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Wednesday, November 7, 2012
WolverineNation mailbag

By Chantel Jennings

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- We've had our first glimpses at Michigan basketball and we saw a different looking Michigan football team on Saturday in Minneapolis. But what does it all mean? Are these things we should include on our "Thankful for…" lists at Thanksgiving? Or is it time to start wishing for a Christmas miracle?

I'll try to get to some of that in this week's mailbag, and what I don't get to you can send to Mike for next week's mailbag (Twitter: @MikeRothstein, Email: michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com).

But now, on to your questions…

1) Zach Benshoter via Twitter: Will Devin Gardner stay at QB or go back to WR for this week?

He's listed as the second-string player at both positions on Michigan's depth chart. But if quarterback Denard Robinson is healthy enough to play, then he'll be the starter and we'll see Gardner in a similar situation as he was (pre-Minnesota). If Robinson isn't 100 percent then we'll see Gardner at quarterback. Hoke said definitely after the Minnesota game that there was no competition for that starting QB spot, so I think it's more dependent on how far Robinson has progressed with his health than anything else.

Damon Webb
With a clearer understanding of Michigan's no-visit policy, prospects such as Cass Tech's Damon Webb (right) are taking their time in the process.
2) Will, Brooklyn: Have you heard any buzz one way or another from recruits about the no-visit policy?

It's not as though there's going to be a ton of buzz with it. Coaches have policies they go by, and recruits can take that into account. If prospects like it then great. If they don't then they probably won't commit early to Michigan. That's about as far as it will go. As far as commits though, I think they appreciate it. A policy like that gives a sense of security and even though the Wolverines had a decommit, the class as a whole is really close and the no-visit policy is a big part of that.

3) Andrew Ruetz via Twitter: The O-line has plenty of obvious struggles this year. Does coach Brady Hoke have some recruits in the bag to remedy this?

The offensive line isn't really a position group in which recruits have an immediate impact. Yes, the O-line has struggled this year, but the 2013 commits aren't the players who are going to fix that. Check out the depth they have right now: at center, you've got a player in Jack Miller who studied under David Molk and Elliott Mealer, and he should be primed to step in. Joey Burzynski was in competition for the starting left guard spot early in fall camp. And of the current freshmen (who all came in as big-bodied and close to physically ready), there are players such as Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson and Ben Braden who are all possible starters next season and have had the luxury of using this season to get their sea legs while not having to be pushed into action right away. Hoke said a few weeks ago that there are freshmen who could step in and play right now on the offensive line, but why burn the redshirt at this point? The O-line hasn't been perfect, but it has been serviceable.