There are many uncertainties surrounding college football right now. The 2020 season is still in jeopardy, and even if a season does occur it might do so with empty stadiums or a limited schedule. Still, it is never too early to take a look at the Michigan depth chart and the players slated to contribute whenever football does resume. Join us as we comb through the roster and answer key questions heading into this fall.
Erick All, true SO
247 Composite Ranking: 4 stars (TE 13, Overall 346)
2019 Stats: 1 rec, 10 yards
As discussed when talking about Nick Eubanks, there has been a clear shift in philosophy regarding the tight end position at Michigan. Josh Gattis has come in and transitioned into a spread offense, making big changes across the personnel. The traditional H-back role now looks like Giles Jackson-type players instead of fullbacks, meaning the tight end role is much more constricted.
This plays out in a few ways, with the most significant change being a shift toward receiving. Enter Erick All. A flex tight end that could just as easily line up at receiver, the sophomore enters year two as the backup option with not a ton of competition around him. He is another player that coaches seem to enjoy, which stems from his effort and toughness. While his playing style differs from the traditional Jim Harbaugh tight end, the attitude seems right in line.
Are there enough targets in the offense to involve All?
Upon his commitment to Michigan, the comparisons for All were singular in nature. Devin Funchess was a similar size with a similar skill set and entered as a tight end before eventually being transitioned to full-time wide receiver. All’s career began at tight end as well, but a position change may not be necessary with the new expectations of the role.
All nearly played in every game as a freshman, ostensibly proving to the coaching staff that he was too valuable to redshirt. While he only brought in one catch during his first season, he will be in line for a bigger role in 2020 with the graduation of Sean McKeon. Michigan has been no stranger to ‘12’ personnel either, so there will be chances for him to either spell Eubanks or play alongside him in certain formations.
Like Eubanks — and probably most tight end recruits going forward — All is great in the air and has exceptional hands. His speed and route running are what could help him play as a wide receiver instead, but he should be a great advantage as a flex tight end against linebackers and safeties. His blocking has also stood out, which certainly has grabbed the attention of the coaching staff and should continue to help him build his playing time.
Gaudy numbers are not going to happen for All this season, but he is someone that should see a nice increase in usage. The coaches already have an eye on him, and his attributes give him the potential to do some damage against opposing defenses. Settling in at tight end seems like the right decision, and one of the benefits is a quicker path to playing time. 2020 might not be his breakout year, but it should not be an empty season for All either.