Michigan Football: 6 Walk-Ons Who Will Make an Impact This Spring

Joel GreerCorrespondent IMarch 25, 2013

October 13, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon (10) celebrates his touchdown with fullback Joe Kerridge (36) in the first quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

While Brady Hoke continues to rebuild the Michigan Wolverines with 4 and 5-star recruits, the role of walk-ons will continue to diminish. 

But since this will be Hoke's third year as U of M's head coach, there's still room for walk-ons to earn considerable playing time.

Let's take a look at the players who started their careers as walk-ons and might be stars by season's end.


Joe Kerridge: FB, 6'0", 241 lbs, RS SO, Traverse City (St. Francis) 

Kerridge will finally have a chance to carry the ball as Michigan continues its transition to a pro-style, power-I attack.

While battling for playing time with Stephen Hopkins in 2012, Kerridge had no carries and one reception in a part-time blocking role.

Most likely a starter this fall, Kerridge will share reps with sophomore Sione Houma and incoming freshman Wyatt Shallman.


Brian Cleary: QB, 6'3", 199 lbs, RS FR, Detroit (Jesuit HS)

Brian Cleary, who competed with incoming freshman Shane Morris in the Detroit Catholic League, will most likely spend 2013 as Michigan's scout team quarterback.  

Should Russell Bellomy fail to bounce back from his debacle at Nebraska, and Hoke decides to redshirt Morris, Cleary could get an opportunity to back up incumbent Devin Gardner.


Bo Dever: WR, 6'2", 190 lbs, RS FR, Lake Forest, IL 

With Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo the top returning pass-catchers, there's plenty of room for youngsters to step up. Sophomore Amara Darboh and redshirt freshman Jehu Chesson will have the biggest chance to contribute this fall, but walk-on Bo Dever could earn reps as well.

An All-Conference wide receiver, Dever followed in his dad's footsteps by walking on at Michigan. 

Since he's already used his redshirt, Dever might get a shot over some of the talented freshmen.


Joe Reynolds: WR, 6'1, 200 lbs, RS SR, Rochester (Adams)

Although he only caught three passes in 2012, Hoke called Joe Reynolds “one of the hardest working players on the team,” (via buzztap.com).

A three-time All-State performer, Reynolds also made the Academic All-Big Ten squad in 2010 and 2012.

Reynolds will battle for the No. 3 wide receiver with Darboh, Chesson and Jeremy Jackson.


Joey Burzynski: C/RG,  6'1", 291 lbs, RS JR, Carlsbad, CA (Carlsbad HS);

Graham Glasgow: C/RG, 6'6", 303 lbs, RS SO, Aurora, IL (Marmion Academy)

Joey Burzynski has his hands full this spring, battling for the starting job at both center and left guard.

At center, Burzynski is competing with likely starter Jack Miller and fellow walk-on Graham Glasgow.

There was a similar tussle a year ago, when Miller, eventual starter Elliott Mealer and Ricky Barnum clashed. “I would prefer not to have another center battle for the second consecutive year," offensive line coach Darrell Funk told mlive.com. “But it is what it is and we've got some candidates. They've all repped it for a year and a half, or two years, and we'll see who the best guy is."

Of course, incoming freshman Patrick Kugler could show up this fall and beat out everyone. At left guard, Burzynski will take on redshirt freshmen Ben Braden and Blake Bars.


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