In the first of a 4 part series, I will take a look at who I believe will definitely contribute to Team 134 from the Class of 2013. By “definitely contribute”, I mean I see them on the 2 deep depth chart, or at the very least definitely on special teams. I don’t believe any of these guys will redshirt, and will play significant roles.
Jake Butt, TE
As we all know, tight end is still somewhat lacking in the depth department, despite the emergence of both Devin Funchess and AJ Williams. Funchess was an excellent offensive weapon in 2012, but is still undersized and raw, and was basically ineffective as a blocker. Williams was an OK blocking tight end, but was lacks the offensive potential that Al Borges covets in his tight ends. Borges wants to run a 2 TE offense, and that means 2 TE’s who can catch the ball and contribute blocking as well. Butt, who who stands 6’6″ and weighs 235 per Rivals, has already enrolled at Michigan, and will probably be closer to 250 pounds by the time September rolls around. Therefore, I believe he will see time immediately on offense, and I’d expect him to quickly become one of Devin Gardner’s favorite targets.
Dymonte Thomas, S
Thomas Gordan has one of the safety spots locked down for sure in 2013, with some foreseeing him sliding to the SS spot vacated by the departure of Jordan Kovacs. This leaves the FS spot to be battled for by Marvin Robinson and Jarrod Wilson (no, I don’t think Josh Furman is good enough to start). With very little depth behind them, I think that Thomas is a good bet to crack the 2 deep at either safety spot, probably the FS spot, due to his athleticism and speed. Like Butt, Thomas is already enrolled at Michigan, and is gaining valuable weight room time as we speak, and will learn a ton in the spring as well.
Delano Hill, S
I don’t think Hill will be in the secondary mix in 2013, but as someone with decent size already (6’0″ 200), and excellent speed (reported 4.4 40), I think Hill is perfect for special teams duty, most likely on the kickoff and punt teams as an outside gunner.
De’Mario Jones, WR
Michigan has 3 WR’s committed in the 2013 class, with Jones as well as Csonte York and Jaron Dukes. Jones is the only one I see fitting into the slot receiver position, and there is minimal depth at that position behind presumed starter Drew Dileo. Now, Jones is very raw, and still small at only 185lbs, but he’s fast, able to do things in space, and is a solid pass catcher. I’m not sure how much he’ll contribute, but I don’t see him getting a redshirt (while I believe York and Dukes will).
Jourdan Lewis, CB
Similar to Hill, I’m not so sure that Lewis will get time in the secondary, but considering how athletic he is, I don’t think Lewis will redshirt, despite his size. It has also been rumored that Lewis may move to WR, where he was outstanding at Cass Tech in 2012, and quite frankly, he’s a playmaker–something Michigan may lack in 2013 with no Denard Robinson and the uncertainty of Fitz Toussaint. Lewis was also a dangerous return man at Cass Tech, and even though Michigan has a good one in Dennis Norfleet, Lewis may push for some time on the return teams.
Henry Poggi, SDE/3 Tech DT
Poggi is the most polished and college ready of the defensive line commits, although he probably doesn’t have the same explosive upside as Taco Charlton. Poggi’s technique is more advanced than normal of a high school kid, and while he’s on the small side at only 260lbs, I think he’ll force his way into the defensive line rotation, probably at strongside defensive end at first, and eventually at the 3 tech defensive tackle spot as he gets bigger (similar to the career path of Jibreel Black). Right now, the assumed starter at SDE is somewhat unknown, with several guys battling, but I have a hard time seeing Poggi lower than 3rd on the depth chart by the time September rolls around. How much will he contribute? That remains to be seen, but I don’t expect him to redshirt in 2013.
That’s it for now. Next time I’ll cover the guys who I see as “possible contributors” in 2013, meaning they’ll be right on the cusp of cracking a 2 deep, playing special teams, etc.
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