Michigan Football: Why Michigan Could Go with a Young Roster in 2013

Austin FoxCorrespondent IIMarch 16, 2013

Michigan Football: Why Michigan Could Go with a Young Roster in 2013

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    Even though Michigan's football team is still made up of mostly Rich Rodriguez's players, we are starting to see some of Brady Hoke's guys emerge.

    More and more of the players Hoke recruited will break through in 2013 at various positions across the team.

    Still, there are a number of open starting spots where a young player will have a chance to beat out a veteran for the job.

    Now this article isn't out about Rodriguez's players versus Hoke's players, but instead, it's a look at the position battles involving veterans and youngsters.


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    Michigan badly needs a third receiver to step up this season behind Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo. The candidates are a perfect blend of veterans and youngsters.

    Jeremy Jackson and Joe Reynolds are two veterans who will be in the mix, but have never taken advantage of opportunities in the past. Both seniors, now is their last chance.

    Meanwhile, many think youngsters Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh will emerge over Jackson and Reynolds.

    Darboh would be a safe bet, as he has a ton of potential and should certainly have an impact. Expect him to break out as one of the primary receivers on this team, with Jackson and Reynolds playing sparingly.


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    Thomas Gordon appears to have one safety spot locked down, but the other one is wide open.

    Marvin Robinson and Josh Furman are both veterans who will have every opportunity to win the position, but just haven't panned out to this point in their respective careers.

    Jarrod Wilson, on the other hand, is a young sophomore who played at times last year, but is arguably the favorite to win the open spot.

    He's the favorite partly because he's extremely talented but also because Robinson and Furman simply can't be relied on.

    Wilson will also face stiff competition from early enrollee Dymonte Thomas, though. Even if Thomas doesn't win the job, he should still certainly see playing time.

    Youth should win out in this position battle, as the job will likely go to Wilson.

Running Back

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    This is arguably the position that people are most intrigued by.

    Michigan has a prime example of veteran versus youth in this one, as fifth-year senior Fitz Toussaint and freshman Derrick Green will battle it out.

    Toussaint's health will be an issue, though, opening the door for some other candidates. Junior Thomas Rawls will be a factor, but the rest of the candidates are mainly youngsters.

    Green isn't the only freshman to keep an eye on, though, as DeVeon Smith may very well play a role this fall as well. He is severely overshadowed by Green, but is loaded with talent.

    Redshirt freshman Drake Johnson will also play a role, as will Justice Hayes and Dennis Norfleet.

    All in all, there are literally six different running backs who could see meaningful minutes this season. That makes for an incredibly intriguing competition to watch.

Offensive Guard

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    The much-maligned Michigan offensive line will certainly have a different look in 2013. New faces will be scattered everywhere, as the interior of the line will likely be filled with nothing but youth and inexperience.

    One of the most intriguing spots on the line to watch is the battle at guard. Kyle Kalis likely has one guard spot locked down, but the other spot isn't as clear.

    Will one of the young linemen that Hoke recruited win the spot, or will it go to a lineman that's been in the program for a few years?

    Chris Bryant once had a very bright future ahead of him, but injuries have slowed him down mightily. He and redshirt freshman Ben Braden seem to be the most likely candidates to win the job.

    The versatile walk-on veteran Joey Burzynski is also an option, but it's hard to picture him coming out on top.

    Honestly, I expect the youngster Braden to win the job, as Michigan's youth movement on the offensive line will continue.


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    I left this position for the final slide because it is probably the position Michigan has the most talent at. Plus, it will likely be the most fierce battle of all the ones listed between veterans and youngsters.

    Jake Ryan has a starting spot locked down, so there's no debate there, but who the other starters are around him remains unclear.

    Veteran Desmond Morgan has been a starter the majority of his career, but could potentially be unseated by one of the more talented, younger linebackers.

    Either James Ross or Joe Bolden is going to wind up starting—and maybe even both. The real intrigue is whether or not Morgan can fend them off enough to keep his own job.

    Simply put, Michigan has four linebackers capable of starting, but only three spots are available. That's a great problem to have.