Among the coaches around the country that may be on the hot seat, Brady Hoke may be near the top of the list. Hoke or Will Muschamp of Florida may be top of the list of coaches in trouble. Michigan is the school that has more wins than any other in the country and patience will run out with Hoke if improvements aren’t made this season.
Hoke started off with a bang but the sizzle quickly turned to fizzle as he went from 11-2 to 8-5 and then 7-6. 7-6 is not going to cut it with Wolverine fans for long.
2014 could be a good year for Michigan football, but it’s going to have to be for Brady Hoke.
Hoke hired Doug Nussmeier, the Offensive Coordinator from Alabama. Nussmeier has a lot of experience and has done really well everywhere he has coached.
The Michigan Wolverines do return senior QB Devin Gardner (6-4, 220). Gardner threw for 2,960 yards in 2013 and ran for 483 yards. His biggest games came against Indiana where he threw for 503 yards and against arch rival Ohio State with 451 yards and 4 TDs.
Gardner will have to have a huge senior year if Michigan has a shot at the Big 10 title.
Shane Morris (6-3, 200) should be the back up again. Morris threw for 261 yards in 2013 most of them coming in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game when Morris was forced into duty because of an injury to Gardner.
Super recruit Wilton Speight (6-6, 235) was an early enrollee and looked good in the Spring. He could be a factor, but a redshirt would be better for him.
Russell Bellomy (6-3, 210) was a back up in 2012, but a torn ACL set him pretty far back in 2013.
At Running Back, Michigan lost top back Fitzgerald Toussaint to the NFL.
De’Veon Smith (5-11,225) is the favorite to start in 2014. Smith is an impressive looking guy out of Warren, Ohio but he saw limited action as a freshman. He rushed for only 117 at 4.5 yards per carry.
Ty Isaac (6-3, 220) is a transfer from USC that is eligible immediately. He was a former 5 star recruit for the Trojans and could be in the mix from the first day. Isaac rushed for 236 yards on 40 carries and 2 TDs. He’s originally from Illinois where he rushed for over 5,000 career yards as a prep star.
Sophomore Derrick Green (5-11, 225) should also compete for the starter position and actually was the 3rd leading rusher for the Wolverines last season with 270 yards. Green is an impressive physical specimen.
Drake Johnson (6-0, 215) a sophomore tore his ACL in 2013 after redshirting in 2012 and Ross Douglas (5-10, 190) redshirted in 2013.
Michigan doesn’t have a lot of experience at RB returning, but they do have some talent.
When the Wolverines use a Fullback, it should be former Walk-on Joe Kerridge (6-0, 245) or Sione Houma (6-0, 240). Both played and started a few games in 2013. Wyatt Shallman (6-3, 245) redshirted in 2013 and could be in the mix at Fullback in 2014.
Michigan will sorely miss receiver Jeremy Gallon, but Devin Funchess (6-4, 230) is big time.
Jehu Chesson (6-3, 195) had 15 catches a year ago and could start at the other receiver position. Justice Hayes (5-10, 190) and Dennis Norfleet (5-7, 170) combined for 12 catches a year ago.
True freshman Freddie Canteen (6-1, 170) was a star in the Spring game and should start at one of the receivers pots. Canteen was not a very highly rated recruit out of Maryland but he can fly and is very good. Could be a big star for Michigan over the next few years.
Amara Darboh (6-2, 215) hasn’t played much but has good size. Csont’e York (6-3, 195), Jaron Dukes (6-4, 200), Maurice Ways (6-3, 190) and Drake Harris (6-4, 180) are young guys that could contribute in 2014.
A. J. Williams (6-6, 265) should be the starter at Tight End at least early on in the year. He only had 1 catch for 2 yards in 2013. Jake Butt (6-6, 250) is the real star here but tore his ACL and is out indefinitely. Butt caught 20 passes last season in his freshman year for 235 yards and 2 TDs.
Ian Bunting (6-7, 225) a 4 star freshman could play in a hurry. Or, Keith Heitzman (6-4, 270) and Khalid Hill (6-2, 255) a pair of big guys could see some action this year.
The Offensive Line struggled a year ago. It’s hard to tell who will start at any particular position due to Offensive Line coach Darrell Funk moving bodies all over the place to find the best 5.
Eric Magnuson (6-6, 295) is expected to start at Left Tackle, but true freshman Mason Cole (6-5, 270) started there in the Spring Game. Mason Cole was an early enrollee and supposedly was the most pleasant surprise of the Spring and was a 4 star recruit out of Florida.
