Michigan Football: Spring practice primer

Michigan Football – Team 133 will begin spring practice on March 17th. The Wolverines will have 14 practices culminating with the annual spring game on April 14th at Michigan Stadium. Brady Hoke, Denard Robinson, and a revamped defense set the bar high last year by finishing the season 11-2 with a BCS Bowl victory. The schedule that U-M has to navigate this year is full or potential roadblocks, starting with the season opener at Texas Stadium against the defending National Champions, Alabama.

After the game against the Crimson Tide, Michigan will return home for games against Air Force and UMass before they conclude their non-conference slate at Notre Dame. The Big Ten schedule includes games at Nebraska and at Ohio State. With a big home tilt against the rambunctious Spartans.

Michigan lost Rimington Trophy winner David Molk to the NFL and the first order of business on offense will be to find a center. The candidates to replace Molk are;

Ricky Barnum (Sr) – who is moving from guard to battle for the position
Rocko Khoury (Sr) – who struggled when pressed into action in the Sugar Bowl
Jack Miller (RS Fr) – the coaches really like Miller and he will push Barnum for the job.

Michigan Wolverines Football player Frank Clark

Frank Clark

Michigan must also replace Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen on the defensive line. The good news is the coaches have a lot of pieces to work with. Here’s a look at how the D-line could shake out:

DE: Craig Roh (Sr)
DT: Quinton Washington (RS Jr) or Jibreel Black (Jr) or Ondre Pipkins (Fr)
NT: William Campbell (Sr)
Rush LB: Frank Clark (So) and Brennen Beyer (So)

That has the potential to be a devastating D-line. Under the guidance of Michigan’s outstanding coaching staff, I believe Campbell is going to have a huge senior season. The coaches love Clark and Beyer and they will be put in a position to make a lot of plays. Roh has been solid throughout his career, but should flourish in his senior season.

Michigan has 3 early enrollees who will benefit greatly from participating in spring practice. They are;

Joe Bolden – LB
Kaleb Ringer – LB
Jarrod Wilson – S

It will be interesting to see how much Denard Robinson improves this spring and through fall camp. Now that he has been in Hoke and Al Borges’ system for a full calendar year I think we will see some dramatic improvement in his passing efficiency. He loses “Big Play” Junior Hemingway and that means there is an opportunity for the other receivers on the roster. Keep an eye on Jerald Robinson (RS So) and Jeremy Jackson (Jr).

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