Team 135 Depth Chart Prediction: August 14th

* Injured/Suspended 

Offense

Quarterback

– Morris and Speight are very talented but Gardner is the better, more dynamic option. If Nuss can get him to cut down on turnovers, I believe he could end up being an All-B1G quarterback that leads Michigan to a great year.

  1. #98 Devin Gardner, RS Senior
  2. #7 Shane Morris, Sophomore
  3. #19 Wilton Speight, Freshmen
  4. #8 Russell Bellomy, RS Junior

Running Back 

– Smith is the best pass blocker, which is the main reason he will be the #1 back but I think both Green and Johnson will get plenty of touches while Hayes is the dynamic back needed on 3rd down.

  1. #4 DeVeon Smith, Sophomore
  2. #27 Derrick Green, Sophomore
  3. #20 Drake Johnson, RS Sophomore
  4. #5 Justice Hayes, RS Junior
  5. #32 Ty Isaac, Sophomore (likely RS)

Fullback 

– Thanks to Houma\’s natural skill and playmaking ability, I think he will be the starter with Kerridge getting plenty of time as a pure blocker.

  1. #39 Sione Houma, Junior
  2. #36 Joey Kerridge, RS Junior
  3. #37 Bobby Henderson, RS Sophomore

Halfback 

– The position all Michigan fans have been waiting to see again. It looks like Shallman will be the main guy here thanks to his athleticism, ball carrying, pass catching and blocking. Hill should also see plenty of snaps throughout the year.

  1. #33 Wyatt Shallman, RS Freshmen
  2. #80 Khalid Hill, RS Freshmen
  3. #39 Sione Houma, Junior

Wide Receiver X

– Funchess is the most talented player on the roster and will likely be an All-B1G performer. As for the depth, Chesson and Harris (if he doesn\’t redshirt) are both lanky, athletic receivers that should be big time contributors.

  1. #87 Devin Funchess, Junior
  2. #86 Jehu Chesson, RS Sophomore
  3. #14 Drake Harris, Freshmen
  4. #83 Jaron Dukes, RS Freshmen

Wide Receiver Y 

– The depth continues as Darboh, Canteen and Jones will battle for playing time everyday. With Darboh\’s aggressive style, I believe he will start while Canteen and Jones give Gardner even more weapons.

  1. #82 Amara Darboh, RS Sophomore
  2. #17 Freddy Canteen, Freshmen
  3. #10 DaMario Jones, RS Freshmen
  4. #85 Moe Ways, Freshmen

Wide Receiver Z 

– The slot will be manned between the super explosive Norfleet and freshmen Canteen. While Canteen is the better receiver, Norfleet has the big play ability that the Wolverines have lacked at the receiver position.

  1. #23 Dennis Norfleet, Junior
  2. #17 Freddy Canteen, Freshmen
  3. #29 Ross Douglas, RS Freshmen
  4. #3 Bo Dever, RS Sophomore

Tight End 

– While we wait for Butt to return from his ACL injury, look for Williams to be the main guy here. In blocking packages, Heitzman will see plenty of time as should Hill on passing downs. Bunting is a wildcard to be redshirted or used in Red Zone packages exclusively.

  1. #88 Jake Butt*, Sophomore
  2. #84 AJ Williams, Junior
  3. #80 Khalid Hill, RS Freshmen
  4. #92 Keith Heitzman, RS Junior
  5. #94 Ian Bunting, Freshmen

Left Tackle

– I believe the hype is real. True freshmen Mason Cole will be the starting left tackle to kick off the year and could keep it until he graduates, depending on play obviously. If he struggles, expect Magnuson to kick outside like everyone expected.

  1. #52 Mason Cole, Freshmen
  2. #78 Erik Magnuson, RS Sophomore
  3. #55 David Dawson, RS Freshmen
  4. #72 Logan Tuley-Tillman, RS Freshmen

Left Guard

– Mags was seen as the heir apparent to the blindside after Lewan but I believe he\’s suited better inside. But, if Cole struggles, he will go outside and Bosch will be the man here.

  1. #78 Erik Magnuson, RS Sophomore
  2. #65 Kyle Bosch, Sophomore
  3. #55 David Dawson, RS Freshmen
  4. #74 Dan Samuelson, RS Freshmen

Center

– While Glasgow is the clear favorite to man the middle, his suspension has opened the door and competition. Thanks to the new blocking scheme and experience, I believe Miller will win the job and be the starter against App State over Kugler. If he plays well, it could allow Glasgow to slide into right guard or right tackle.

