Weight: 230 lbs.
High school: Jefferson Hills (PA) Thomas Jefferson
Position: Tight end
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #44
Last year: I ranked Winovich #74 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.
Winovich was lanky and undersized for the linebacker position last year. He was also his high school team's quarterback, so he had not been concentrating full-time on defense before last year. With Michigan's stable of experienced linebackers, it would have taken a rash of injuries to put Winovich on the field. Fortunately, everyone but Desmond Morgan stayed healthy, and Winovich was able to learn from the sideline.
Then this spring came along, and Winovich was moved to tight end. He was a standout runner in high school, and quarterbacks often have very good hands, so the move makes a little bit of sense. I have also heard through the grapevine that Michigan's coaches have high hopes for him at tight end, perhaps even more than what a lot of fans realize. However, he is only a redshirt freshman, he's light for a tight end, and he did not look very comfortable catching the ball in the spring game. Michigan would have to use him as an F-back (the new term for Al Borges's U-back or a standard H-back) to catch passes on crossing routes or in the flat, because he's just not ready for in-line blocking. Joe Kerridge is a solid blocker at fullback, but Winovich has some more dynamic abilities as a runner. And if the F-back thing doesn't work, he can still play special teams or move back to defense, since the Wolverines will be pretty thin at linebacker in 2016.
Prediction: Backup F-back