|Joe Kerridge and Sione Houma (image via MWolverine.com)|
Weight: 247 lbs.
High school: Traverse City (MI) St. Francis
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #36
Last year: I ranked Kerridge #42 and said he would be the starting fullback with 2 receptions for 18 yards. He had 1 carry for 3 yards, 5 catches for 25 yards, and 4 tackles.
Kerridge was Michigan's first string fullback in 2013, and he did a fine job. As the year went along, offensive coordinator Al Borges reached into his bag of tricks, pulled out the ol' Spider 2 Y Banana, and shuffled the ball to Kerridge a few times. You know the Bo Schembechler saying: 4.67 yards and a cloud of dust. Kerridge is a decent blocker, but despite visions of him trucking kids in high school, he is not generally someone who should be touching the ball very often.
I have an uncorroborated hunch that new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will value junior Sione Houma's athleticism over Kerridge's skills, which may relegate Kerridge to backup or special teams duty. Houma - who is slightly smaller but has better hair - looked niftier and quicker on the 2 passes he caught (for 14 yards), and I would guess Nussmeier wants a little more speed on the field for his tendency to spread the field a little more. The fullback position itself may be downgraded, but the lack of a healthy Jake Butt might make an H-back type like Houma more valuable to run flat routes. Either way, I think Kerridge will take a back seat to schemes and other personnel this year, but he's experienced and trustworthy, so he'll see the field a fair amount.
Prediction: Backup fullback; 1 catch for 4.67 yards