  1. #61 Graham Glasgow*, RS Junior
  2. #60 Jack Miller, RS Junior
  3. #57 Patrick Kugler, RS Freshmen
  4. #63 Ben Pliska, RS Sophomore

Right Guard 

– There has been a lot of rumors about who will start here but I think Kalis is the most talented guy that will benefit greatly from Nussmeier\’s scheme but don\’t be surprised if Bosch or Dawson end up getting playing time if Kalis happens to struggle.

  1. #67 Kyle Kalis, RS Sophomore
  2. #65 Kyle Bosch, Sophomore
  3. #55 David Dawson, RS Freshmen
  4. #62 Blake Bars, RS Sophomore

Right Tackle 

– It looks like it is down to Braden or Dawson, and possibly Fox, to start here but thanks to his size and length I believe Braden will lock down that spot. Dawson is a natural guard while Fox is a year away from really contributing. One thing to look out for is what happens with Glasgow. He could start here if Kugler or Miller locks down the center position.

  1. #71 Ben Braden, RS Sophomore
  2. #55 David Dawson, RS Freshmen
  3. #73 Chris Fox, RS Freshmen
  4. #76 Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Freshmen

Defense

Defensive End 

– Rushing the passer is something that needed to improve and with another year under their belt, I believe both Clark and Ojemudia will be problems for opposing defenses. Clark has All-B1G ability, Ojemudia is someone I think will blow up this year but don\’t forget about true frosh Marshall. He has the size and skill to make an impact as a situational pass rusher.

  1. #57 Frank Clark, Senior
  2. #53 Mario Ojemudia, Junior
  3. #93 Lawrence Marshall, Freshmen

Defensive Tackle (3-Tech) 

– Wormley has the size and skill to be a force for years to come but will have tons of talent biting at his ankles in Hurst, Godin and even Strobel. This is another very deep position for the Wolverines.

  1. #43 Chris Wormley, RS Sophomore
  2. #73 Maurice Hurst, RS Freshmen
  3. #99 Matt Godin, RS Sophomore
  4. #50 Tom Strobel, RS Sophomore

Nose Tackle 

– All year Henry and Pipkins will be battling it out to see who gets the starting nod but either way, this position is in fantastic shape. The top two are All-B1G talents while Mone and Glasgow will see time in running downs.

  1. #69 Willie Henry, RS Sophomore
  2. #56 Ondre Pipkins, Junior
  3. #90 Bryan Mone, Freshmen
  4. #96 Graham Glasgow, RS Sophomore

Strong Side Defensive End (5-Tech) 

– This is the biggest question mark on the line. Charlton passes the look test with flying colors but is still young and raw while Beyer is a veteran but isn\’t exactly at the starter level that this defense needs. Don\’t sleep on Poggi to make plenty of big plays and earn more and more playing time throughout the year.

  1. #33 Taco Charlton, Sophomore
  2. #97 Brennen Beyer, Senior
  3. #7 Henry Poggi, RS Freshmen

WILL Linebacker

– The weakside is not weak in the least bit. Mr. Training Camp himself, Joe Bolden, has been all the rave during the spring and summer camps, and I expect him to take that next step into stardom this year. You should also expect to see plenty of Gedeon and even a bit of Ferns.

  1. #35 Joe Bolden, Junior
  2. #42 Ben Gedeon, Sophomore
  3. #51 Michael Ferns, Freshmen
  4. #19 Jared Wangler, Freshmen

MIKE Linebacker 

– The leader of the defense is finally in the middle of the defense. Ryan is a star defender that should fear offensive coordinators and quarterbacks thanks to his blitzing, play making ability and his instincts. Expect to see a lot of Morgan and his leadership, as well as the next up and coming linebacker in the super athletic Mike McCray.

  1. #47 Jake Ryan, RS Senior
  2. #48 Desmond Morgan, Senior
  3. #9 Mike McCray, RS Freshmen
  4. #59 Noah Furbush, Freshmen

SAM Linebacker

– This biggest battle in camp at the linebacker position is happening on the strong side between best friends James Ross and RJS. Both guys are fantastic football players with RJS more naturally gifted and Ross being a smarter player. I could see both getting chances to start and play the majority of snaps throughout the year.

  1. #15 James Ross III, Junior
  2. #52 Royce Jenkins-Stone, Junior
  3. #12 Allen Gant, RS Sophomore
  4. #58 Chase Winovich, Freshmen

Boundary Cornerback

– The staff has done a fantastic job building an extremely talented, deep stable of corners so this is very hard to project but I believe the most decorated of those guys and newest #2, Blake Countess, will land the starting spot (unless his injury is not 100% healed) over fellow veteran Raymon Taylor. Both will see the majority of snaps and will be pushed by Peppers.

