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Michigan Football’s projected starting lineup vs. Middle Tennessee

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 03 Penn State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan Football kicks off its 2019 season on Saturday night against Middle Tennessee State in a game where they are heavy favorites. Assuming they take care of business early, we are going to see a ton of guys play and some position battles spill into game action, but who will take the field for the first snaps on each side of the ball?

Based on everything we know from fall camp, here’s how Michigan’s starting lineup should look when they hit the fit on Saturday night. We’ll run through the lineup and then throw in some thoughts at the end.

Disclaimer: We are not allowed inside of practices and have not seen lineups first hand. This is simply our projection based on the information we have available.


Quarterback: Shea Patterson, senior

Running Back: Zach Charbonnet, freshman

Wide Receiver: Donovan Peoples-Jones, junior

Wide Receiver: Nico Collins, junior

Slot: Ronnie Bell, sophomore

Tight End: Nick Eubanks, senior

Left Tackle: Jon Runyan Jr., 5th-year senior

Left Guard: Ben Bredeson, senior

Center: Cesar Ruiz, junior

Right Guard: Michael Onwenu, senior

Right Tackle: Jalen Mayfield, redshirt freshman


Note: There are more roles than spots on the field, so don’t worry, I did not miscount.

Defensive End: Aidan Hutchinson, sophomore

Nose Tackle: Carlo Kemp, senior

Defensive Tackle: Donovan Jeter, redshirt sophomore

Defensive End: Mike Danna, 5th-year senior

SAM Linebacker: Josh Uche, senior

MIKE Likebacker: Joshua Ross, junior

WILL Linebacker: Devin Gil, redshirt junior

VIPER: Khaleke Hudson, senior

Cornerback: Lavert Hill, senior

Free Safety: Brad Hawkins, junior

Strong Safety: Josh Metellus, senior

Cornerback: Vincent Gray, redshirt freshman

Special Teams

Kicker: Jake Moody, sophomore

Punter: Will Hart, redshirt junior

Kick Returner: Giles Jackson, freshman

Punt Returner: Donovan Peoples-Jones, junior

Long Snapper: Camaron Cheeseman, redshirt junior

Alright, let’s get to some quick thoughts here.

  • Charbonnet feels like the “starter” at running back this weekend. Whether that means he is on the field or not first remains to be seen, but the growing sense is that right now he may be the back that gets the longest look with the ones.
  • Slot receiver and tight and are ones where you can probably flip a coin depending on how they choose to start the game, but the Bell buzz has been high this week and Eubanks feels like Michigan’s best all-around tight end.
  • MIKE and WILL spots are two where I think we could see the most rotation this weekend among the starters (outside of defensive line, where they can roll about 9 or 10 deep). Ross feels pretty locked in at his spot in the middle, but I would expect Cam McGrone and Jordan Anthony to be in and out at some point while the No. 1 defense is still on the field.
  • Gray will likely get the first look on the other side of Hill at cornerback, but Jaylen Kelly-Powell, Gemon Green and DJ Turner may get an audition, as well. We will have to wait and see how it goes.
  • Kicker is another coin-flip where we stand today. The competition between Moody and Quinn Nordin has been back-and-forth all camp and as recent as Wednesday, Michigan left the door open for both of them to play and kick field goals and extra points. Nordin sort of fell off last season, but it sounds like he has his confidence back to pair with the big leg. We’ll see here.
  • The kick returner projection is a total dart board throw at the moment. Chris Partridge named seven guys who are still in contention for that job this week. Jackson is my pick because it feels the most exciting of the bunch and he may be too good an athlete to keep off the field.