|Mike McCray (image via MWolverine)|
Name: Mike McCray II
Weight: 242 lbs.
High school: Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #9
Last year: I ranked McCray #64 and said he would be a backup middle linebacker. He made 2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 blocked punt.
McCray was not expected to contribute much last season with all of the competition for playing time at linebacker. First and foremost, he was behind star linebacker Jake Ryan. Second, the Wolverines had several more experienced 'backers, including Desmond Morgan, Joe Bolden, and Ben Gedeon. McCray was expected to play special teams, which he did well enough in the season opener. He made a leaping block of a punt against Appalachian State that was returned for a touchdown by Gedeon. Despite playing a fair amount on specials, though, the rest of his year was fairly quiet.
The depth chart has thinned a bit this year. Ryan matriculated to the NFL, second-year linebacker Michael Ferns transferred to West Virginia, and fellow second-year guy Chase Winovich moved to tight end in the spring. Those players don't necessarily impact McCray on the depth chart, but their departures from the position group elevate him in importance. McCray won't be a starter this year, but Morgan and Bolden will both graduate after the season, and it would be nice for McCray to get some significant playing time before he's counted on heavily in 2016. He had an upper body injury in the spring that caused him to miss a significant chunk of those practices, but he should be healthy for the beginning of camp.
Prediction: Backup linebacker, special teamer