Michigan Football: 5 Departing Wolverines Who Will Be Toughest to Replace

Austin FoxCorrespondent IIJanuary 11, 2013

Michigan Football: 5 Departing Wolverines Who Will Be Toughest to Replace

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    Team 133 obviously had many important seniors on it that will be extremely tough to replace. Just whose spot will be the toughest though?

    While contemplating that question, I personally think leadership and character factor into the equation almost as much as talent and playing time.

    Here's a look at five departing Wolverines who will be toughest to replace, as they were all key parts of the team on and off the field.

5. Elliott Mealer

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    Having Elliott Mealer on this list may be a surprise to some. When really thinking about the guys Michigan is losing, though, almost all of them have adequate replacements, so that's obviously a good sign.

    No, Mealer's play wasn't spectacular this season, but there is still no heir apparent as to who the next center will be.

    Jack Miller seems to be the leading candidate, but he has never played a meaningful snap at Michigan and is extremely inexperienced.

    Things will probably wind up working out just fine at center next year, but at the same time you just never know.

    Losing Mealer certainly isn't a huge loss, and the only reason he's on here is because whoever the next center is will likely have little to no game experience.

4. Jordan Kovacs

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    Most people would probably have Kovacs higher on this list, but his play was nothing special this past year.

    Plus, Michigan has a good young safety in Jarrod Wilson, who appears ready to step in and start immediately alongside Thomas Gordon.

    Now this is NOT a knock on Kovacs in any way whatsoever, but having Wilson potentially starting next year will provide a lot more speed and athleticism at safety. It was evident how much this was lacking in the Outback Bowl.

    Kovacs' attitude and leadership qualities, meanwhile, will be extremely hard to replace. This kid was the absolute perfect teammate, which is the main reason he was voted a team captain.

    Kovacs' performance on the field can certainly be replaced, but his locker room presence and leadership abilities will be missed dearly.

3. Roy Roundtree

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    Roy Roundtree didn't have the season many were hoping for, but it will still hurt losing his production.

    The main reason is because Michigan is in desperate need of experience at wide receiver. Roundtree, being a fifth-year senior, obviously provided that.

    Yes, Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo will both be seniors next year, but there is basically nothing but inexperience behind those two.

    Another reason Roundtree is on this list is because of his character. Constantly earning praises from the coaching staff, Roy is a guy whose attitude and work ethic will be missed.

    Roundtree had been at Michigan since 2008, so somebody with his experience on and off the field won't easily be replaced.

2. Denard Robinson

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    At first thought this one might not make sense, seeing as how Devin Gardner will be playing quarterback next year.

    However, Robinson obviously can't be left off this list. What if Gardner struggles next year? Some fans won't want to admit it, but they may find themselves wishing Robinson were still around to provide that offensive spark.

    Plus, the role he provided late in the year will be missed as well. Michigan may be hurting at running back next year, and it would be nice to at least have a guy like Robinson as an option.

    However, the biggest reason he is so high on this list is because of the intangibles. His attitude, leadership, character, etc. are all things that will be missed by everyone.

    Like Kovacs, Robinson earned the respect of his teammates and was voted a team captain. If that doesn't show respect, I don't know what does.

1. Will Campbell

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    I bet most people didn't see this pick at No. 1. When thinking about it though, it makes a lot of sense.

    Michigan is still extremely thin at defensive tackle and Campbell's presence may be missed more than some people might expect.

    Campbell quietly got the job done this season, simply doing what he needed to do. He occupied blockers and plugged up running lanes just fine.

    Who will his replacement be? Jibreel Black is an option, but he seems too undersized to play tackle. Odds are that Ondre Pipkins will win the job.

    Pipkins should certainly be a stud someday, but he is still extremely young and unproven.

    Having Campbell here at No. 1 may not be the most popular choice, but his presence certainly will wind up being missed.