The Wolverine

September 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Michigan's tailbacks. He can split out, catch the ball coming out of the back- field, and continue his cash-in consis- tency on short-yardage and goal-line situations, after scoring 10 rushing touchdowns a year ago. He added three more touchdowns through the air. 14. Bryan Mone R-Jr. DT Mone remains enough of a mystery to stay outside the top 10 here, despite his immense physical skills. Injuries have hampered him, and he's made just one start at Michigan, posting 21 tackles, 2.5 stops for loss and two fumble recoveries. He might be a force inside, but needs to stay healthy and make it happen. 15. Grant Perry Jr. WR Reinstated to the team following a sus- pension for off-field issues, Perry is back on board and serves as Michigan's most experienced slot receiver. He snagged a season-high four catches against Ohio State prior to the suspension that side- lined him from the Orange Bowl, and he could be a major target for Speight this season. 16. Josh Metellus So. S Metellus played in nine games as a true freshman, including starting the Orange Bowl at the viper spot after Peppers suc- cumbed to injury. Metellus was back at safety entering fall camp and battling for a starting spot, one he could grab due to his growing experience and physicality. 17. Ian Bunting R-Jr. TE Bunting caught a career-high three passes for 40 yards in the Orange Bowl after All-American Jake Butt went down to injury. With Butt moved on to the NFL, Bunting could lead the charge in a room full of talented tight ends seeking snaps in 2017. 18. Tarik Black Fr. WR Black turned a lot of heads with his spring game performance, and he wasn't a one-day wonder, either. The early en- rollee freshman looked like a possible major contributor with his spring-long efforts, and he's seeking to grab a start- ing spot at wideout in fall camp. 19. Donovan Peoples-Jones Fr. WR Peoples-Jones proved the early en- rollee frosh that everyone was talking about upon his arrival, and his 4.41-sec- ond 40-yard dash in Michigan's pre- spring football combine did nothing to quiet the talk. He was nicked up a bit during spring ball, but he's also compet- ing for a starting spot at wide receiver. 20. Pat Kugler 5th-Sr. C Kugler could etch his name into the praise-worthy list of Michigan Men who hung in there during a career out of the spotlight before starting at center in their final year. Kugler appeared to come out of spring ball with the job, and he'll have to hold it through fall camp and spearhead a reassembled offensive line. 21. Tyrone Wheatley Jr. R-So. TE Wheatley snagged a touchdown pass against Illinois in 2016 while perform- ing in all 13 Michigan games. He's look- ing to make his mark in a wide-open battle for playing time at tight end, using his skills both as a blocker and receiver. 22. Quinn Nordin R-Fr. PK Nordin has yet to line up for a game- winning field goal for the Wolverines, but it might not be long before he does. His booming 48-yard field goal in the spring game (which observers in- sisted would have been good from 65 yards or more) put yet another stamp on the former top kicking recruit's ex- pectations. 23. Michael Onwenu So. OL Onwenu played on both sides of the football as a freshman last year and has the size to be a man-mover up front for the Wolverines. Head coach Jim Har- baugh wanted him slimmer than the 372 pounds he reported in at early in the spring and recently noted Onwenu is making some good progress along those lines. 24. Lavert Hill So. CB Michigan needs cornerbacks, and Hill is certainly one of the Wolverines' most talented on hand. He's also one of the more experienced, after playing in 11 games as a true freshman last year. But he's suffered nagging injuries at times and is growing, remaining in a fight for a starting job. 25. Eddie McDoom So. WR Michigan's designated jet sweeper (16 carries for 160 yards) from last sea- son wants to do more, and he'll get the chance. How good he is at catching the ball downfield and in traffic will deter- mine a lot for a second-year hopeful. SEPTEMBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 25 Redshirt junior quarterback Wilton Speight will have to win the starting job once again this preseason, but he is expected to come out on top after starting 12 games last year and pass- ing for 2,538 yards with 18 touchdowns. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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