2017 Michigan Wolverines

Discussion in 'College Football' started by Phall, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Phall

    Phall Mentor

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    Michigan Football 2017

    The Michigan Wolverines will start seven white players in 2017. Since , they have started (a bunch more, let me come back and amend this later) whites on the field.

    Jim Harbaugh enters his third season in Ann Arbor. His NFL pedigree and eccentric personality have enabled some top-ranked recruiting classes, which predictably correlates with a darkening of the roster. Michigan has had very uninspiring recruiting classes under Harbaugh, ending up with 5-6 caste position whites per class. The depth chart for caste positions is of course a meritocracy, whereas the untouchable positions are filled with “upside athletes.”

    The quarterback position will always be a strength for Michigan, and coaching up signal-callers has been one of Harbaugh’s historical points of accomplishment. Redshirt junior Wilton Speight will return under center after beating Houston transfer John O’Korn last year. If Speight improves, he will have a good chance at all-conference honors against thin competition, and may even have an outside shot at early entry consideration. O’Korn was the darling of a few CF’ers after leaving the Houston plantation. He looked lousy last year in very limited action, and Wolverine fans never really clamored for a change through Speight’s peaks and valleys. You hate to see a potential talent ending his career holding a clipboard, but he may qualify for a grad transfer year elsewhere. Supposedly, O’Korn really pushed the competition all the way through August.

    Waiting in the wings is 5-star stud Brandon Peters, who is currently on a timeline to start in 2019. He’ll be pushed by Dylan McCaffrey, who will redshirt this season. Alex Malzone, a former four star pocket passer himself, has been relegated to the end of the bench. He enrolled early and will finish his degree in 3.5 years, giving him two seasons to showcase himself elsewhere. Zach Gentry, a fellow four-star quarterback recruit from his class, has transitioned nicely into a viable tight end / jump ball receiver option. Harbaugh recruited his first quotaback this summer. While the video-game playing liberal doughboys in Ann Arbor are salivating over his unlimited potential, there’s a healthy chance he switches positions before sniffing playing time.

    The offensive line is part of the aforementioned meritocracy, where the best players play. This puts the white recruit who makes the cut behind the proverbial eight ball, as the team’s star-driven recruiting focus has added a hefty pile of dusky man-children to the player pool. Mason Cole kicks back out to left tackle this season out of necessity. He currently projects as the top center and a second-round NFL pick on a couple of early draft boards, but his versatility and experience will be most beneficial out wide. Ben Bredeson is a big boy who struggled somewhat at tackle last year. He should thrive as a guard with a season under his belt, and may eventually shift out down the road (or grow into a Jeff Backus heir). Speaking of heirs, John Runyan Jr. is tentatively the starting RT. I’m penciling him in as the 7th white starter, although there is still a position battle raging and this could change after a few weeks. Runyan Jr. is a legacy with a less dominant build than his father, but has fared well enough against the other options in training camp to play as a sophomore. Patrick Kugler, forever the unit’s sixth man (the past two seasons), will finally take over for Mason Cole at center as a redshirt senior.

    The backup fullbacks may get a few meaningful carries, as the offensive playbook is pretty large and the roster is rather deep. Henry Poggi is fast losing ground to true freshman Ben Mason. I’m a bit peeved that Mason was moved from his recruited position of middle linebacker, but apparently he’s projecting to a shoe-in three year starter following this apprenticeship.

    The starting tight end is Ian Bunting, nicknamed “Ol’ Skillet Hands” on the Michigan blogs. Bunting has acquitted himself well in limited action thus far in his career, playing behind star Jake Butt. At 6’7, he could easily snag a handful of touchdowns. Sean McKeon has won praise as an amazing athlete, including adjectives usually reserved for the more colorful class. He will catch some passes but will make a bigger impact down the road. Zach Gentry, the converted QB, is also 6’7 and apparently more of a TE/WR hybrid than just a big body. I’m very interested to see what he can do in the occasional mismatch package, and he’s in store for more playing time down the road. His resiliency is admirable, in my opinion.

