Today’s the day as the 2015 Michigan football season has officially begun. The players are hitting the field and the fan base is consistently refreshing Twitter and their go-to website (hopefully this is yours. Yes, I’m talking to you, person who is reading this) to stay up to date with the coverage. But before the first pass is thrown or whistle is blow, it’s time to make some guesses on names to watch.
Here are my five breakout candidates for fall camp:
1. RB #22 Karan Higdon, FR
– It may be a bit of a shock to see a running back as my top breakout candidate but with Tyrone Wheatley’s stable full of power backs, it is sorely missing a change of pace back and Higdon is a great fit. He has the speed and agility to give Drevno a much needed weapon on offense and Baxter a possible game breaker as a kick returner.
2. WR #14 Drake Harris, SO
– The top wide receiver signee in 2014 has had a rough senior season of high school and freshmen year at Michigan after dealing with a bad hamstring injury. Though there were rumors of that injury possibly ending his career, from all reports this summer, he is back to 100% and is ready to show out in the Maize and Blue. And it couldn’t come at a better time with the team desperately missing a big play threat at wide receiver.
3. DE/OLB #53 Mario Ojemudia, SR
– The one spot on defense that won’t be manned by Jabrill Peppers that will have fans and offensive coordinators thinking will be the Buck linebacker spot and the best bet to start there from day one is Ojemudia. He is a veteran who has the size and athleticism to be a very, very good player in Durkin’s defense. With plenty of reps through camp, he’ll be a guy that I expect to get a lot of publicity.
4. DB #34 Jeremy Clark, SR
– Clark is a player, like Ojemudia, that could really benefit from somewhat of a position change. With Durkin looking for length out of his corners, the seasoned veteran has seen time at safety but never really made the impact most, including myself, believed. That is why a potential move to corner could be exactly what he needs. At 6’4” 205lbs, he has that elite defensive back size and athleticism that the staff can work with and mold into a very productive player.
5. TE #89 Ian Bunting, SO
– Along with the quarterback position, everyone will have their eye on the tight end position on offense thanks to Harbaugh’s ability to produce NFL tight ends. Most will be watching starting TE Jake Butt but there are questions about who will take 2nd team reps. While there is a ton of young talent, I believe Bunting will be that guy to take the next step in fall camp. He has elite size, is a talented pass catcher and finally has put on the weight needed to be a force.