Jim Harbaugh spoke to the media in Ann Arbor on Tuesday night to update the status of fall camp as Michigan Football rounds into shape for the regular season opener against Middle Tennessee on Aug. 31. It was relatively routine with player updates and questions until the end when the topic of Luke Fickell and James Hudson came up (more on that here).
The other big nugget to come out of Harbaugh’s presser was the status of junior cornerback Ambry Thomas, who is currently not part of the team after being diagnosed with colitis. As of now, he has lost a lot of weight and Harbaugh says that over the next week to 10 days, he will be watched and evaluated. He will have to resume the strength and conditioning program when he returns before resuming football activities and there is currently no timetable for his return, which is a bit of a blow to the cornerback room heading into the season.
Here’s some bullet points and a recap of what he had to say during the session with the press.
- The interior of the defensive line has looked “good”, Carlo Kemp outstanding and elevating his game, along with Donovan Jeter.
- Jalen Mayfield and Andrew Steuber still competing for right tackle job, does not seem like much is decided there yet
- The offensive line “has a chance to be” Harbaugh’s best at Michigan
- Running back updates: Tru Wilson “steady” and had great a summer, Christian Turner has done nice job and Zach Charbonnet “coming on like freight train” during fall camp
- Harbaugh says that defensive end Mike Danna, who transferred from Central Michigan, is currently a starter in the rotation.
- Former five-star recruit and true freshman Dax Hill is “in the mix” at both safety and special teams currently.
- Still deciding about playing both quarterbacks, both Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey playing extremely well.
- Harbaugh says that Patterson has put about five-straight greaty practices together, Joe Milton getting a lot of reps too
- Even with mandated off-days throughout the schedule, Harbaugh feels like the next one that his team gets will be a deserved one.
- Harbaugh says new offense under Josh Gattis “suits” Patterson and McCaffrey, both thrive in that system with tempo and making plays down the field
- Mike Barrett is in mix at both SAM and Viper
- Lavert Hill is having good camp so far, D.J. Turner mentioned as another standout at cornerback
- Ambry Thomas is not practicing with colitis, will be evaluated over the next week to 10 days
- The new Gattis system is an attacking type of offense that has a physical run game, likes seeing ball thrown downfield
- At some point, nearly every player on defense was mentioned as someone that has impressed him so far in camp, so the jury is still out there overall. It seems like they are not concerned about a drop-off on that side of the ball.
- Recievers have been good throughout camp. Ronnie Bell has been “stalwart” since the spring. Tarik Black and Donovan Peoples-Jones have been practicing, along with Nico Collins. Mike Sainristil continues to develop after a strong spring. Harbaugh also says that freshman wideout Cornelius Johnson is also ‘rocketing up depth chart’ and says those six guys have been the ones who have stood out the most.
- Giles Jackson’s camp has been good, Harbaugh says there are “guys in this freshman class who can really run” and that Jackson will get playing time this year
- Then there was the Luke Fickell stuff. Here’s the background in our story here and the full video can be viewed below.