The Michigan Wolverines have 12 formidable opponents in 2019 that are comprised of some of the top student-athletes in the country. With opponents like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and more, the Wolverines will have a tough task slowing some of these guys down. Here is the best-of roster made up of Michigan’s opponents in 2019.
QB: Ian Book, Notre Dame
Book propelled the Fighting Irish into the College Football Playoffs last season. He threw for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns with a 68.2 completion percentage in 10 games in 2018. In his second year as a starter, he will likely only get better.
RB: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
Taylor is an absolute beast. He ran for more than 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns last season on 207 carries. The Badgers’ entire offense (and its success) revolves around his play. He is going to be one of the favorites to win the Heisman this season.
RB: J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
Dobbins is a terror with the football in his hands. He runs very confidently with the football and is quick to get through the line of scrimmage. He has run for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons in Columbus, and will likely reach that mark again this season.
WR: K.J. Hill, Ohio State
As a redshirt junior last season, Hill was a focal point of the receiving corps. He brought down 70 balls and ran for 886 yards and six touchdowns. His speed helps him break away from defenders routinely and makes him one of the most dangerous weapons on the roster.
WR: K.J. Hamler, Penn State
Hamler showed he is capable of some big plays in 2018. He had a 93-yard reception against Ohio State in Happy Valley, and is one of the fastest wide receivers in the Big Ten. He was in the top 100 for receiving yards last season with 754 and averaged 18 yards per reception as a freshman last year.
WR: Ty Lee, Middle Tennessee State
Lee was statistically one of the best wide receivers in the country in 2018. He finished in the top 40 in receptions (71), top 75 in yards (881) and top 75 in touchdowns (seven).
TE: Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
Freiermuth did a little bit of everything for the Nittany Lions’ offense as a freshman last season. He can block, he can catch, and he is a huge target (6-foot-5, 260). He caught eight touchdowns last season and averaged 14.2 yards per reception.
OL: Alaric Jackson, Iowa
Jackson is one of the favorites to land a First Team All-Big Ten selection. After he redshirted his freshman year, he has started 24 straight for the Hawkeyes.
OL: Cole Van Lanen, Wisconsin
Pro Football Focus rated Van Lanen as the top offensive tackle in 2018. The incoming senior has played in 27 games in his career.
OL: Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
Eichenberg has ideal size at 6-foot-6, 308 lbs. He will be the anchor of the always affluent Fighting Irish offensive line.
OL: Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
As one of the top centers in the country in 2018, the Wisconsin Badger will look to repeat his consensus All-Big Ten First team and All-American selections.
OL: Thayer Munford, Ohio State
The Ohio born and raised product is entering his third season as a starter for the Buckeyes. He has started 25 games for them in his career.
DL: Kenny Willekes, Michigan State
The 2018 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year had 20.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks last season.
DL: A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
The junior is entering his third season as a starter. He had 10.5 sacks and four forced fumbles last season.
DL: Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
Okwara had 8 sacks and an interception in his 2018 campaign. He will be a force on the edge for the Fighting Irish in 2019.
DL: Chase Young, Ohio State
Young will have to fill in the shoes of the Bosa brothers as the best defensive lineman at Ohio State this season. He had 10.5 sacks last year and looks to take the next step to the NFL-level.
LB: Joe Bachie, Michigan State
As one of the best linebackers in the country last season, expect Bachie to re-up the 100-plus tackle season he had in 2018.
LB: Malik Harrison, Ohio State
Harrison was one of the top linebackers on the Ohio State roster last season and will likely be just as good in 2019. He had 8.5 tackles-for-loss and 81 total.
LB: Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame
A year of injuries in 2017 was a setback for Gilman, but he returned in emphatic fashion last season. He had 94 total tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, and 5 passes defended.
CB: Troy Pride Jr., Notre Dame
Pride is one of the best tackling corners in the country. He had 37 tackles and 10 passes defended in 2018.
CB: Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State
Ohio State keeps churning out really good corners. Okudah is ready to join that bunch. The junior had 32 tackles and 8 defended passes in 2018.
S: Jordan Fuller, Ohio State
The Buckeyes secondary is going to be solid in 2019. Fuller and Okudah are both some of the top secondary guys in the conference. The senior has 3 career interceptions and 119 career tackles.
S: Antoine Brooks, Maryland
Brooks will no longer play alongside 2018 first round pick Darnell Savage, but his numbers could get even better. He had 68 total tackles last season with 2.5 sacks. Expect more from him in 2019.