), James Ross (So.)
If all of the above listed guys remain at linebacker, Michigan only needs one recruit in this position group, preferably a SAM linebacker. However, there's a chance that someone like Bell won't be renewed for his fifth year, and we also might see a position change from one or two of these guys to tight end or defensive end. Right now you need one . . . but you will almost certainly need more once everything shakes out.
Projected 2013 Depth: Courtney Avery (Sr.), Terrence Talbott (Sr.), Blake Countess (Jr.), Delonte Hollowell (Jr.), Raymon Taylor (Jr.), Terry Richardson (So.)
Michigan really wanted to get two cornerbacks in the 2012 class but they were unable. You always want to take at least one, and the 2012 whiff means you want at least two here. Michigan has also failed to redshirt any of these players, so they have all matriculated through their eligibility quickly.
Projected 2013 Depth: Thomas Gordon (RS Sr.), Marvin Robinson (Sr.), Josh Furman (RS Jr.), Tamani Carter (RS So.), Jeremy Clark (So.), Allen Gant (So.), Jarrod Wilson (So.)
Michigan took three safeties in 2012, and at least one of those guys will redshirt. Alliance (OH) Marlington safety Dymonte Thomas is already committed for 2013, so barring any attrition, that might be all Michigan needs.
Projected 2013 Depth: Brendan Gibbons (RS Sr.), Will Hagerup (Sr.), Matt Wile (Jr.)
With three guys on scholarship at a position where walk-ons can sometimes contribute, there's no strong need to spend a scholarship on another specialist.
That's 18 scholarships.