|Mason Cole might not be blocking many edge rushers this season|
Based on recent developments and leaks, I'll toss out some of the recent rumblings from practice, which you can feel free to dissect/discuss.
Quarterback: Different sources will say different things. I don't really have much to add to that, except it seems like Shane Morris is mentioned most often as looking the best.
Running back: Ty Isaac had questions about his toughness coming out of high school, but he has played through some things this spring; however, he has been suffering from hand and hamstring injuries, so he is limited. Derrick Green has also been injured, and Drake Johnson is coming off that ACL tear. The one constant has been De'Veon Smith, who has been earning praise for his vision and attitude. It's not really a secret that Smith can have a sullen disposition at times.
Fullback: With Sione Houma out due to injury, it's still Joe Kerridge, Brady Pallante, and Chase Winovich getting reps at this spot.
Hit the jump for the rest of the positions.
Wide receiver: The hype about Drake Harris persists. He's listed at 6'4", 174 lbs. but there are reports that say he's actually 185 now. That's still not very big, but either way, I think the only thing that will keep him off the field this fall is the nagging injuries. He might not start, but I think he will play. Otherwise, there has not been much buzz about the receivers.
Tight end: Jake Butt has been looking pretty darn good, and Ian Bunting has shown promise as a pass receiving tight end. Henry Poggi has flipped from defensive end to tight end in an attempt to boost the numbers. I have not heard many positive things about A.J. Williams, who is a senior and still struggles to block people. Khalid Hill is still out recovering from his own ACL injury.
Offensive line: The lineup at a recent practice was (left to right) Logan Tuley-Tillman, Erik Magnuson, Mason Cole, Kyle Kalis, and Ben Braden. Cole - who was the starting left tackle last year - projected to the interior offensive line coming out of high school, so while I expected him to be a guard in college, center still fits him, in my opinion. That is if he can handle snapping, the calls, etc. It hurt that fifth year senior Jack Miller called it quits, and it hurt even more when Graham Glasgow prolonged his idiocy streak and disobeyed his probation. I have not heard good things about Patrick Kugler or Blake Bars, who were #3 and #4 at center, respectively, coming into the spring.
Defensive line: It sounds as if Michigan is going to be running more of a 3-4 look this year. I have heard positive things about Chris Wormley at strongside end, and Greg Mattison says the nose tackles have stood out. With Poggi playing offense for now, that makes Michigan pretty thin on the defensive line. They have a lot of tackle types and not much in the way of ends, at least until a couple freshmen arrive this summer.
Linebacker: The four starting linebackers in the 3-4 look have reportedly been Mario Ojemudia (who has an undisclosed injury), Desmond Morgan, Joe Bolden, and James Ross. Royce Jenkins-Stone has been filling in for Ojemudia, and Lawrence Marshall has also made a positive impression. The backups on the inside are Ben Gedeon and Mike McCray. McCray and Allen Gant were both shown in video from yesterday wearing yellow non-contact jerseys, so their status is questionable.
Cornerback: The cornerback jobs are Jourdan Lewis's and Blake Countess's to lose. Nobody's challenging them, and the depth is thin, anyway. Channing Stribling is the next option, but I haven't heard any buzz about him really pushing for playing time.
Safety: Michigan is running a bunch of guys out there at safety. The buzz about Jabrill Peppers is non-stop; he's playing free safety and moving down into the slot in nickel situations. Jarrod Wilson is bound to start at strong safety. Dymonte Thomas has also been dealing with an injury, but he seemed to have been doing better and rotating in for nickel packages. Delano Hill also may have turned a corner, and he looks pretty good athletically in the limited film I've seen; that has always been the book on him, that he's a very good athlete who struggled to put it all together.