The Michigan Wolverines have wrapped up spring football with the focus now on making improvements from there ahead of fall camp. The rest of the 2021 recruiting class will join them, as well.
There could be more transfers out of the program if the current trend continues, but we have a pretty good idea of who will fill out what positions this fall. Not a lot is known about roles given that we did not see spring football and there are staff changes on both sides, but we have names at least.
Quarterbacks (4) — Cade McNamara, J.J. McCarthy, Alan Bowman, Dan Villari
McNamara has been publically referred to as the starter coming out of spring football. The question now becomes who his backup is. Bowman raises the ceiling of the back end of the room, but McCarthy should continue to be groomed as the future of the program.
Running Backs (4) — Hassan Haskins, Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards, Tavierre Dunlap
*Note: Gaige Garcia was part of the 2020 recruiting class, but is on scholarship at Michigan for wrestling
Haskins is presumably the team’s RB1 one heading into the season, but Corum and Edwards might be too versatile and talented to keep off the field. Dunlap is an ascending player who drew positive praise during spring practices.
Wide Receivers (7) — Ronnie Bell, Cornelius Johnson, Mike Sainristil, Roman Wilson, A.J. Henning, Andrel Anthony, Christian Dixon
This group has a lot of young talent, but the loss of Xavier Worthy looms large moving forward. We talk often about the need for top-100 players to help close the gap with the OSUs of the world. Worthy not being admitted to the university is massively frustrating and affects the home-run hitting ability of the future offense.
Tight Ends (4) — Erick All, Luke Schoonmaker, Matthew Hibner, Louis Hansen
The tight end has not been as prominent a position in the last few years as it was in the early Jim Harbaugh years, but some here has got to emerge. All has a well-rounded skill-set, but drop issues have affected his output.
Offensive Line (17) — Karsen Barnhart, Greg Crippen, Trente Jones, Giovanni El-Hadi, Raheem Anderson, Zak Zinter, Chuck Filiaga, Andrew Vastardis, Nolan Rumler, Andrew Stueber, Tristan Bounds, Willie Allen, Reece Atteberry, Ryan Hayes, Trevor Keegan, Jeffrey Persi, Joel Honigford
There is a lot to sort out here as Michigan works to find its best five guys upfront ahead of the 2021 season. Hayes and Stueber comfortably fit into that equation, but there are questions elsewhere. Vastardis, Barnhart, Zinter, Filiaga, Keegan and Allen all project to be in the mix.
Defensive End (9) — Braiden McGregor, Jaylen Harrell, Taylor Upshaw, Julius Welschof, Aidan Hutchinson, Gabe Newburg, Kechaun Bennett, Dominick Guidice, TJ Guy
There could be some position changes here given the new defense, which projects to be multiple in its looks but presumably will be a base odd-front given the makeup of the roster. There is talent here and a player like Hutchinson could do wonders for his pro stock if he is able to do some things as a standup edge rusher.
Defensive Tackle (10) — Chris Hinton, Mazi Smith, Jess Speight, Mike Morris, Kris Jenkins, Donovan Jeter, Rayshaun Benny, Ike Iwunnah, George Rooks
The light has got to come on for players like Hinton and Smith if the defense is going to get turned around in 2021. It will be interesting to see how this group functions in the new system, albeit with the same position coach in Shaun Nua.
Linebackers (12) — Anthony Solomon, Josh Ross, Michael Barrett, Junior Colson, Kalel Mullings, Joey Velazquez, Nikhai Hill-Green, Cornell Wheeler, David Ojabo, Jayden Hood, Tyler McLaurin
Players like Solomon and Barrett are going to have to find new roles within the room given the VIPER position being obsolete in the new defense. Both are talented enough to crack the lineup, though. If I had money to spend on the breakout player on defense, I am throwing it on Ojabo.
Cornerbacks (9) — Andre Seldon, Vincent Gray, DJ Turner, Eamonn Dennis, Jalen Perry, Gemon Green, Darion Green-Warren, German Green, Ja’Den McBurrows
Gemon Green and Gray led a room that was one of the only spots to show tangible improvement last season. Turner and Perry are seemingly next in line to push for time, but there are still some good young pieces here like Seldon and Green-Warren.
Safeties (9) — R.J. Moten, Makari Paige, Sammy Faustin, Brad Hawkins, George Johnson, Daxton Hill, Jordan Morant, Rod Moore, Quinten Johnson
Hill is a star and could be playing his last season in Ann Arbor of the NFL feedback is to his liking. Hawkins is back for one final season in a winged helmet, which gives Michigan an underrated safety duo heading into 2021. Paige is a name to watch here, as well.
Specialists (2) — Jake Moody, Tommy Doman
We love our specialist guys and hopefully that does not loom as much of an issue this season for Michigan.