In my last article, I ran down who I believe will definitely contribute to Team 134 from the Class of 2013. For this post, I’m going to take a look at who I believe with possibly contribute. My definition of “possibly”, for the sake of this article, is that I think these players will have a chance to crack a rotation, or definitely make their presence known on special teams. I don’t think they will redshirt, but the possibility certainly exists.
Without further ado:
Taco Charlton, WDE
Taco is a freak of athleticism, this much is clear. Standing 6’6″, weighing in at 250lbs, and able to run a 4.8 40 (or so), it’s clear that Charlton has among the highest upsides of any of the Class of 2013. However, I’m hesitant to believe that he will immediately contribute to Team 134. Personally, I would redshirt him, allow him to put on weight, and get significant work on his fundamentals. I am not the Michigan coaching staff though, so I have no idea what their plans are. Taco is an early enrollee, which will only help him see the field faster. With the weakside defensive end spot having a lack of playmakers (Beyer is good against the run, Clark is inconsistent at best, and Ojemudia is still quite undersized), Charlton may find himself in the rotation if he does well this spring and fall, especially if he shows a penchant for getting to the QB.
David Dawson/Kyle Bosch, OG
These two are kind of a toss up for me. Both will play offensive guard at Michigan, both come in with good size, and both come in with good talent. Both need significant coaching and fundamentals work, and it’s no secret that the hardest position to contribute at as a true freshman is offensive line. But when you look at the guard depth chart, you see Kyle Kalis, a redshirt freshman; Chris Bryant, a redshirt sophomore who’s yet to play a snap; Joey Burzynski, a walk-on; Graham Glasgow, a walk-on, and Blake Bars, a redshirt freshman who I don’t think will be ready to play. That’s scary thin. This tells me that one of our incoming guards, be it Bosch or Dawson, will probably crack the 2 deep at some point in 2013. I tend to lean towards Bosch, because he’s bigger and is an early enrollee, but who knows?
Ben Gedeon, ILB
Gedeon, to me, is similar to Poggi. I don’t see superstar upside here, but I do see a very high floor, meaning that there’s little doubt in my mind that they will turn into solid starters at the very least. Also, similar to Poggi, I think Gedeon has what it takes to come in and contribute immediately. However, the ILB depth chart is looking pretty good these days, with Desmond Morgan, Joe Bolden, James Ross III, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Antonio Poole, and Kaleb Ringer making up a nice depth at the position. Now, I think Gedeon could potentially bypass guys like Ringer and Poole relatively easily, but why burn his redshirt when he’d be a 3rd stringer? Here’s where the special teams comes into play. Last year we saw Ross, Bolden, and Jenkins-Stone all on special teams as true freshman linebackers, and I could easily see Gedeon filling that role. I’d prefer he redshirts to put some space between him and the guys from the class of 2012, but this is, of course, the coaches decision.
Khalid Hill, TE/U Back
We’ve already covered that Al Borges wants to run a 2 TE set offense, with both TE’s having blocking and receiving ability. Hill is not as decorated a recruit as Jake Butt, nor does he offer the same offensive upside, but Hill make be an immediate contributor as well. From the H/U back position, you have to be able to block from the backfield (similar to a traditional fullback), be used in pass protection, run pass routes, etc. Hill was recruited for this position, and while his blocking needs significant work, I think he’s more ready to step in as a receiver in that position than, say, Sione Houma or Wyatt Shallman. Time will tell, but Hill may find himself on the field very soon.
Patrick Kugler, C
Kugler, the son of former Steeler’s offensive line coach Sean Kugler (now the head coach at UTEP), comes to Michigan as the most college-ready offensive lineman in the class. He will almost assuredly be moved to center given his size, which is listed at 6’4″ 280 by most sites, and the fact that he’s already very fundamentally sound and coming in at a position of serious need tells me that he is the most likely offensive line recruit to not get redshirted. I have faith in current starting center Jack Miller, but behind him is only walk-on Joey Burzynski. I like Burzynski as a depth guy, but I think Kugler will have no trouble passing him as a backup center. It’s also possible, although unlikely, that Kugler just blows people away in fall camp and takes the starter job from Miller.
Deveon Smith, RB
This projection could obviously change with a commitment from highly-touted RB Derrick Green, but as of right now, Green is not a part of the class, so I’ll ignore him. Smith is a solid RB recruit, won’t wow anyone, but will certainly get the job done if called on. Given the uncertainty of the RB position heading into the 2013 season, what with the Toussaint injury, the inconsistency of Thomas Rawls, the lack of size of Justice Hayes, and the graduation of Vincent Smith, Devon Smith may just find himself as an immediate contributor in his freshman season. Now, if Toussaint comes back healthy and Rawls is able to improve, Smith could just as easily redshirt, but that remains to be seen.