Tru Wilson (image via Hudl)
Name: Tru Wilson
Weight: 190 lbs.
High school: Warren (MI) De La Salle
Position: Running back
Jersey number: #27
Last year: I ranked Wilson #84 and said he would be a backup running back and special teamer (LINK). He played on special teams.
TTB Rating: N/A
Wilson played some defensive back last season before transitioning to offense, perhaps permanently. By the end of this past spring, he had worked himself up to being the #3 running back on the depth chart, behind Karan Higdon and Chris Evans, but ahead of O'Maury Samuels, Kurt Taylor, and others. I am leery of walk-on-type running backs, because we've seen players like Joe Hewlett get a bunch of spring-time snaps that disappear entirely when it comes to the season. Whether it's a motivational ploy, due to injury, or because of some other factor, these walk-ons usually end up on the sideline or playing on special teams.
I can't put out of my mind that Wilson was a Semper Fidelis All-American coming out of high school, though, and he had several FBS offers. He's not an average walk-on. Samuels was dinged up a little this spring, but maybe Wilson really has passed him up on the depth chart. Maybe Wilson was slowed in previous chances by not practicing on offense full-time, so maybe a permanent switch will help him play a little faster. I mentioned the other day that Ty Isaac and Kareem Walker vacated 108 carries from last season, so someone will have to eat up some of those carries behind Higdon and Evans. I'm not sure it will be Wilson, but he has a chance to do it, and he can also play on specials.
Prediction: Backup running back, special teamerClick here for the full post
Aidan Hutchinson (image via Twitter)
Name: Aidan Hutchinson
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Weight: 258 lbs.
High school: Dearborn (MI) Divine Child
Position: Defensive end
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Hutchinson was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 65 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 blocked kick; he also caught 38 passes for 419 yards and 8 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: N/A
I haven't given Hutchinson a TTB Rating because he committed too early to get one initially, and then I haven't done a full review of the 2018 class since they signed. Even so, I like Hutchinson a lot, as I mentioned in his commitment post. I had him as the #1 player in the state of Michigan, and he turned out to be an Army All-American. His defensive production dropped off a little bit as a senior, perhaps because teams started to game plan against him more, but he was all over the place on defense - chasing down quarterbacks, harassing running backs in the backfield, and taking good pursuit angles. The really fun part of his senior highlights is the second half, when he lined up at tight end/wide receiver and bullied kids from other teams. He could certainly be a tight end in college.
As for the 2018 season, I think we saw in the Army All-American Bowl that Hutchinson is ready to play against the next level of competition. I don't think he needs to redshirt. The only issue is that he's probably headed for defensive end, and Michigan didn't lose any defensive ends last season. If Carlo Kemp moves inside to 3-tech and stays there, then perhaps Hutchinson can slide up to be Rashan Gary's backup at strongside end. I see opportunities for Hutchinson to get on the field this season, but I'm not sure if he'll be depended on for a large role. Either way, I think he has a bright future at Michigan.
Prediction: Backup defensive end
Michael Barrett (image via Valdosta Daily Times)
Name: Michael Barrett
Weight: 215 lbs.
High school: Valdosta (GA) Lowndes
Position: Running back/Slot receiver/Offensive weapon
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Barrett was a senior in high school (LINK). He completed 111/174 passes (63.8%) for 1,705 yards, 16 TDs, and 2 INTs; he also ran for 1,195 yards and 13 TDs.
TTB Rating: 82
Barrett was the subject of much consternation for Michigan fans, for one reason or another. One reason was that he was not highly rated (3-star, #61 ATH, #753 overall). Another was that some teams were recruiting him as an option quarterback. You can see from his stats above that he wasn't a bad QB in high school. Barrett didn't end up committing to Michigan until late in January, and he was a nice consolation prize from the state of Georgia once the dust settled from Otis Reese's flipping to Georgia.
I don't know what to think of Barrett, exactly. He's a wild card. Michigan reportedly plans to start him out at slot receiver, but you don't often see 6'0", 215 lb. slot receivers. I wouldn't mind if the staff got creative (for them) and used him on bubble screens to get him going downhill against smaller defensive backs, but this coaching staff hasn't used a ton of bubble screens during its tenure. Maybe the presence of Patterson with his running capability will open up some more zone read/bubble opportunities. There's also the chance that Barrett could be used as a "wildcat" quarterback, but that's not as much of a change-up with Patterson under center than it would be if, say, Brandon Peters or Dylan McCaffrey is the starting QB. I like Barrett as a player, but it's unclear right now where he'll play.
Prediction: Backup slot receiver
Jared Wangler (image via MWolverine)
Name: Jared Wangler
Weight: 229 lbs.
High school: Warren (MI) De La Salle
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #38
Last year: I ranked Wangler #75A and said he would be a backup linebacker and special teamer (LINK). He made 3 tackles on special teams.
TTB Rating: 59
Wangler switched positions from linebacker to fullback, but he was going to be buried either way. At linebacker he was behind Mike McCray II, Devin Gil, and others. At fullback he was behind Khalid Hill, Henry Poggi, and Ben Mason. He did contribute on special teams in every game, but he did not see any time on offense or defense.
This year Wangler remains at fullback with Hill and Poggi having graduated. Mason returns and is the obvious starter, unless freshman Ben Van Sumeren arrives and blows everyone out of the water. I believe Van Sumeren will pass up Wangler sometime this season, if not immediately. I also believe we'll see a little less of the fullback position this season now that Shea Patterson is the quarterback. I expect Michigan to go with a few more spread sets and shotgun/pistol looks. I don't know that Wangler has the bulk or the attitude to be a Jim Harbaugh fullback, so I think Wangler will continue to be a backup and special teams guy.
Prediction: Backup fullback, special teamerClick here for the full post
Ian Boyd discusses Jimbo Fisher's first year at Texas A&M (LINK).
Hit the jump for a good looking lady named Madeline Kate.Click here for the full post
I was recently notified that a prominent feed reader, Feedspot, has Touch the Banner as one of the top five Michigan football blogs (LINK). In case you don't know what a feed reader is, it's a site that can gather up all of your favorite websites' posts and can give you the articles/links all in one place.
Hit the jump for some good looking ladies, including a gif of a girl going for a jog through the woods.Click here for the full post
Deron Irving-Bey (image via MGoBlog)
Name: Deron Irving-Bey
Weight: 274 lbs.
High school: Flint (MI) Southwestern
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #44
Last year: I ranked Irving-Bey #90 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He redshirted.
Irving-Bey was an Army All-American in 2017, but his services weren't needed on the field once he got to campus. Michigan was stacked on the defensive line, and a lot of those guys return. Irving-Bey can play Anchor (Rashan Gary) or 3-tech (Aubrey Solomon), but both positions have guys blocking him, and the only player to leave was nose tackle Maurice Hurst, Jr. I don't see Irving-Bey stepping into a big role this season, though I do expect to see him get some snaps.
Prediction: Backup defensive tackleClick here for the full post