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3 under-the-radar players for Michigan in 2020

These guys have a chance to prove themselves this year.

Michigan v Maryland Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Zach Charbonnet and Giles Jackson. Daxton Hill and Cameron McGrone. Jalen Mayfield and Hassan Haskins.

These are a few guys who had success in 2019 that Michigan fans are excited to see more of in 2020. But I’m not going to write about those guys right now. Today, I want to hit on the guys who aren’t getting talked about this offseason.

The three players I am talking about today really haven’t been discussed much, but I think these guys are in line for some solid snaps this upcoming season. Let’s begin with a guy I have been waiting to see more of for a little while now.

Sammy Faustin, RS SO, DB

Heading into his third season in Ann Arbor, Faustin has not had many chances to prove himself on defense. After a redshirt season in 2018, Faustin appeared in nine games (three on defense) in 2019. He compiled two tackles in those games — one against Maryland and one against Notre Dame.

He was lightly recruited coming out of high school, with other offers from schools like Virginia, UCF, USF, Purdue, Maryland and Kentucky.

Why is no one talking about him?

I believe the hype with sophomore Daxton Hill plays a bit of a factor here, as Hill made a big impact as a true freshman in 2019. Hill, a five-star recruit coming out of high school, is expected to take a big step forward in 2020 by sliding into the open safety job left by Josh Metellus. Hill is, rightfully so, receiving a bulk of the talk this offseason, so guys like Faustin are left to silently do their work and, hopefully, be a pleasant surprise later on.

Another reason Faustin may not be getting talked about is due to the depth at the safety position. Michigan brought in a real good haul at safety in the 2019 class with Hill and four-star Quinten Johnson, and then also in 2020 with four-stars Makari Paige, Jordan Morant and RJ Moten.

If all goes right for Faustin, he will be in the two-deep this season and compete for snaps with Hill and Brad Hawkins. Given the talent the Wolverines have been bringing in at safety over the last couple years, it may be now or never for Faustin.

Taylor Upshaw, RS SO, DL

Upshaw’s story is pretty much identical to Faustin’s. He is also heading into this third season at Michigan and did not see any game time during his true freshman season. In 2019, he contributed one tackle against Notre Dame and one tackle against Maryland.

He was recruited by a bit more higher end programs coming out of high school, with offers from Florida, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oregon, Wisconsin and more. He was actually once committed to Florida, but decided to flip to, and enroll early at, Michigan.

Why is no one talking about him?

Michigan fans are, rightfully so, more worried about the interior defensive line as opposed to the edge rushers. Naturally, people are talking a lot more about guys like Mazi Smith, Donovan Jeter and Chris Hinton than a defensive end like Upshaw.

It also seems there appears to be a lot of hype around David Ojabo, a redshirt freshman edge rusher who has a skill set comparable to Josh Uche. With Uche in the NFL, fans now are looking to see who can fill that void. Will it be Ojabo, or perhaps a guy like Luiji Vilain? It likely would not be Upshaw, since that isn’t really his skill set, so naturally, he isn’t getting talked about nearly as much as some of his teammates.

There is still a good chance for Upshaw to make a name for himself. It is only his third year with the program and he had some experience last year. He could very well be in line for more snaps in 2020.

Cornelius Johnson, SO, WR

Playing in 12 games, Johnson made some noise as a true freshman last season, reeling in four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. He certainly was not talked about or thrown to nearly as much as his fellow true freshmen receivers, but Johnson made the most of his opportunities when the ball was thrown his way.

Johnson, a four-star coming out of high school in Connecticut, was the most recruited player of the three on this list. He held other offers from the likes of Penn State, Alabama, Notre Dame and more. Funny enough, Josh Gattis was the one recruiting Johnson when he was the co-offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Why is no one talking about him?

The position is as deep as it has ever been, with guys like Ronnie Bell, Nico Collins, Jackson and Mike already in the room. A.J. Henning and Roman Wilson are also two incoming freshmen receivers I wrote about on Monday who could be in line for some serious playing time, so it is understandable why Johnson may not be talked about nearly as much.

Which player do you think is flying the most under the radar heading into 2020? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!