Center should be Jack Miller (6-4, 295) or Patrick Kugler (6-5, 300) , but Graham Glasgow (6-6, 310) could play here as well.
Right Tackle should be Ben Braden (6-6, 320). Look for Juwann Bushell-Beatty (6-7, 330) a giant 4 star recruit out of New Jersey could help out right away. David Dawson (6-4, 295) could provide depth at guard or tackle. Blake Bars (6-5, 290), Chris Fox (6-6, 310) and Dan Samuelson (6-5, 280) are possible depth at guard or tackle as well.
Michigan has a senior QB and they need their Offensive Line to step up if they are going to be successful in 2014.
Michigan should have a pretty solid defense.
Both Corner backs return with team leading tackler Raymon Taylor (5-10, 180) and Blake Countess (5-10, 185). Countess had 6 interceptions a year ago and one of the team’s leading tacklers.
Jabrill Peppers (6-1, 205) was one of the nation’s great recruits in 2014. Only Leonard Fournette was rated higher than Peppers. He is a sensational defensive back prospect and return man. Peppers probably starts from day one at the Nickel back position.
Jourdan Lewis (5-11, 175), Delonte Hollowell (5-9, 175), Dymonte Thomas (6-2, 190) and Channing Stribling (6-2, 175) will compete for playing time at either corner back or the nickel back position.
Strong Safety should be Jeremy Clark (6-4, 205) but he will have to fight off Delano Hill (6-0, 205). Free Safety will be Jarrod Wilson (6-2, 205) with Brandon Watson (5-11, 190) and Reon Dawson (6-2, 180) providing depth.
Nose Tackle could be Ondre Pipkins (6-3, 315) but he may not be fully recovered from a torn ACL and it could be true freshman Bryan Mone (6-4, 315) who is a killer and looked great in the Spring.
Willie Henry (6-2, 305) returns at Defensive Tackle, but he is young and several other young tackles might play. Chris Wormley (6-4, 290) had 19 tackles a year ago. Matt Godin (6-6, 285), Maurice Hurst (6-2, 280) and Tom Strobel (6-6, 270) could all play in 2014.
There’s not a lot of experience up front for the Wolverines but they do have some talent.
Defensive End should be a strength for the defense. Brennen Beyer (6-3, 250) returns on the strong side. He had 27 tackles and 2 sacks a year ago, plus an interception return for a TD.
Taco Charlton (6-6, 275) looks like an up and comer at end and he should have been on my all name team. Henry Poggi (6-4, 270) is a redshirt freshman that will at least add depth to the position.
At the other end, the Wolverines line up Frank Clark (6-2, 275). Clark supposedly runs a 4.5 40 and had 5 sacks a year ago and a fumble return for a TD. He should have a big senior year in 2014.
Michigan has some talent at this position and some good depth. Mario Ojemudia (6-3, 250) had 1.5 sacks as a back up last season and incoming recruit Lawrence Marshall (6-3, 235) reportedly runs a 4.4.
At the Sam LB, James Ross (6-1, 225) was the team’s second leading tackler and he is back for his junior season. But, the starter may be Royce Jenkins-Stone (6-2, 225) who played sparingly last year but looked good in the Spring.
Allen Gant (6-2, 225) is a talent and may challenge for playing time. Chase Winovich (6-4, 215) and Jared Wrangler (6-1, 215) are incoming recruits.
Jake Ryan (6-3, 235) has moved to the Middle LB spot and he should have a huge year. His main back up should be Ben Gedeon (6-3, 235) and he looked good last season as well. Redshirt freshman Michael McCray (6-4, 240) is a monster and could be the future here.
Noah Furbush (6-4, 235) is a 4 star recruit and he should redshirt this season.
Desmond Morgan (6-1, 230) should start at the Will LB spot. He was 3rd on the team in tackles a year ago and is back for his senior year.
Joe Bolden (6-3,225) is a solid back up and could even play somewhere this season as he was 5th on the team in tackles in 2013. Michael Ferns (6-3, 230) is a top 4 star LB recruit coming in this year and he could be a factor here.
The Michigan Wolverines schedule is favorable if they can get past Notre Dame in the second game. Of course, they had better not overlook Appalachian State in the first game because that has backfired on them in the past.
If the ball bounces their way a little bit this season they could easily go 10-2. But, they may need a few breaks and they need for the Offensive Line to step up.