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Battle for Michigan’s No. 2 cornerback spot rages on ahead of Week 1

The Wolverines replace both starting corners from last season.

Vrbo Citrus Bowl - Michigan v Alabama Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines have their work cut out for them in replacing a lot of experience on the offensive side of the ball, but perhaps the team’s biggest position of concern heading into the season has been at cornerback. Both Lavert Hill (graduation) and Ambry Thomas (opt-out) are gone from last season, opening the door for two new starters on the boundary at corner.

However, people in the building inside the Michigan Football program will tell you that they feel they have the guys to offset that. Redshirt junior linebacker Josh Ross is one of those people and thinks the secondary will be just fine.

“Coming into this year, we had a lot of question about who our second guy was gonna be, especially with Ambry leaving,” Ross told reporters on Monday. “But Brad Hawkins, Dax (Hill), Vince (Gray), Gemon Green, too – those guys have been playing really, really well. They’re going to show everybody what they’re capable of.”

Vincent Gray was thrown into the fire a bit last season as a redshirt freshman and has been slotted into the No. 1 job, but what about that second guy? There is a ton of inexperience and youth in the cornerback room, but head coach Jim Harbaugh likes the competition they have there.

Gemon Green’s doing a very good job, Sammy Faustin has moved from safety to corner,” Harbaugh said. “He’s gotten up to speed really fast — very smart player. Also: Jalen Perry, DJ Turner are also in competition for that spot as well.”

As mentioned before, Gray is going to be relied upon to handle one of the boundary cornerback spots for the Wolverines. The matchup with Minnesota will serve as a huge early test, as he may very well draw the assignment of covering potential first-round wideout Rashod Bateman of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

“One guy that stands out to me is – it’s a big year ahead of him, it’s gonna be a big year – is Vince Gray,” Ross said. “He’s been doing everything the right way and has been covering so well. I’m just so excited to see him take on this challenge against Minnesota and the great receiver that they have. It’s gonna be a big game and a big deal.”

We are running out of days to talk about the “ifs” on the football team. All of the offseason work and hype will begin to play out on the field on Saturday with a primetime kick at Minnesota scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.