Michigan Football: 5 Freshmen Who Could Start in 2012

Austin FoxCorrespondent IIMay 8, 2012

Michigan Football: 5 Freshmen Who Could Start in 2012

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    With the great crop of freshmen Michigan is bringing in, there is no doubt that some of them will see playing time.

    However, the real question is how many of them will start?

    Here's a look at the five Michigan freshmen with the best chances of starting and a prediction of whether they will.

5. Devin Funchess

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    The tight end situation sure looks awfully bleak for Michigan.

    The lack of talent could potentially open the door for a freshman to start, and that freshman could be Devin Funchess.

    He will obviously have competition from upperclassmen at the position, along with another freshman, but it would not be a surprise if Funchess contributes in 2012.

    Prediction: No

4. Amara Darboh

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    Other than Roy Roundtree and Jeremy Gallon, who in the world is going to contribute significantly at receiver?

    Amara Darboh will have every opportunity to earn playing time. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see both Darboh and Jehu Chesson see the field in 2012.

    Will Darboh impress enough to earn a starting job though?

    Prediction: No

3. Joe Bolden

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    This kid looks like he is going to be the next great linebacker at Michigan.

    He has already impressed both coaches and fans with not only his performance in high school all-star games, but also his performance in spring drills.

    Enrolling early will obviously help Bolden see the field in 2012, and it also pushes him that much closer to being a starter.

    However, can he really steal the job from senior Kenny Demens?

    Prediction: No

2. Ondre Pipkins

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    Big Ondre Pipkins is the highest-rated recruit Michigan has brought in since Ryan Mallett.

    This kid looks like he is going to be an absolute monster at defensive tackle.

    He looks to be the future anchor of the D-line, and the only question seems to be when. Pipkins will definitely play in 2012, but can he do enough to unseat Will Campbell or Jibreel Black?

    Prediction: No

1. A.J. Williams

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    Some may find it surprising to see Williams listed here at No. 1, but I feel that IF a freshman is going to start, it'd be Williams.

    Tight end is arguably the weakest position on the team, opening the door perfectly for Williams, or as mentioned earlier, possibly Funchess.

    The 'leader' at the position currently looks to be Brandon Moore. Now a senior, Moore just hasn't done anything in his career, and I don't see why he will now.

    If Williams (or Funchess) is able to win the job as a freshman, he could potentially put a stranglehold on the position and start for the next four years, just as Kevin Koger did.

    Prediction: No