    Wide receiver is a position of interest for the first time in quite a long time. The Wolverines edged a handful of other semi white-friendly schools for the talents of Oliver Martin, a four-star, corn-fed phenom from Iowa described as “a natural New England Patriot” and the most polished route-running recruit… ever. The last white wide receiver scholarship given by Michigan was to Drew Dileo, signed by Rich Rodriguez in 2009. Martin joins a big time recruiting class with three other esteemed black players. The cupboard is relatively bare here for Michigan, so Martin has a chance to carve out a role early. He’s been simultaneously dubbed as the heir to the slot position and as a very viable outside threat, so we will see where that skill set leads him. Martin may also get a crack at punt returns early, having fielded them with great success in high school.

    Apart from Martin, the diamond in the rough well worth mentioning is walk-on Nate Schoenle, a redshirt freshman, who actually sat atop the staff-issued depth chart during spring practices. Schoenle (pronounced SHANE-lee) seems a bit more pigeon-holed to a slot role due to his complexion and lack of recruiting stars. No surprise: he is a track athlete and allegedly runs a hand-timed sub-4.5 40 yard dash (putting him at least on par with the hand-timed claims of other prize recruits), and stands at 6’2. Schoenle seems like a legitimate D1 prospect who chose to scratch and claw his way up the ladder at the local university of his aspirations rather than open his palms to a tiny program. I am confident that Oliver Martin will be given his opportunity to succeed, but I might actually be rooting harder for Schoenle to make a mark in his first of four years of eligibility.


    On defense, the Wolverines are set to start a paltry one lone defender of white racial background, with three others set to contribute something meaningful.

    Chase Winovich could be a g—damned national star soon. He’s the nimble blind-side pure pass rusher who grades out well enough on running plays as well. Winovich enters his redshirt junior year inheriting snaps on the opposite side of former #1 overall high school recruit Rashan Gary, who has been tantalizing cucks for quite some time. Unlike Gary, Chase was tasked with practicing as a weak side linebacker his freshman year, then H-back during his second year. Last year, he was “unleashed” as a second-stringer behind a future-pro line and fared superbly. As a redshirt junior, Winovich should realistically approach 10+ sacks (especially paired with darling/legit-prospect Gary). Chase Winovich can be the accompaniment to Gary in sports talk radio conversation. Dominant speed rusher and qualified tackler: I’d compare him to Elvis Dumervil this year as a junior.

    Junior Noah Furbush is the top "run-stopping weak side linebacker," and he will play plenty against more traditional teams like Wisconsin and Michigan State. Walk-on redshirt senior Mike Wroboleski ("Robo") is just below the cusp of an official starter, and should see plenty of snaps at inside linebacker this year. Sadly, these two upperclassmen are the last hurrah of white players at this level currently for Michigan.

    The Wolverines backfield yields no white interests save walk-on Jordan Glasgow. The runt of the litter: fans remember Ryan Glasgow from nose tackle fame and Graham Glasgow from the Detroit Lions offensive line depth chart. J. Glasgow became a mini-celebrity when he stuffed last year’s Ohio State fake punt in the open field with a textbook tackle. He’s apparently not far off the depth chart for either strong safety or “viper” (the cover-heavy linebacker formation). What really confounds is that the previous two Glasgow brothers were also walk-ons and ascended to multi-year starters AND NFL draft picks. Jordan, the runt of the litter, is resigned to again hang loose and battle with the 4-star opioids each and every year while his parents pay the full price. I don’t like this!

    The special teams unit is generic. We want Oliver Martin to return punts, but would prefer a few fly routes per game overall.

    Also, ask me anything in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  2. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    Fantastic write up Phall. Your Michigan write up is always the one I look forward to most every year.
     

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