- Wilton Speight is the Starter and will be when the season starts. Many on social media a clamoring for sophomore Brandon Peters after his solid performance but really people, this is the spring game and the starting QB won’t be decided during the spring game.
Yes, Speight look bad at times, but he still has a whole season of experience under his belt and Jim Harbaugh is on record as saying he thinks Speight will be one of the top QB’s in America when the season starts. I’m calling baloney on that prediction, but I do think Speight will be fine under center at Michigan as he learns Pep Hamilton’s new offense and gets acclimated to his young wide receiver crew. Keep in mind, the Michigan offensive line will be young and inexperienced in 2017…THAT could make Speight’s life more difficult.
If Speight wins the job, he appears to have a solid backup in Brandon Peters who can spell Speight if and when there is an injury and there always appears to be an injury to a Michigan QB at least once in a season.
- Call me an alarmists but I have major concerns with the offensive line. The left tackle spot and center appear to be the only spots that are in good hands. Mason Cole will be fine on the outside and the combination of Patrick Kugler and Cesar Ruiz should be able to handle the center spot, the concerns for me are the other three spots. The guards, Bredeson and Onwenu weren’t impressive, Bredeson has experience and should be solid, but it looked like Onwenu was simply laying on guys in pass protection. The Michigan coaching staff loves Onwenu but he’ll need to show more in fall camp if his potential is to be realized. Right tackle looks extremely unsettled and could be in the hands of a true freshman, Chuck Filiaga, when he arrives in the fall. Pass protection appeared to be a bigger issue than the run blocking.
- The running game, with push from the young offensive line, should be improved in 2017. Evans looks bigger and quicker, Issac has a nice burst for a big fella and Walker has some “evade.” Karan Higdon also appears poised to bigger things this season. The big question is whether or not a feature back emerges. Harbaugh doesn’t appear to mind if one back carries the load, but it would make things much easier if one of the back took control of the position.
- The speed of the defense stood out to me on Saturday. These young guys can run and that was evident with linebacker Devin Bush Jr. The kid was fast and had a great nose for the football, getting to Speight twice with little effort. He isn’t the only one, even the defensive lineman like Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich were quick off the ball and active all day, the defense has never has more athleticism and should be poised for great things in 2017. Hudson, Thomas, Hill and Long all appeared to raise the athleticism level for the Wolverine defense. Maybe the drop off won’t be as dramatic as first anticipated.
- There will be receivers in 2017. Michigan lost its top three targets to the NFL draft but there is more than enough top end talent to get it done in the passing game. Kekoa Crawford is in his second season and appears to be ready for a breakout season. Crawford is joined by a slew of incoming freshmen receivers including the prize of the 2017 recruiting class Donovan Peoples-Jones. Guys pushing for serious playing time are Tariq Black, Eddie McDoom, Mo Ways and Drake Harris. Brad Hawkins, Oliver Martin and Nico Collins arrive with great fanfare in the fall.