Team 136’s roster is just about complete as the graduate transfers and freshmen are now on campus, working out with their new teammates. But how big of an impact will the new additions have on the 2015 season? Thanks to the staff’s assumed outlook on the roster, as well as the need for impact players at key positions, I believe there are plenty of players that will play a big part this fall, including:
QB Jake Rudock
- The senior transfer from Iowa is expected to be Harbaugh’s first starting quarterback at Michigan so whether he succeeds or not, he is by far the most impactful. But will he for sure win the job out of camp? Just about everyone believes so, including myself, thanks to his experience and ability to take care of the ball (5 INT in 346 PA). If things go as planned, he has the chance to lead the Wolverines to a very successful season.
CB Wayne Lyons
- Lyons is the other graduate transfer that everyone is expecting to make a big splash. Coming out of Harbaugh’s old college program, he is already very used to the physical, press style defense that the Wolverines staff will run and should definitely start from day one opposite junior CB Jourdan Lewis. He should help the defense become one of the best in the nation.
RB Karan Higdon
- This addition to the “most impactful” list may be a bit of a surprise, especially this high on the list. However, he is something that is sorely missing on the roster. Higdon is a shifty, speed back that has the ability to break off home run hitting runs at any moment, unlike most backs on the roster. If he has a good camp and can make the transition seamlessly, I believe he’ll make some big plays during his freshmen year.
CB/KR Keith Washington
- Washington was the 2015 signee that Harbaugh seems to love the most based on what he had to say during the National Signing Day press conference. The former Prattville quarterback will likely take some time to make the full transition over to cornerback but thanks to his athleticism and speed, as well as the CB depth chart, I believe he has a chance to play and play early. If not at a corner, his time as a duel threat QB in high school could make him a dynamic kick returner.
QB Zach Gentry
- With Rudock already on the list, it seems silly to have another quarterback included. However, though most believe the graduate transfer will win the starting job, there may not be a more talented QB on the roster than Gentry. He has the size (6’7” 240lbs) and the athleticism to be a star player under Harbaugh but it will all come down to how quickly he can learn the offense and make the transition to playing around a much higher level of talent.