Brady Hoke signed a strong recruiting class in 2012
Ranked as the seventh-best recruiting class in the nation, Brady Hoke signed 25 recruits for his first full class at the University of Michigan.
Due to graduating seniors and an overall lack of depth on defense, 14 out of the 25 recruits play on the defensive side of the ball. While Michigan's defense improved under Hoke and defense coordinator Greg Mattison, it still showed signs of weakness in 2011 with a lot of room for improvement.
Here is a list of three holes that U of M's class of 2012 recruits will have to fill in Ann Arbor.
J.T. Floyd will lead a group of young DB's in Ann Arbor
Like most of the defense, U of M seriously lacked depth with their defensive backs. J.T. Floyd and former walk-on Jordan Kovacs return as starters at cornerback and strong safety respectively, with a thin group of players behind them.
Terry Richardson, a cornerback from Detroit and one of the highest-rated recruits in Michigan’s class, may be called on to play right away for the maize and blue. Though he is undersized and could add some bulk, Richardson makes up for what he lacks with his zone and man-to-man coverage.
Jarrod Wilson, a 4-star safety from Ohio brings good size to the Michigan's defense. Wilson will add to the depth at safety in Ann Arbor.
Former U-M DT Mike Martin
Defensive tackle was a need for Michigan’s class this year after second-team All-Big Ten member Mike Martin graduated. Last summer, Hoke received a commitment from Ondre Pipkins, a big 5-star defensive tackle.
With depth being an issue for U of M’s defensive line, Pipkins has a chance to play early and move towards the top of the depth chart. Will Campbell (who was a highly-rated recruit out of Detroit in 2009 but has been a disappointment thus far) and Quinton Washington may be the only players ahead of Pipkins going into the season.
Whether Pipkins is the answer or in a developing rotation of some sort, the exit of Martin leaves Michigan and Mattison with a few uncertainties at defensive line.
Roy Roundtree may be Denard Robinson's best option through the air next season
Roy Roundtree will return to Ann Arbor in 2012 to lead the Michigan wide receivers, but there is not much depth behind him since Junior Hemmingway graduated and Darryl Stonum was dismissed for violating team rules.
Amara Darboh, a 4-star wide receiver recruit from West Des Moines, Iowa, has the height and speed to contribute right away. Listed as 6'2", Darboh will be a big target for quarterback Denard Robinson and a challenge for defenders to tackle.
The Wolverines also lost their top two tight ends in Kevin Koger and Steve Watson to graduation.
Devin Funchess, a 6'5" 205-pound tight end from Farmington Hills Harrison, and A.J. Williams, a 6'6" 275-pound recruit from Cincinnati Sycamore, could help fill the opening at tight end. Because of his build, Funchess is in between a tight end and wide receiver, and brings height and athleticism to the U of M receiving corps.