Michigan Football: Top 5 Surprise Players from the Spring Game
On Saturday, we saw a few surprising players receive extensive playing time for the Michigan Wolverines.
I don't mean guys like Russell Bellomy or Thomas Rawls, because we knew going in that Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Toussaint wouldn't see many reps anyway.
There were a few guys, though, who seemed to have earned all the time they received on Saturday.
Here's a look at the five most surprising players who played the most.
5. Joey Burzynski, OL (RS So.)
I'm not surprised at all that we saw Burzynski receive extensive playing time on Saturday.
What did surprise me, though, was the fact that he got the "start" at left guard. Most thought Elliott Mealer would start the game, but Burzynski seemingly beat him out.
A lot can obviously change from now until fall practice; however, if Burzynski can at least provide quality depth on the O-line, that would help tremendously, seeing as how there is currently a lack of bodies along the line.
4. Keith Heitzman, DE (RS Fr.)
I wasn't surprised that Heitzman saw the field, but the amount of playing time he saw shocked me.
Not only was he on the field a lot, but he also looked great at what he was doing.
This kid redshirted last year and has never played a snap in college, but he looked like a veteran out there on Saturday.
I don't know how much he'll play in 2012, but he did show that he has a bright future ahead and may be starting before his career is over.
3. Kaleb Ringer, LB (Fr.)
To be honest, I was shocked that Ringer received extensive playing time on Saturday.
I probably shouldn't have been, but I just couldn't believe how often he was out there.
Desmond Morgan's injury probably had something to do with it, as it shuffled up the linebacker rotation, but regardless, the coaches seem to like what they see in him.
Will he see playing time in 2012? Probably not.
Hopefully he redshirts this year and then possibly has an impact sometime down the road.
2. Tamani Carter, DB (RS Fr.)
Tamani Carter seemed to have been a forgotten man, as he wasn't even practicing with the team a few weeks ago.
However, he saw plenty of playing time on Saturday.
In fact, I was pretty surprised at the amount of time he saw; seeing as how there is little to no depth at safety, I probably shouldn't have been though.
I doubt Carter will see much game time in 2012, but hopefully he can at least be a reliable backup in case one of the starters or backups at safety gets hurt.
1. Antonio Poole, LB (RS Fr.)
Poole seemed to be a popular choice to see playing time last season as a true freshman, but never did.
Since just about every single contributor returns at linebacker, not to mention a phenomenal freshman group of 'backers are coming in, I honestly forgot about Poole a little bit.
However, he was out there almost the whole time on Saturday.
Again, Morgan's injury may have had something to do with it, but regardless, the coaches must like Poole. If he can contribute in 2012, he will certainly have earned it, seeing as how linebacker is such a deep and talented position for this team.