Michigan Football Random Musings from the Spring

People that do not like Jim Harbaugh are not going to enjoy the future.

The Wolverines already had some talent on campus but Harbaugh is improving that pretty quickly.

The biggest need for the 2016 team is at Quarterback and at Linebacker.

On defense, the Michigan Wolverines lost their Defensive Coordinator from last year. DJ Durkin left to take the head coaching job at Maryland.

Harbaugh didn’t take long to fill that void by hiring Don Brown formerly of Boston College. If you don’t follow college football very closely, you may have missed that Boston College has had one of the best defenses in college football in recent seasons. They’ve done that with very few high rated recruits.

Michigan fans should be excited and that’s not to take anything away from DJ Durkin who is a good coach as well.

Michigan also has very experienced Greg Mattison as it’s Defensive Line coach. Mattison was the Defensive Coordinator at Michigan under Brady Hoke. The Wolverines were not that good under Hoke, but they did field a stout defense and Mattison is an outstanding coach as well.

Former Michigan coach Hoke signed the super talented Jabrill Peppers in 2014. By some recruiting services he was rated as the second best recruit in the country only after the great Leonard Fournette.

Peppers has been a starter in the Defensive Backfield, and he has contributed at Wide Receiver, Running Back, punt returner and just about anywhere else he’s needed.

Peppers is one of the very elite players in the entire nation.

In the Spring, because of lack of depth at Linebacker, the coaches have moved Jabrill Peppers to Linebacker.

He is listed as 6-1, 210 and he has speed to burn and this could be a brilliant move by Don Brown.


Linebacker will have more immediate help by the early addition of Devin Bush Jr from Florida. If the name sounds familiar, his father was a star for Florida State back in their Dynasty period.

The son is going to be spectacular and you can take that to the bank. He is 6-0, 225 presently and he runs like a Defensive Back and hits like a truck on icy roads. He is listed as a back up Inside Linebacker behind Michael McCray, but it’s going to be hard to keep Bush off the field for long. In spite of the fact that McCray has looked good, he needs to be looking over his shoulders.

The Defensive Line is already solid, but the addition of the top recruit in the nation should scare most offenses. Rashad Gary from Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey will more than likely start at Defensive End from day one. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a recruit, but he’s that good.

True freshman Carlo Kemp is another to keep an eye on for the future. He got buried a little at times in the Spring Game by older and more experienced Offensive Linemen. But, the 6-3, 250 Kemp has the potential to be really good for the Wolverines. His uncle is NFL head coach Chuck Pagano and one of his other uncles is John Pagano, the Defensive Coordinator of the San Diego Chargers. His grandfather was also a football coach and Kemp maintained a 4.0 GPA in 4 years of high school. This kid could be special. He did, also, make a few good plays in the Spring Game.

Another reason that Michigan moved Jabrill Peppers to Linebacker was the quality of their Defensive Backfield.

Jourdan Lewis is one of the top Cornerbacks in the Big 10 and the entire country. He is like fur on a Persian cat covering a Wide Receiver. He’s just all over them.

At the other Corner is Jeremy Clark. I can’t remember another 6-4, 210 Cornerback and that should draw him attention from NFL scouts.

The Michigan defense should be more than solid and Wolverine fans should be excited.

The offense, of course, needs somebody to step up at Quarterback.

John O’Korn was the favorite going in and he could still be the guy. As a freshman, he threw for over 3,000 yards at Houston and he is a talented athlete.

Whatever the status of O’korn on the depth chart, Michigan fans should be excited about the progress of holdover Quarterbacks Wilton Speight and Shane Morris. Speight was forced into playing last year when Jake Rudock was out against Minnesota and he helped the Wolverines survive the Gophers.

He looks better now.

Morris was just plain terrible under previous coach Brady Hoke. He is greatly improved. He still made a bone headed play in the game, but he made many good plays as well.

Alex Malzone spent his first season at Michigan using a redshirt, but he looked pretty decent when given the opportunity. The question is, how many opportunities will he get with O’Korn, Speight, Morris and Peters all competing with him.

Michigan fans should also be excited about true freshman Brandon Peters. I am predicting great things for Peters and I wrote about him last year: Brandon Peters

If you click on the link, never mind the title because the other Quarterback in that game was committed to Tennessee and he has now switched to Clemson. Yeah, I know, everyone wants to play in the SEC.

Peters did not disappoint in the Spring Game when he should have been thinking about his high

school prom.

They have the third McCaffrey child, Dylan, committed for next year’s class at Quarterback. Dylan McCaffrey is a 4 star recruit and the top rated Pro Style Quarterback in the country right now.

Four starters return in the Offensive Line which is also a good thing lead by All American Ben Braden at Offensive Guard. Last year’s Left Tackle, Mason Cole, is moving to Center where he will battle Patrick Kugler for the starting job.

Michigan returns 2 super players at Wide Receiver in Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh. These guys are good.

But, the Tight End position may be better. It’s the deepest group of Tight Ends in the country and it all starts with their star, Jake Butt.

But, they also have some of the best back up Tight Ends in the country with Ian Bunting, Tyrone Wheatley Jr, and Zach Gentry. Plus, they have incoming freshmen Devin Asiasi, Nick Eubanks and Sean McKeon.

This group is deep and talented.

The Running Back position at Michigan is going to be really loaded as well.

Senior Drake Johnson got the start in the Spring Game. But, big back Ty Isaac, also a senior, played really well.

De’Veon Smith was their leading rusher last year and he returns for his senior year, also.

But, the real talent may be with the new guys. The older guys are good, but these new freshmen have the look of greatness on them.

Kareem Walker was one of the top rated Running Backs in the country and he looked the part.
Kingston Davis was a lowly 3 star recruit coming out of Prattville, Alabama. But, the 6-2, 225

freshman has the look of a star on him.

Michigan is deep and really talented. The next few years may not be like the days of Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler when the Big 10 Championship always came down to the last week of the season and the big game between these two powerhouses.

But, then, the Ohio State-Michigan game could just take on a brand new meaning in the next few years.

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