Michigan Football: Updating the 5 Best Spring Football Battles

Austin FoxCorrespondent IIApril 1, 2012

Michigan Football: Updating the 5 Best Spring Football Battles

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    Spring football is half over, yet many position battles are still raging on.

    Some battles will likely carry over deep into fall practice, but at least we're getting a slight picture of what to expect from certain guys.

    Here's a look at five of the best position battles, and how each one is shaping up.

    All information found at the wolverine.com.

Battle for Backup Running Back

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    There is no question that Fitz Toussaint will be the starter, but who will back him up?

    Thomas Rawls seemed to be the most likely candidate, but word has surfaced that he is seeing some reps at fullback. That could mean he isn't producing as well as coaches hoped, or it might not mean anything at all.

    Word seems to be more positive surrounding Justice Hayes, as he has shown flashes at times.

    And, of course, Vincent Smith is still an option as he enters his senior year.

Wide Receiver Battles

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    Other than Roy Roundtree and Jeremy Gallon, who in the world is going to see crucial minutes at wide receiver?

    Not much has been heard about either Jeremy Jackson or Drew Dileo in spring practice, so that's obviously not a good thing.

    Word seems to be mixed when it comes to Jerald Robinson, but it needs to start being strictly positive.

    Maybe Devin Gardner will see meaningful minutes in 2012. As of right now, I'm going to predict that he won't, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if I'm wrong.

Offensive Line Battles

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    Most of the offensive line seems pretty locked up with Taylor Lewan a sure starter at left tackle, Patrick Omameh at right guard, Mike Schofield at right tackle and Ricky Barnum at center.

    That leaves one spot left: left guard.

    To many's surprise, Elliott Mealer is the front-runner at that spot right now. How far Chris Bryant trails is unknown, but there should definitely be a good competition between the two heading into the fall.

    Whether one of the freshmen can come in and win the job remains to be seen, but as of right now, Mealer is definitely the front-runner.

Defensive Line Battles

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    Who in the world is going to replace departed seniors Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen and Will Heininger along the defensive line?

    Craig Roh will likely start at strong-side defensive end, although that's not a given.

    You'd think Will Campbell will start at tackle, but we've said that before.

    Jibreel Black has been moved to tackle, and nothing but good things have been said about him so far.

    That likely means Quinton Washington, Richard Ash and Kenny Wilkins will once again be backups.

    And what about the other end spot? It seems to be a battle between Frank Clark and Brennen Beyer, both of whom are only true sophomores. It would be somewhat surprising if Clark did not win the job, though.

Cornerback Battle?

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    There wasn't supposed to be much of a battle at cornerback, with J.T. Floyd and Blake Countess being the clear starters.

    However, a surprising candidate has emerged: Terrence Talbott.

    After seeing playing time as a true freshman in 2010, Talbott was simply nonexistent last year. Could he really unseat Floyd or Countess from their starting spots, though?

    That's a question that could potentially carry over into fall practice.