Michigan will kick off the 2013 season on Saturday afternoon against the Central Michigan University Chippewa’s/Flying C’s. This will pretty much be the equivalent of a preseason game for the Wolverines, as Michigan will use it as a tune up for Notre Dame in week 2. The offense will be pretty basic since Michigan will not want to show all it’s cards. Coach Hoke will hope to have this game in total control early on so he can get some of the backups and younger kids some playing time and establish his depth chart at a few positions.
Here are some notes and updates heading into the start of the season…
Earlier this week, Michigan named it’s captains for the 2013 season: Taylor Lewan, Courtney Avery, Cam Gordon, and Jake Ryan. Lewan was an automatic for one of the captain spots, but the other 3 come as sort of a surprise. Courtney Avery has been in the starting lineup at CB since his freshman year, but hasn’t been a dominant player for Michigan. He was supposed to move from CB to one of the starting safety positions until he injured his knee and will now be out for the first 2 weeks. Cam Gordon has switched positions a dozen times during his career at Michigan and is now slotted to take over for Jake Ryan until he returns from his injury in October. Jake Ryan starts the season on the injury list and is only an redshirt junior. All 4 have are well respected by their teammates and have been vocal leaders during the spring. They have all been instrumental in developing and leading the underclassmen. One name that seems missing from this list is starting QB Devin Gardner. Not sure why he was not voted a captain by his teammates, but as the starting QB, he is already in a leadership position.
There were some surprises with the depth chart that came out earlier this week. First off on the offensive line, Jack Miller will get the start at center and the kid he was competing with at center, Graham Glasgow, will now get the start at left guard instead of Ben Braden. Coming into camp, Braden seemed to be the favorite at LG.
Amara Darboh was slated to be the starting WR next to Jeremy Gallon, but due to his season ending injury it will now be redshirt freshman, Jehu Chesson. Hoke has been really complimentary of this kid and named him as one of the breakout players for 2013.
Newly named captain, Courtney Avery was going to start at safety this year after 3 years playing the nickel back position, but due to injury, sophomore Jarrod Wilson will now get the start.
No surprise that Fitz Toussaint was named the starting RB, but what is a surprise is the depth chart. Redshirt freshman Drake Johnson is currently the #2 RB, while incoming 5 star recruit, and true freshman, Derrick Green is the 5th RB.
True freshman, Shane Morris has won the #2 QB position over walk-on Brain Cleary.
Starting D-line will be Frank Clark, Jibreel Black, Quinton Washington, and Keith Heitzman. Starting LBs will be Cam Gordon (Captain), Desmond Morgan, and James Ross. Starting CBs will be Blake Countess and Raymon Taylor (no surprise there).
Michigan’s first challenge will be in week 2 versus Notre Dame at the Big House. If they get by the Frottering Irish then they should be undefeated going into the Michigan State weekend. Michigan State should also be undefeated at this time so this will be a huge match up for the Legends division. In my opinion, the Legends division will be a toss up between Michigan, MSU, and Northwestern. Of course, I like Michigan to take the division, but according to the recently posted blog by WorldSeriesTiger, he thinks MSU has the best chance. Funny how that works out…