The Wolverine

June-July 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JUNE/JULY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 35   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL redshirt freshman Stephen Spanellis has put himself in position to be the first off the bench at guard or tackle. As to the freshmen, center Cesar Ruiz is still learning and will be strong down the road, while Chuck Filiaga will get a chance to impress and earn some time come fall camp. Defensively it's set up front: sopho- more Rashan Gary at end, redshirt ju- nior Bryan Mone and fifth-year senior Maurice Hurst Jr. inside, and redshirt junior Chase Winovich at end. Backups are the key here, and U-M is searching hard for a second to Winovich. Redshirt freshman Carlo Kemp showed a lot this spring and will play behind Gary. He could also be the an- swer as a backup at the other end spot as well. Redshirt freshman Michael Dwumfour appears to be No. 2 be- hind Hurst, and when healthy, should develop nicely as a bigger/stronger version of the veteran. His technique is still lacking, though. As for Mone's backup, pencil in freshman Aubrey Solomon, even if he's not around yet. Sophomore Khaleke Hudson leads the way at viper, and redshirt sopho- more Jordan Glasgow is backing him up, as well as sophomore Josh Me- tellus at safety. The inside linebackers are fifth-year senior Mike McCray and sophomore Devin Bush Jr., followed by sophomore Elysee Mbem-Bosse and fifth-year senior Michael Wroblewski. Redshirt junior Noah Furbush will still provide plenty of snaps at out- side linebacker, while sophomore Josh Uche should see some action as well. Cornerback might be one of the big- ger concerns coming out of spring foot- ball. Sophomore Lavert Hill has seen limited practice time because of being nicked up, opening an opportunity for early enrollee freshman Benjamin St- Juste to make a serious bid for the job. Sophomore David Long hasn't locked the other side up, either, with redshirt sophomore Keith Washington mak- ing a push. Early enrollee freshman Ambry Thomas will be very good, but isn't an every snap performer yet and will battle redshirt junior Brandon Watson for time at the nickel. The safeties are strong, with Me- tellus and junior Tyree Kinnel locking down spots. As mentioned, Glasgow provides depth, and early enrollee J'Marick Woods backs up Kinnel. Despite ball security issues in the spring game, it looks like Johnson at punt returner, backed by Evans. Any running back could handle kick re- turns, with this order out of spring ball: Walker, Isaac, Johnson and Evans. Redshirt freshman Quinn Nordin will handle placekicks, with classmate Will Hart punting — at least until in- coming scholarship freshman Brad Robbins shows up. Harbaugh is quick to remind all that the competition is ongoing — and it is. For now, some have taken a step forward, or at least not been passed. SEASON TICKET SALES ARE SOARING The Harbaugh Effect appears fully in force when it comes to filling up Michigan Stadium. Season ticket sales for the 2017 football season are racing past 93,000, according to information provided by the Michigan athletic de- partment. That hasn't happened since the 2007 campaign, Lloyd Carr's last as head coach. The U-M athletic department did cut off season ticket sales around 90,000 the past two years, but ex- panded the number this season. The present renewal rate reported by Michigan stands at 99 percent, and U-M figures to still distribute some 72,000 non-student season tickets. "We remain incredibly grateful to our loyal fans and community mem- bers," director of athletics Warde Man- uel said. "We are pleased to expand the base of fans who will be able to enjoy season tickets, including continued in- terest from our enthusiastic student body. Despite the continued growth in season tickets, we remain committed to offering multiple ticket options to ensure that all fans have an opportu- nity to join us at Michigan Stadium." Student tickets should range around 21,000 this year by Michigan's esti- mate, the highest since it sold 23,584 in 2007. The school will still offer ticket pack- ages and single-game tickets for fans, beginning June 20 for donors and June 24 for the general public. Single-game seats go on sale to donors July 11 and to the public July 15. ❏ 2017 MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent Time Sept. 2 vs. Florida* TBA Sept. 9 Cincinnati TBA Sept. 16 Air Force TBA Sep. 23 at Purdue TBA Oct. 7 Michigan State TBA Oct. 14 at Indiana TBA Oct. 21 at Penn State TBA Oct. 28 Rutgers TBA Nov. 4 Minnesota TBA Nov. 11 at Maryland TBA Nov. 18 at Wisconsin TBA Nov. 25 Ohio State TBA Dec 2 Big Ten Championship Game^ * at Arlington, Texas; ^ at Indianapolis MISCELLANEOUS NOTES • Jim Harbaugh is collaborating on another book with award-winning photog- rapher David Turnley. This one is entitled Rise Again and will depict the ongoing upward arc of Michigan's program. Turnley, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photogra- pher, teamed with Harbaugh on a book documenting the coach's first season in Ann Arbor, entitled: Enthusiasm Unknown To Mankind. Turnley shot more than 70,000 photos to eventually cull down to a 306-page book, for which Harbaugh authored some 16 pages at the beginning. Proceeds from that book went to help fund Michigan's future weight room project. • Michigan is showing up in some early season rankings. Sporting News slotted the Wolverines at No. 9 in the nation, while FOX Sports called them the country's No. 16 squad. Early enrollee freshman Benjamin St-Juste is competing for a starting job at cornerback, which is a position with plenty of uncertainty surrounding it heading into the summer. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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