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.
David Ojabo, RS FR
247 Composite Ranking: 4 stars (SDE 19, Overall 314)
2019 Stats: n/a
Plenty of prospects come into college fairly raw, but David Ojabo is the extreme example. He moved to the U.S. during high school and has just a couple seasons of football under his belt, but his raw talent and undeniable athleticism made him a four-star recruit and a nice pick-up for the Wolverines last year.
Ojabo (understandably) did not see the field as a freshman but is gearing up for a quality debut. The coaching staff is already talking him up as someone to watch, and the lack of proven depth at defensive end puts him as a candidate for either the anchor spot or the weakside end. There will certainly be some growing pains, but why not take a shot on a guy with a ceiling this high?
Is Ojabo ready to compete on the collegiate level?
Ojabo moved to America from Scotland with the intention of playing basketball, but it looks like his change in sport was for the best. He started with basically zero football background or knowledge, but worked his way near the top 300 of his recruiting class and had some scouts able to envision him as a future NFL player some day.
To get there would require a lot of development, but Michigan should feel good about its odds of coaching up a raw prospect with limited experience but boatloads of potential. Grooming an edge rusher is more feasible than at some other positions, and though he needs to build out his frame a little more, Ojabo is not that far off from looking like a dangerous threat.
The Wolverines need pass rushers, and that is why Ojabo will get some playing time in 2020. He may not be completely ready to diagnose every blocking scheme, but he was an early enrollee last season, and one has to imagine he has been getting coached to the max since coming to Ann Arbor. Of course, this offseason has been limiting in terms of face-to-face instruction, but he will get his opportunities once things get back to normal. As a rotational piece, he will have a chance to get his feet wet once games resume and show just how far along he has come up to this point.
Athleticism is not everything, but it should be enough to get Ojabo started. He has the right size and traits to succeed as an edge, and he has incredible speed to attack opposing backfields. There are not a ton of options at either defensive end spot, so this is his opportunity to see some real playing time. As a redshirt freshman, expectations should be muted, but he can go from fun story to legitimate attacker in future seasons.