  1. #2 Blake Countess, RS Junior
  2. #6 Raymon Taylor, Senior
  3. #5 Jabrill Peppers, Freshmen
  4. #24 Delonte Hollowell, Senior

Field Cornerback

– The best cover guy on the roster, Lewis, should be starting from day one. His quickness and instincts are a perfect fit for covering which makes him a great fit at the Field Corner. Like everyone else, he will be pushed. The main guy pushing him will be Stribling, who has the length and height to match up with bigger receivers. But don\’t forget Richardson, he doesn\’t have the size but has a ton of talent.

  1. #26 Jourdan Lewis, Sophomore
  2. #8 Channing Stribling, Sophomore
  3. #13 Terry Richardson, RS Sophomore
  4. #30 Reon Dawson, RS Freshmen

Nickel Cornerback

– The spot that everyone has their eyes on is the nickel back position thanks to the guy expected to play the majority of his time there, Mr. Jabrill Peppers. The nation\’s #2 overall recruit has shown that he is the real deal in camp and ready to play right away. His blitzing ability and athleticism should make him a force against receivers, running backs and even tight ends. Behind him, we could see plenty of Countess, Hollowell and Watson.

  1. #5 Jabrill Peppers, Freshmen
  2. #2 Blake Countess, RS Junior
  3. #24 Delonte Hollowell, Senior
  4. #28 Brandon Watson, Freshmen

Free Safety

– The one safety spot that has been locked up since spring ball thanks to Wilson\’s emergence and leadership. He has prototypical size that Michigan has lacked on the back end. But don\’t think Thomas will go quietly. He will push him everyday for playing time and reps.

  1. #22 Jarrod Wilson, Junior
  2. #25 Dymonte Thomas, Sophomore
  3. #28 Brandon Watson, Freshmen
  4. #36 AJ Pearson, RS Sophomore

Strong Safety 

– The other big question mark on the defense looks to be finally figured out after a freak injury to Hill. Clark is now expected to be the starter on day one but expect Hill to come back from his broken jaw looking to get that spot back. But it\’s not like Clark is a slouch. He\’s actually one of the most physically impressive players on the roster and could become a star with more experience.

  1. #34 Jeremy Clark, RS Sophomore
  2. #44 Delano Hill, Sophomore
  3. #28 Brandon Watson, Freshmen
  4. #36 AJ Pearson, RS Sophomore

Special Teams

Kicker 

– Wile takes over for good and hopefully can use that powerful leg to make a difference. Hopefully he can stay consistent and knock down the big kicks when needed.

  1. #45 Matt Wile, Senior
  2. #91 Kenny Allen, RS Sophomore

Punter 

– Hagerup is a welcomed sight after a year full of struggles from Wile. If he can get back to his All-B1G form, it will be HUGE for Team 135.

  1. #40 Will Hagerup, RS Senior
  2. #45 Matt Wile, Senior
  3. #91 Kenny Allen, RS Sophomore

Kick Returner 

– Expect a touchdown and several big plays from Norfleet and Peppers this year.

  1. #23 Dennis Norfleet, Junior
  2. #5 Jabrill Peppers, Freshmen
  3. #17 Freddy Canteen, Freshmen

Punt Returner 

– All three of these guys are electrifying. I fully expect a couple close calls, if not touchdowns.

  1. #5 Jabrill Peppers, Freshmen
  2. #17 Freddy Canteen, Freshmen
  3. #23 Dennis Norfleet, Junior

Long Snapper

– Remember how mad everyone was Hoke gave a scholarship to a long snapper? Yeah, it was needed.

  1. #43 Scott Sypniewski, RS Freshmen
  2. #49 Andrew Robinson, Freshmen

1st Team (2nd Team) vs App State

QB: Gardner (Morris)

RB: Smith (Johnson/Green)

FB: Houma (Kerridge)

HB: Shallman (Hill)

WRx: Funchess (Chesson)

WRy: Darboh (Canteen)

WRz: Canteen (Norfleet)

TE: Williams (Hill/Heitzman)

LT: Cole (Magnuson)

LG: Magnuson (Bosch)

C: Miller (Kugler)

RG: Kalis (Bosch/Dawson)

RT: Braden (Dawson)

DE: Clark (Ojemudia)

DT: Wormley (Hurst/Godin)

NT: Henry (Pipkins)

5T: Charlton (Beyer/Poggi)

WILL: Bolden (Gedeon)

MIKE: Ryan (Morgan)

SAM: Ross III (Jenkins-Stone)

FCB: Countess (Stribling)

BCB: Lewis (Taylor)

NCB: Peppers (Countess/Hollowell)

FS: Wilson (Thomas)

SS: Clark (Hill)