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Michigan Football: Top Recruits Who Are Future of Wolverines Offense

Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com
Mike MoraitisAnalyst IMarch 6, 2013

The Michigan Wolverines' had a top-10 recruiting class this year and there are some great players to watch for this season and in the years to come.

The running back position will be hotly contested until the season starts, so it'll be interesting to see just how effective Derrick Green will be and if he can win the starting job.

Shane Morris won't supplant Devin Gardner this season, but he is no doubt the future of Brady Hoke's offense. Jake Butt might be an option for Morris to throw to down the road, but he'll have a lot to prove during the offseason to show he has what it takes to play right away.

Let's take a look at each of these recruits and why you should be excited to see them play.

Player measurements are courtesy of 247Sports.com.


Shane Morris, Quarterback

The Wolverines are moving to a more pro-style offense in 2013 with Devin Gardner behind center, but Morris is no doubt the future signal-caller of this offense.

The 4-star recruit is listed as a pro-style quarterback (per 247Sports.com) who should be doing most of his damage from inside the pocket. Morris has a very strong arm and can make throws to anywhere on the field. He can also throw passes with touch when needed.

The biggest knock on Morris is his accuracy, so we'll have to find out if he can improve that negative.

He may not be a great athlete, but he displays presence in the pocket to sidestep the pass-rush in order to extend plays while his eyes remain locked downfield. Morris might be a bit small now, but he does have plenty of room to add bulk and he may grow even taller than his already impressive 6'3''.

Morris won't be challenging Gardner for the starting spot this season considering the experienced quarterback gives Michigan a better chance to win, but Morris will get his chance soon enough.


Derrick Green, Running Back

The Wolverines will be looking for a No. 1 back before the season starts and Green could be the guy who gets the job if all goes well.

Green is a big back (5'11" 220 lbs) who has the size and strength to be a starter right away. That same size enables him to break tackles with regularity. Defenders will often need some help to bring him down.

He isn't a speedy back by any stretch, but he does display great footwork that can make defenders miss and gain extra yardage. Again, Green won't be busting big plays with his athleticism, but rather with his ability to break tackles.

Fitzgerald Toussaint's injury leaves his status for 2013 up in the air as he continues to recover, but even if he can return, there's no guarantee he'll be successful. Toussaint led Michigan with 514 yards on the ground last season, but he only averaged four yards per carry.

That won't cut it for the Wolverines, and that performance leaves the starting job to be had by any back on the roster who can shine the most before the season starts. Green is currently in the running.


Jake Butt, Tight End

Now that the Wolverines will be throwing the ball from the pocket more often, good receivers are needed to actually make this offensive approach successful.

Butt will play a major role for this team in the near future as its tight end. He has great height (6'6'') to play the position, which will make him a terror in the red zone. Adding bulk will be a major focus for Butt moving forward, however, if he wants to compete at the line of scrimmage.

The Wolverines' tight end has excellent hands and can even make the catch with his arms fully extended from his body. As far as speed is concerned, Butt is average, but he can still make defenders miss and take tacklers head on.

At this point, one of his biggest issues is blocking, but that's something he can improve upon by adding to his frame. If he can shore that part of his game up and continue to develop, Butt has the potential to be a top all-around tight end in college football.

A pro-style offense such as Michigan's will need a reliable option at the tight end spot. Butt appears to have the goods to answer the call, but it remains to be seen just how soon he will make an impact.

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