2016 Michigan Fall Camp Preview: 5 Bold Predictions

With the BBQ at the Big House is all cleaned up and media day in the books, all eyes turn to the play on the field with fall camp starting tomorrow. Everyone will get their first look at one of the most anticipated teams in the past 20 years of Michigan football. And with the anticipation and excitement, I’ve put together a couple preview posts to get ready for fall camp. 

Check out my 5 bold predictions for the 2016 Michigan football fall camp:

  1. Several freshmen see 1st team reps

    • With the amount of talent returning on each side of the ball, this may seem like a stretch of a prediction. However, this says more about my confidence in the incoming recruiting class than anything else.
      • Rashan Gary is the most obvious choice. I believe he’ll be running with the first team quickly as he is just too good and too quick to not be on the field a ton. That’s especially true when you pair him up with Ryan Glasgow, Bryan Mone and/or Chris Wormley.
      • Elysse Mbem-Bosse and Devin Bush Jr. have the easiest path to the first team out of any of the freshmen thanks to the departures from last season. Both offer the staff something the team has lacked over the last decade or so, and that’s athleticism. Look for EMB and DBjr to get plenty of run with the top DL in front of them throughout camp.
      • Khaleke Hudson quickly became a fan favorite after everyone saw his ridiculous athleticism on his highlight tape. Add in his college ready frame and the consistent need for more athleticism at the nickel back position and I believe you’ll see Hudson running with the ones at times in camp and during the season.
      • Ben Bredeson is the biggest reach on this list because of the talent returning on the offensive line. The starting five looks to be set, right? Well, there’s one player I’m watching closest and that’s Kyle Kalis. He’s continued to struggle throughout his career and, unless he has a fantastic camp, could be a player that falls slips down the depth chart a bit. That’s where Bredeson comes into play. His versatility to play the guard or tackle position could allow the staff to slide Erik Magnuson from right tackle to right guard (rumored to be his best position) and insert Bredeson at right tackle. I imagine the staff with try this out a couple times in camp.
      • Chris Evans and Kekoa Crawford are two offensive weapons that have the build and skills to take the offense to another level. Both feature the speed that could take a screen pass to the house, which is a quarterback’s biggest crush. Evans should be used as a scat back, slot receiver and punt returner, all of which he should see time with the ones during camp. As for Crawford, he has a steeper hill to climb but his willingness to block and make tough catches should help him see time with the starters.
  2. Drake Harris finally puts it all together

    • This has to be the year. Harris came in as one of the most heralded recruits in the last couple classes but injuries and weight issues have held him back significantly. But this is the year. He’s up to 188lbs and his hamstring looks to be ready to rock. There’s no denying he has the talent to be a big time contributor and, with freshmen pushing him for playing time, this is the perfect time to fully put it on display.
  3. Multiple players see time on both sides of the ball/at multiple positions

    • Harbaugh mentioned in his media day presser that, outside of Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis, there are plenty of other players that the staff is looking to work with on both sides of the ball. Some of the names I could see get run at each side includes:
      • Wyatt Shallman. He moved from RB to LB on the roster but I imagine he’ll be filling that Owen Marecic role for the 2016 team as a fullback/linebacker combo player. Jared Wangler could fit this role as well.
      • Devin Asiasi is a guy the staff could look to play some strong side defensive end on top of his tight end duties, if the need is there. He was easily a four star DE in high school. Tyrone Wheatley Jr. could fit this role as well.
      • Khaleke Hudson is uber athletic and is a mini-Jabrill Peppers. He’ll focus most of his time at defensive back but he could also see time at running back and as a return man, if the need arises.
      • Tru Wilson may only be a walk-on but I see big things out of this smaller freshmen. He’s got a bit of Honey Badger to his game (small but a big hitter and very athletic). He could be a player that makes some noise during camp as a Swiss Army Knife throughout the defensive backfield.
      • Michael Onwenu is expected to spend his career on the offensive line but his mass and defensive abilities, along with the lack of playing time on the OL, could allow him to spend his freshmen year as a one tech nose tackle. That’s even more possible when you look at the lack of depth behind Ryan Glasgow and Bryan Mone.
  4. DeVeon Smith OR Ty Isaac for the #1 running back spot 

    • Easily my boldest prediction on the list. DeVeon Smith is the obvious choice as the projected starting running back heading into the season thanks to his performance last season. But he had issues staying healthy. Could his reliability issues open the door for Ty Isaac? If the former USC transfer did indeed take the necessary step forward this offseason, he could push Smith for starting reps.
    • If this prediction ends up coming true, I don’t think it says anything bad about Smith but more about Isaac’s work and improvement since last season. Remember, some people thought he could leave the program after his playing time went from slim to none at the end of last season.
  5. Chris Evans is the talk of camp

    • Football practice hasn’t even started and I’m jumping on the Captain America hype train. TMI’s Sam Webb has already heard very good things about Evans ($) and I’ve mentioned multiple times how I believe his speed and electricity could be the perfect fit for this offense. Add in his ability to play several positions and I think he not only turns heads and makes headlines but is a player that rises up the offensive depth chart very quickly.

Bold predictions are fun, especially when you add in the excitement of this upcoming season. So, what are you boldest fall camp predictions for the Michigan football team? Let us know in the comment section below!  


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