Michigan Wolverines: Five to watch

Over the next week, WolverineNation will give a brief look at five players to keep an eye on during spring practice for varying reasons.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan’s biggest question entering the spring resides on the offensive line, where the Wolverines are replacing both guards and the center. This is important for many reasons, including they are the main conduits for blocking for quarterback Devin Gardner and whomever emerges out of the running back competition.

As Michigan saw last season, when the offensive line isn’t strong and cohesive, an offense can stall.

The most intriguing of all the offensive line prospects is redshirt freshman Ben Braden. The Rockford, Mich., native doesn’t have as much experience as some of his classmates, let alone some of the upperclassmen he’ll be competing with. But his raw potential, build and willingness to move inside if it means playing time makes him the WolverineNation No. 1 player to watch this spring.


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Over the next week, WolverineNation will give a brief look at five players to keep an eye on during spring practice for varying reasons.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- He waited for two-plus seasons for a chance to start at quarterback, to have a team all his own. Devin Gardner received that chance midway through last season, when incumbent Denard Robinson aggravated the ulnar nerve in his throwing arm.


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James RossLon Horwedell/Icon SMIJames Ross III has a chance to play a bigger role in 2013 for Michigan.
Over the next week, WolverineNation will give a brief look at five players to keep an eye on during spring practice for varying reasons.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Throughout last season, he showed flashes of potential and production whenever he was given the opportunity. It could have been spelling one of Michigan’s linebackers in a game or a full-on start when Desmond Morgan missed games due to injury.

Now, James Ross III has a chance to spend the offseason proving his role should be expanded in his second season with Michigan. More than any other linebacker in the two-position shuffle opened due to the graduation of middle linebacker Kenny Demens, Ross has the potential to be the biggest difference maker as to where everyone else plays in the fall.


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Over the next week, WolverineNation will give a brief look at five players to keep an eye on during spring practice for varying reasons.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- For the time being, Michigan has a wide receiver problem, more so than a season ago when the question of who would replace Junior Hemingway was a big one in Michigan’s offense.

Now, the Wolverines are even more inexperienced than a year ago. Roy Roundtree’s graduation leaves a massive hole opposite likely No. 1-receiver Jeremy Gallon and with no obvious complement as a tall receiver to the more diminutive Gallon, it is a wide open spot.


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Over the next week, WolverineNation will give a brief look at five players to keep an eye on during spring practice for varying reasons.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- While Taco Charlton is just one of the six early enrolling freshmen this spring, but the defensive end is more intriguing than most for the simple reason that he’ll potentially have a chance to play.


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