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Michigan Football: Predicting Winners of Key Spring Practice Position Battles

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1:  Coach Brady Hoke of the Michigan Wolverines directs play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIMarch 12, 2013

Spring practice is always a great opportunity for guys to duke it out for starting positions in the upcoming season, and the Michigan Wolverines are no different in 2013.

A number of guys have moved on over the offseason and the starting roster now has plenty of potential spots that need filling by the time of their first game on April 13.

Read on to see which battles are facing the biggest competition this spring, and which guys are likely to emerge as winners from the respective battles.

 

Center

Jack Miller and Elliott Mealer duked it out for the starting spot in 2012. Now Miller, Graham Glasgow and Joey Burzynksi will likely compete it out for the starting position this spring, but this year, it's hard to go past Miller getting the starting gig.

The staff at Michigan know how talented he can be, and they've groomed him well to take over from Molk. Backing out and changing that now wouldn't send a good sign to Miller or any of the players on the Wolverines' side—especially given the strength and skill set that Miller has.

Predicted starter: Jack Miller

 

Running Back

The real answer to the Wolverines' running back dilemma won't be sorted until the fall when Derrick Green comes to camp, but that doesn't mean that several other guys in contention for Green's spot won't try to give themselves an upper hand before he comes.

Fitzgerald Toussaint still appears hindered by his 2012 injury, and Drake Johnson appears too raw to be considered for a starting spot just yet in his career.

And given the way that the Wolverines used both Thomas Rawls and Justice Hayes throughout 2012, it seems that Rawls will again get the nod here. Hayes will be more of a short-down back, and likely see more touchdowns as a result, but for now, Rawls will win the spot.

How that fares when Toussaint comes back or Green arrives still remains to be seen, but it's hard to fault Rawls on his performances throughout 2012.

Predicted starter: Thomas Rawls

 

Right Guard

The departure of Patrick Omameh leaves a gaping hole on the offensive line here, and much like Molk, his replacement does have question marks.

Chris Bryant's injury has made him a not-so-certain pick as the starting right guard now, with guys like Kyle Kalis, Ben Braden, Blake Bars and Kyle Bosch all touted as potential replacements on the right hand side of the offensive line.

Bosch is an exciting prospect, and I think we'll likely see him take over during the season at some point. But I can't see him starting now—not when Braden is on hand and seemingly primed to take over from Bryant, should he not be 100 percent ready to go.

I'd say Braden gets it over Bryant, with all eyes on Bosch for the future.

Predicted stater: Ben Braden

 

Who do you think will start at these positions in 2013 for Michigan?

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