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Nice article here on the most important players for next years team at Michigan.
The Michigan Wolverines are this close to entering national championship talks. Brady Hoke's squad went 11-2 last year, beat a very good Virginia Tech squad in the Sugar Bowl and returns plenty of important pieces in 2012...
I think you have to include Big Will before Demens.
Nice read... I think i'd have Robinson, BWC, Demens. Fitz blew up last year, but if he got injured I think the offense could still be effective. If Demens or BWC don't show up, then it's gonna be much harder to find someone to fill that void.
Big will be ok, but i think the most dominating dlineman will be pipkins. Kid is a flat out stud. Ill go out and say it right now that he goes down as the best lineman weve ever seen
Denard and BWC have to be the top two. Then I would say Roundtree. He (or someone) needs to step up and fill Hemingway's role or we will be dangerously one dimensional on offense.
This post was edited by MrWoodson 23 months ago
I don't get Demens being on the list. Let's assume the starters are Jake Ryan, Desmond Morgan, and Demens at the 3 linebacker spots. If Demens doesn't play up to his potential or gets hurt, I bet we could find a serviceable replacement out of Bolden, Hawthorne, Poole, Mike Jones, Cam Gordon, Kaleb Ringer, James Ross, or Royce Jenkins-Stone.
The position that worries me more is the 3-tech DT. Jibreel Black played well this Spring, but it's still a position switch and it's unclear how good he'll be against the run. If he doesn't work out, the pool of backups is .... Kenny Wilkins? Richard Ash? Q-Wash?
Roundtree is a good call, a WR is a must.
Demens is the Senior MLB, he'll be making all the calls and adjustments in the front 7... if he goes down or doesn't perform, it won't be so easy for a young guy to come in and handle that responsibility.
I'm really excited about Pipkins too, but the kid hasn't even hit the practice field yet. He definitely seems to be a prototypical nose tackle, but he has got a long uphill climb just to fill Mike Martin's shoes.
As for "most important" meaning which players would it hurt most to lose, I would go with:
Denard - For obvious reasons.
Craig Roh - Senior and only returning starter on the d line. He will need to anchor this line, even if not by his performance, by his experience and leadership.
Jordan Kovacs - He's been a great safety net for a couple of years, plus he really managed to put himself in good position last year. Most importantly (and why I put him on here over Demens), he and Van Bergen looked like extra coaches on the field at times with read adjustments. I think the performance of every other player on the defense gets a little worse without Kovacs in there.
The problem with this sort of list, however, is that this year we know what to expect for the most part. So I'm gonna go with an "X-Factor" list of players whose performance level could provide the biggest difference between mediocrity and excellence for this squad:
Blake Countess - Floyd, Avery, and Talbott all seem like legit, but not elite corners. If Blake makes the jump into that elite status and regularly can lock up top receivers, this secondary could be as good as there is in the B10.
Jibreel Black - I really have high hopes for his disruptive ability out of the 3-tech. BWC is another obvious choice, but his biggest impact would be in plugging gaps, and I'm just really hoping to not notice him much during the season.
Stephen Hopkins - The tight ends on campus really don't inspire a lot of hope, and the incoming freshmen look to have immediate shortcomings that will keep them off the field. Hopkins has shown himself to be an able receiver out of the back field, and I expect Borges to motion him alot and use him as a bit of a universal back. If he can contribute as an H-Back, that could take a lot of pressure of the tight ends.
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