Wednesday, August 21, 2013
By Chantel Jennings
We’re almost in the single-digit countdown to the start of Michigan football. You know what that means: Students will start arriving en masse to Ann Arbor in the next few days so if there’s anywhere you wanted to go on South University or State Street before then, get there soon.
If you haven’t left your computer to go to Bivouac or Rick’s, we can start talking football now.
Will Fitzgerald Toussaint be able to hold up for an entire season?
1. NKnieling via Twitter: Will there be an exclusive back on this season's team, or more than likely a RB-by-committee type of thing?
A: Brady Hoke, Al Borges and Fred Jackson would much prefer a featured back. Last season they had Fitzgerald Toussaint from Day 1, but two years before that, they kind of tested the waters with multiple backs before settling on Toussaint a few games in. The issue they’ll face this fall is that they have two guys who both present very unique and different issues. Toussaint will likely start against Central Michigan, but his health is a concern. He has been healthy through fall camp but when those practice piles turn to opponents and Big Ten linebackers and defensive linemen, will his body be able to hold up? Then you have Derrick Green, whose vision and football IQ need to catch up to the college game before he’s really ready to tear apart any defenses. It sounds like that’s what has held him back so far. Because both concerns are likely present, I’d imagine we’ll see both getting snaps until only really, really separates himself (but knowing the other one also has game time experience this season).
2. June Whitfield, Inkster, Michigan: Any mention of Chris Bryant in the mix within the offensive line?
A: Recently I’ve been hearing good things about Bryant at left guard. He sat out of Saturday’s scrimmage because of a knee injury, but I had heard that he had been taking more snaps with the first team than redshirt freshman Ben Braden. Assuming the knee injury isn’t a big concern, I could see him getting the start against Central Michigan. It's crucial to find someone that will mesh well with Taylor Lewan and find instant chemistry since Michigan will be running to the left behind Lewan often.
3. KentMazingerHw via Twitter: When will we see a new commitment?
A: The next big visit date for Michigan will obviously be the Notre Dame game. In the 2014 class, both Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) -- the No. 1 defensive end in the nation -- and John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Polytechnic) -- the No. 3 athlete in the nation -- will be in attendance. That kind of atmosphere and energy will be huge in showing those guys how exciting and big Michigan football is as they’re both from outside the area.
4. RyanMassengill via Twitter: What team is the biggest threat to Michigan this season besides Ohio State?
A: I’ll pick a home and away game for this one. Home -- I’ll go with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers return quarterback Taylor Martinez, who will be a challenge for any defense. However, their defense is going to be replacing several starters in the front seven so Devin Gardner could have a field day, too. This could be a fun day to watch some explosive playmakers on offense. And as far as an away game, Michigan State will always be one to watch, but also ... don’t sleep on Northwestern. The Wildcats’ offense keeps defenses on their feet and their defense should be stout up front, which would force Gardner to pass and receivers to step up. It’s not necessarily a huge road game since there’s such a Michigan presence in the Chicago area, but still.
5. Sammy, Ann Arbor: Which Big Ten-related account makes you consistently laugh?
A: It's a parody account, but, @FauxPelini. His avatar should be enough to convince you.