Yeah, Right: 10 Very Bold Predictions for Team 135

Disclaimer: These predictions are BOLD but realistic (kind of). 

1. Derrick Green is the starting tailback vs App State; Ty Isaac is the starting tailback vs OSU

– For success, the Wolverines will need a very strong running game. And luckily they have one of the most talented stable of tailbacks in the conference. That is why I am predicting that Green will start the season off as the starting tailback but is overtaken midway through the season thanks to Isaac\’s pass catching ability and versatility. Green will be the power back that grinds out yards but I think Nussmeier will fall in love with Isaac\’s ability to impact both the running and passing game. Either way, expect to see Isaac, Green and Smith get a lot of touches throughout the season. (If Isaac is not cleared by the NCAA, expect to see Green lead the team in carries and touchdowns, and Smith lead the team in yards).

2. Patrick Kugler is the starting center and Graham Glasgow is the starting right tackle for the entire season

– Glasgow is suspended for the App State game, and while it looks like it will be a big blow to the already inexperienced offensive line I actually think it will be a blessing in disguise. With Glasgow out, I believe Kugler will step up and, not only win the job for the season opener, but he will be the starter for the entire season. This will allow the staff to plug Glasgow into the biggest hole remaining on the line. And I believe that is at right tackle. I think Braden needs another year of development before he\’s ready to be a full time starter.

3. Team 135 is 7-0 when they step foot in East Lansing

– Brady Hoke has got off to a fast start in 2 of his first 3 seasons, and I expect this year to be the same. Outside of a trip to South Bend on September 6th, the Wolverines have a very favorable schedule to start the season off. After whooping on App State (I think Nussmeier may flex his muscle to show off a bit), I think Gardner and the defense will knock off the Fighting Irish before going on a roll against Miami (OH), Utah, Minnesota, Rutgers and ending with a big time win under the lights against Penn State. Riding high, Team 135 rides into EL for a match up with the Spartans.

4. Team 135 beats at least 2 of the 3 rivals on the road (ND, MSU & OSU)

– With the three toughest games of the season being on the road, everyone is already predicting at least two losses for Team 135. However, I believe the maturity of Gardner and the improvement on defense and in the running game will be what leads the Wolverines to a 4-1 record away from the Big House. As for which rivalry games they will win, I think that will be in South Bend vs Notre Dame (IMO we have the better team) and in East Lansing vs Michigan State (the losses on defense and lack of weapons will hurt MSU more than expected). As for the trip to Columbus, I could see it going either way. Braxton Miller and that defensive line could dominate, or I could see Devin Funchess and the Wolverine defense put on a memorable show.

5. Taco Charlton and Frank Clark combine for 15+ sacks

– After a year of poor pass rushing, I believe Mattison finally has his guys experienced enough to really produce in this system. And two guys who I expect to be starters from day one should lead the way. Charlton and Clark have elite athleticism for their size and positions which will give B1G tackles fits. Add in the improved play inside and in the secondary, and I think there is a good chance the two Wolverine ends have All-B1G seasons.

6. Jabrill Peppers is everything we expected, and some

– Since Drew Henson, there hasn\’t been a recruit that has received half the amount of hype and praise that Jabrill Peppers has. The #2 overall recruit excels in all three facets of the game, as a lockdown corner/safety on defense, home run threat tailback on offense and an electric return man on special teams. The questions is: where will Brady Hoke play him? The answer: Everywhere. And I think that\’s what Hoke will do. I think Peppers will end up being a big contributor at the nickel and at safety on defense but will be a much bigger contributor as a wildcat QB/RB and punt returner during his freshmen year. How good? Good enough of a season to be an All-B1G member and Freshmen All-American.

7. Team 135 wins 10+ games, including a New Years Bowl Game

– This is a big reach for a portion of the fan base but I believe this squad is finally built on \”Hoke\’s guys\”. The guys who this staff recruited and developed. It is what we\’ve all been waiting for, and I think it will make all the difference. I see them starting off hot and riding momentum into a big time upset in East Lansing to move to 8-0. After that, I see them ending the season 2-2 or 3-1, finishing 2nd in the B1G East and heading to a New Years Bowl Game.

8. Team 135\’s defense is #1 in the B1G and Top 10 nationally

– For any success, the defense will have to be that old school Michigan defense everyone remembers. It has to create turnovers. And it is has to be consistent. If so, I think they will put up some of the best numbers in the country while leading the Wolverines to a big season. From the seniors down to the freshmen, the depth chart is stacked. I expect Clark, Ryan and Countess to lead, Charlton, Bolden, Lewis and Wilson to become impact players, and for RJS, Peppers, Hurst and Mone to burst on the scene.

9. 21 Wolverines are All-B1G selections, including 5 freshmen

– I\’m predicting this season to be a good one. And with winning comes recognition. After 10+ wins, I  boldly think the Wolverines will be all over the All-B1G squads (1st team, 2nd team, 3rd team, Honorable Mention, and Freshmen). Here\’s the list of guys who will be recognized:

  1. WR Devin Funchess
  2. CB Blake Countess
  3. DE Frank Clark
  4. MLB Jake Ryan
  5. QB Devin Gardner
  6. LG Kyle Kalis
  7. CB Jourdan Lewis
  8. CB Raymon Taylor
  9. P Will Hagerup
  10. DB Jabrill Peppers (Fr)
  11. DT Chris Wormley
  12. TE Jake Butt
  13. DT Maurice Hurst (Fr)
  14. S Jarrod Wilson
  15. KR Dennis Norfleet
  16. DE Taco Charlton
  17. WR Freddy Canteen (Fr)
  18. LT Erik Magnuson
  19. NT Bryan Mone (Fr)
  20. LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
  21. C Patrick Kugler (Fr)

10. 7 Wolverines are drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft; Devin Funchess returns for the #1 jersey

– The icing on the cake for every team is the NFL draft and I see Team 135 producing the most Wolverines in one draft since 2oo7. And that list will not include Devin Funchess as I see him returning to wear the #1 jersey and lead Team 136 to a B1G Championship. As for the guys who I see getting drafted:

  1. LB Jake Ryan (2nd-3rd)
  2. DE Frank Clark (2nd-3rd)
  3. QB Devin Gardner (3rd-6th)
  4. CB Raymon Taylor (4th-7th)
  5. P Will Hagerup (6th-7th)
  6. K Matt Wile (7th)
  7. OLB/DE Brennan Beyer (7th)

So, there you have it. Some very bold and interesting Team 135 predictions. Feel free to praise them or rip them apart. But either way, make sure to add in your own in the comment section!

Garrett Fishaw