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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
What the offense might look like in 2014

By Chantel Jennings and Tom VanHaaren

Erik Magnuson
By 2014, Erik Magnuson will be a third-year sophomore and in perfect position to grab one of the starting spots at tackle.

It’s always fun to look into the future and guess where players will be after the next few seasons. So Tom VanHaaren and Chantel Jennings decided to sit down and do their best to produce the depth chart for the beginning of the 2014 season. They aren’t coaches, nor are they scouts, but this is an educated guess at what could happen over the next few seasons.

2014 DEPTH CHART:

LT:
1. Erik Magnuson
2. Logan Tuley-Tillman

The tackle spots will be tough to predict, as it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Braden at the left tackle and Magnuson at right tackle. A lot of this is a guess anyway, so we’ll leave Magnuson here for now. This will be Magnuson’s third season with presumably a redshirt year in his first, so the position could still be up for grabs.

LG:
1. Chris Bryant
2. Blake Bars

By the time the 2014 season rolls around Bryant will be a junior, and will likely have the starting job at guard. The coaching staff thinks Bryant will turn into a good offensive lineman, but he just needs some time to develop and figure things out. It would be good for the line to have some experience and leadership with Bryant.

C:
1. Jack Miller
2. Joey Burzynski

Miller spent the 2011 season studying David Molk and picking up tips from the veteran. This season he will most likely be behind Ricky Barnum, so he’ll spend two years learning from very talented players. If that rubs off on him, he should have the starting spot by 2014, but Burzynski is a name that has come up quite often during spring ball, so expect him to put up a fight for the spot as well.

RG:
1. Kyle Kalis
2. David Dawson

Kalis will have the advantage of a year of experience on the other names in this group, but with Dawson’s high rating coming in and the jump he made over the last year, expect him to make similar jumps over the next few seasons. Also in battle for the two spot here will be Kyle Bosch and Patrick Kugler. The Wolverines definitely won’t lack depth at the right guard position.

RT:
1. Ben Braden
2. Chris Fox

Again, this spot could be open depending on who takes over at left tackle. By all accounts the battle should be between Braden and Magnuson, and potentially Bars. It seems as though Bars would be the most likely to move inside out of necessity, though. Braden would provide a lot of athleticism and strength at the tackle spot, and should be a staple along the line.

WR:
1. Jerald Robinson
2. Jehu Chesson

WR:
1. Amara Darboh
2. Jaron Dukes

Robinson has run into off-the-field trouble recently, but barring repeat offenses, he should be a key part of the Wolverines going forward. Assuming he’s around, he should have a starting spot, especially since the coaches were so impressed with him during this spring season. However if Laquon Treadwell were to commit to Michigan, expect him to battle with Robinson and Darboh for a starting spot.

QB:
1/2. Shane Morris or Russell Bellomy

It’s hard to say for quarterback. Morris will be in either his sophomore or redshirt freshman season depending on what goes down in 2013 between him, Bellomy and Devin Gardner. If Morris makes enough noise in 2013, expect him to have the starting spot locked down. If 2013 doesn’t go that way, there will be more of a battle between Morris and Bellomy, who will be a fourth-year junior.

RB:
1. Thomas Rawls
2. Justice Hayes

This will be one of the few spots where the Wolverines will have heavy seniority and experience in 2014. Rawls will be a senior and Hayes will be a redshirt junior. Between the two of them, they should be well acquainted enough with Al Borges offense to secure most of the playing time.

FB:
1. Joe Kerridge
2. Wyatt Shallman

Coaches have been impressed with Kerridge during this spring and noted him as one of the top fullbacks the Wolverines have, but with Shallman coming in, he’ll have some competition. Shallman will just be a freshman, but he brings the size and physicality the Wolverines are looking for.

TE:
1. Devin Funchess
2. Jake Butt

TE: (H-back)
1. A.J. Williams
2. Khalid Hill

The future of the tight end position is looking brighter than does currently is as far as depth goes. Since offensive coordinator Al Borges wants to use tight ends throughout the offense, Michigan has done an excellent job getting versatile players on board. Both Funchess and Butt will give the passing game a boost, as both are very long athletic tight ends that can be used in different ways in the offense. Williams and Hill will be able to be utilized in other ways that will really give the offense a whole new dimension it doesn’t currently have.