Michigan released its official depth chart today for the UConn game, and there are a few surprises on the two-deep for Saturday. The entire depth chart can be found at the Football Depth Chart page. Let’s start by breaking down the offense:
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No surprise at quarterback, as Rich Rodriguez has said we won’t know who the starter is until kickoff; for the second straight season, we get three players all tied at the top. Devin Gardner, in Rodriguez’s words, will “probably not” redshirt this season — it looks like he has done enough in the coaches’ eyes to see the field this season and help the team. I still expect Denard Robinson to be the starter on Saturday, but we’ll probably see all three quarterbacks at some point.
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Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw head up what should be a rotation of at least 3-4 running backs. Note that Teric Jones, who was recruited at running back but played in the secondary for the past year, is back at his natural position.
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This is where things get a little interesting. Your starting wideouts are Darryl Stonum/Junior Hemingway and Martavious Odoms on the outside and Roy Roundtree/Kelvin Grady in the slot. This is probably a product of the depth and talent at slot receiver, especially with Grady having a breakout fall camp, and Rich Rodriguez’s subsequent attempt to get the best players on the field. The only true freshman on the depth chart, interestingly, is Jeremy Jackson — I suspect this is because he has by far the best hands out of the group, and he should be a reliable possession receiver if the team needs to use him.
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The depth chart at tight ends looks exactly the same as it did last year. It will be very interesting to see how much this position factors into the offense with all the talent at receiver.
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It appears that the veterans have held off the talented youngsters at tackle, as redshirt junior Mark Huyge and senior Perry Dorrestein get the nod at tackle over redshirt freshmen Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield, at least for now. They will be joined by what should be a very good interior line in left guard Stephen Schilling, center David Molk, and right guard Patrick Omameh. The depth across the board is very strong, and this should be by far the best offensive line Rich Rodriguez has had at Michigan.
I’ll have a breakdown of the defense either later today or tomorrow afternoon, and my game previews for the season will begin on Wednesday as we rapidly approach game day in Ann Arbor.