The Michigan Wolverines have a great deal of veteran talent on the 2016 roster. Senior cornerback Jourdan Lewis may be the best player in the country at his position, and the same could be said for senior tight end Jake Butt. After that, veterans like Chris Wormley, Taco Charlton and Jehu Chesson are receiving All-Big Ten buzz and the veteran nature of this year's team is one of the reasons Jim Harbaugh's group is generating so much preseason attention.
Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com brings word from Harbaugh on a potential influx of youth, though, and the head coach had this to say about freshmen on his Inside Michigan Football show on Sunday:
"I'd say right now I can think of 10 easy that will be in the two-deep as a starter or backup — more backups than starters."
Yes, you read that correctly. As many as ten members of the two-deep could be freshmen. Of course, some of that comes as a byproduct of incredibly strong recruiting under Harbaugh, who pulled in a top-10 class in his first complete year as Michigan's head coach. Still, it can be unsettling to see a bunch of thoroughly unproven players on the depth chart and Harbaugh did his best to assuage that concern:
"They're going to school and they're in summer camp, that's a lot on their plate. It wasn't a concern with 'how much are they picking up the offense, are they learning 10 different coverages or 50 different pass concept.' I told the team that and the coaches that. 'You guys, you go to school and then when you come to practice and we're going to look to see if you're tracking to be athletically good enough to be in the two-deep — and then we'll catch you up on the (system).'
When Michigan (finally) releases a 2016 depth chart, it will be very interesting to see which freshmen actually make the cut on two-deep. Defensive lineman and top-ranked recruit Rashan Gary is a safe bet for inclusion, but aside from that, names like Eddie McDoom and Ben Bredeson could make great strides when compared to teammates at similar positions.
The big names are upperclassmen (aside from Gary), but that doesn't mean Michigan won't be actively planning for the future with the implementation of several first-year players in 2016.
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