Michigan Football Recruiting: 5 Freshmen Most Likely to See Action in 2012
Which ones will? Nobody knows for sure.
However, we can speculate which freshmen are most ready to play, increasing their chances of seeing the field.
Here's a look at the five most likely contributors for next football season.
5. Amara Darboh, WR
Without a doubt, receiver will be one of the biggest question marks on this Michigan team.
I just don't see how the most proven receivers, Jeremy Gallon and Roy Roundtree, can be counted on to be solid No. 1's.
Also, nobody knows what to expect out of guys such as Jeremy Jackson and especially Jerald Robinson.
All of the uncertainty should open the door for a freshman or two to see playing time.
I went with Amara Darboh, but I think it also would have been fair to put Jehu Chesson in this spot. There is a reasonable chance they both see playing time.
Darboh is categorized as a "playmaker" and "game-changer," so it would be nice if he could bring those qualities to the table as early as 2012.
4. A.J. Williams, TE
Along with receiver, tight end is one of the biggest question marks on this 2012 team. Honestly, it is a little disheartening when looking at the options for the position.
Brandon Moore seems to be the leading candidate, but he just simply has done nothing throughout his career. Ricardo Miller is also an option, but he just hasn't done anything either.
That should open the door for a freshman to see playing time. I went with A.J. Williams as the most likely candidate. Again, it may have been fair to put Devin Funchess in this spot.
A reason the talent is so lacking at this position may be because of the departure of Chris Barnett before last season started. He seemed to have a bright future ahead of him before deciding to leave the team.
Expect to see at least one freshman tight end play next fall, possibly even two.
3. Joe Bolden, LB
Even though the depth at linebacker looks to be pretty solid for Michigan, most think Joe Bolden will still see the field in 2012.
Bolden looks to be simply too good to redshirt. Even though this is a loaded linebacking class with Bolden, James Ross, Royce Jenkins-Stone and Kaleb Ringer, Bolden seems to be the best of the bunch. He probably won't start in 2012, but expect him to see plenty of playing time.
Honestly, I don't think the ceiling could be any higher for Bolden.
A year or two down the road, I think we will see this kid turn into the prototypical old-school Michigan linebacker. That's how good he is.
2. Kyle Kalis, OL
Michigan is extremely thin along the offensive line, so it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to see Kyle Kalis contribute as a freshman.
Even though it is rare to see linemen have an impact as freshmen, Kalis has the body to do it. He probably won't start in 2012, but he should see plenty of game action.
It won't take this kid long to turn into one of the best lineman in the Big Ten and eventually one of the best in the country.
It isn't a stretch to call Kalis the next Jake Long.
1. Ondre Pipkins, DT
This is a borderline no-brainer when thinking about which freshman will likely have the biggest impact. You just have to go with Ondre Pipkins.
Combining Michigan's lack of experience and talent on the defensive line to Pipkins' potential, there is no way he doesn't have an impact.
Saying he'll start may be a bit of a stretch, but not a big one. It wouldn't be a surprise at all if either Will Campbell or Quinton Washington can't claim a starting job, opening the door for Pipkins.
This kid should be an absolute dominant force in a year or two, resembling the likes of someone such as Alan Branch.