Fall camp opens TODAY — hallelujah! — and Michigan has released its official roster. I’m sure you’re all curious to see what numbers the true freshmen will be wearing in the fall (as well as their official listed positions, heights, and weights), so here’s the full list, including early enrollees:
[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]
S Marvin Robinson: No. 3 (6-2, 200)
S Josh Furman: No. 6 (6-2, 207)
QB Devin Gardner: No. 7 (6-4, 210)
CB Courtney Avery: No. 9 (5-11, 167)
S Carvin Johnson: No. 13 (6-0, 195)
WR Jeremy Jackson: No. 17 (6-3, 196)
S Ray Vinopal: No. 20 (5-10, 193)
CB Terrence Talbott: No. 22 (5-11, 171)
RB Austin White: No. 23 (6-0, 200)
CB Cullen Christian: No. 24 (6-0, 187)
SR Drew Dileo: No. 26 (5-10, 171)
RB Stephen Hopkins: No. 33 (6-0, 227)[/column]
[column width=”47%” padding=”0″]LB Jake Ryan: No. 37 (6-3, 224)
LB Davion Rogers: No. 38 (6-6, 200)
DE Kenny Wilkins: No. 41 (6-3, 262)
P Will Hagerup: No. 43 (6-4, 210)
DT Richard Ash: No. 54 (6-3, 320)
DE Jibreel Black: No. 55 (6-2, 258)
OL Christian Pace: No. 64 (6-2, 280)
WR Ricardo Miller: No. 82 (6-4. 215)
WR Jerald Robinson: No. 83 (6-1, 195)
WR D.J. Williamson: No. 84 (6-1, 170)
DE Jordan Paskorz: No. 94 (6-3, 242)
DT Terry Talbott: No. 96 (6-3, 248)[/column]
Some thoughts on the freshmen and other players whose positions or weights have made big changes:
- DT Richard Ash, who weighed in at a robust 320 pounds, had better be prepared for the School of Mike Barwis’s Will Campbell Program. Reports over the summer said Ash wasn’t in the best of shape, and he was listed at 263 pounds in his Rivals profile — it’s safe to say he needs to cut a lot of weight, and I’d be very surprised if he didn’t redshirt and focus on conditioning this season.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum, CBs Courtney Avery and Terrence Talbott, LB Davion Rogers, WR D.J. Williamson, DE Jordan Paskorz, and DT Terry Talbott are all going to need to add some muscle before they see the field (especially Rogers, who at 6-6 and just 200 pounds might have the ability to slip under doorcracks). You could throw SR Drew Dileo in there too, but even at just 171 pounds I’m guessing he’ll be thrown right in the mix at punt returner — he wasn’t expected to see the field as a receiver this year regardless.
- At 6-2, 200 pounds, safety Marvin Robinson could conceivably play strong or free safety — concerns that he would blow up to linebacker size are mitigated, at least for now. With little depth and a lot of question marks in the secondary, expect Robinson to push for a starting spot and see the field in some capacity this fall.
- After enrolling early in the spring, C Christian Pace has added an impressive 21 pounds, up to 280 from a very-undersized 259. Even though he’s a lock to redshirt, it’s great to see those kind of gains in the weight room — now he can focus on learning the offense and working on technique instead of worrying about getting overpowered at the college level. Mike Barwis works wonders, people.
- Moving on to the rest of the roster: DT Will Campbell is up to 333 pounds after weighing in at 324 in the spring. Big Will made huge strides to get in shape over the course of the last year, and I’m hoping that’s more added muscle — otherwise, he might take a little while to play his way into shape. If that is in fact muscle, watch out.
- Now listed at an impressive 6-8, 294 pounds, tackle Taylor Lewan continues to morph into a prototype in the Jake Long mold. The concerns about him being physically ready to play as a redshirt freshman are likely gone, and now we’ll see if he has picked up enough technique (remember, he started playing O-line in his senior year of high school) to unseat Perry Dorrestein at left tackle. I think he’ll be protecting Denard Robinson’s blind side on September 4th.
- Fellow redshirt freshman tackle Michael Schofield also is up to a good weight, and at 6-7, 293 pounds, he should be in the mix for at least a backup spot on the depth chart. I’m excited at the potential of Lewan and Schofield bookending the Michigan line down the road — those two could be special.
- Despite rehabbing his torn ACL, Vincent Smith has managed to bulk up to a solid 180 pounds (up from 169), which sounds small for a tailback until you remember he’s only 5-6. We’ll have to wait and see if he is limited at all by the injury and the added bulk, but the weight should help him stay durable throughout the course of the season.
- Obi Ezeh and Kenny Demens, who will battle for the starting middle linebacker spot, are both up to 250 pounds. I’m not sure how this will affect Ezeh, but I like the added weight on Demens, who is a very gifted athlete and should have no problem maintaining that athleticism. This will be a very interesting competition to watch throughout the fall. The linebackers in general are big — Jonas Mouton is 240, Isaiah Bell is 245, and J.B. Fitzgerald is 244. Kevin Leach still weighs just 205 pounds, which I have to guess will hurt his chances of seeing the field.
This is the year where a few seasons under Mike Barwis really has appeared to take hold of the roster — weights are generally up across the board, especially along both lines, which should greatly benefit a team that got overpowered on both sides of the ball at times last year. With all the talk about quarterbacks, scheme changes, and personnel battles, the team’s overall fitness can easily get overlooked, but I expect we’ll see a big difference on the field this year because of the work this team has done in the weight room.
The projected football depth chart page has been updated to reflect the changes in the new roster.