We are through five seasons of the Jim Harbaugh era of Michigan Football and despite a lack of hardware in the trophy room, the program has had no shortage of talent walking through the door each year. This week at Maize n Brew, we are taking a look at the 50 best players under Harbaugh at Michigan so far.
Monday sees us ranking the No. 50 through 41 players with 10 more names being revealed until the final list on Friday.
Here we go!
50. Jarrod Wilson, safety (2012-15)
Wilson made thirty starts in his career at Michigan with 13 of them coming in Harbaugh’s first season at the helm. He was an All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2015 and he had 61 total tackles, two interceptions and five passes depended.
49. Joe Bolden, linebacker (2012-15)
Bolden — who now is on the coaching staff at Ohio State — was a solid player throughout his Michigan career and made 28 starts in his career, 11 of which came as a captain in Harbaugh’s first season in Ann Arbor.
48. Tyree Kinnel, safety (2015-18)
Kinnel was a member of the first freshman class to play under Harbaugh after committing to the program under Brady Hoke. He was a two-time All-Big Ten honorable mention selection and played in 46 games in Ann Arbor, making 26 starts at free safety and was a captain for the 2018 season as a senior.
47. Ty Isaac, running back (2015-17)
Isaac, a former five-star recruit, transferred from USC to Michigan, but had to sit out the 2014 due to transfer rules (remember those!). He made his U-M debut in 2015 and was a solid back over his three years with the program, racking up 1,170 yards and eight touchdowns on 192 career carries.
46. Zach Gentry, tight end (2015-18)
Gentry was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and made 24 starts in 33 games at tight end after coming into the program as a quarterback recruit that changed positions. The change was worth it, as he would be a fifth round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019.
45. Ben Mason, fullback (2017-present)
Mason is a two-time winner of Michigan’s Toughest Player honor and has played in 39 games in his career, mostly at fullback with some time spent on the other side of the ball, as well. Mason took the baton from Khalid “Hammerin’ Panda” Hill as someone who is nearly automatic in short-yardage situations and was the first Michigan player to score three touchdowns in the first half of a game since Denard Robinson in 2011 when he did it against Nebraska in 2018.
44. Kenny Allen, kicker/punter (2012-16)
We respect the special teams unit on this website! Allen, a former walk-on who earned a scholarship, was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and never missed a single extra point in his Michigan career. Allen is the school’s second-most accurate kicker in program history and hit on just over 82 percent of his career field goal attempts.
43. Wilton Speight, quarterback (2014-17)
Speight might go down as one of the more interesting “what if” stories as we get further away from his Michigan career. While not lighting up the stat sheet in 2016, he was starting to play some really good football down the stretch before a collarbone injury at Iowa. He performed valiantly — all things considered — at Ohio State, but was never quite the same. In 2017, a back injury at Purdue essentially ended his Michigan career. When he was healthy, he was quarterbacking one of the three best teams in college football. It would have been fun to see how that would have went down if he stayed healthy.
42. Delano Hill, safety (2013-16)
Hill was a nice piece to have on the back end of the Michigan secondary and played in 46 career games in Ann Arbor. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches in 2016 and had 119 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, three interceptions and eight passes broken up during his time in a Winged Helmet.
41. Chris Evans, running back (2016-present)
An argument can be made for Evans to be higher on this list and some of it may depend on how he finishes his Michigan career. Evans has 304 carries for 1,722 yards and 14 touchdowns in his time in Ann Arbor. It will be interesting to see how he builds on his resume in a return to the roster in 2020 after sitting out last year due to an academic situation.