Sr. Mike Hart
Jr. Kevin Grady
So. Brandon Minor
So. Carlos Brown
So. Andre Criswell
Fr. Vince Helmuth
Much like the quarterback position, the starting job is cemented with senior
Mike Hart returning. Like last spring, he will likely get very few reps (if
any at all) in an effort to insure his health for the fall. That said, the maize
and blue offense will need should allow the Maize & Blue the opportunity
to determine a definitive back up. Given the beating the position takes there’s
an obvious need for a legit #2.
The spring will be absolutely huge for junior Kevin Grady. Though the former
East Grand Rapids star hasn’t lived up to the incredible hype that was
built around his arrival, there is still plenty of time for him to turn it around.
Given the fact that he is more of a north / south runner, he isn’t fully
compatible with the zone scheme. However, that doesn’t mean he cannot
succeed in it. Rumors of a potential transfer circulated around town leading
into the spring, but nothing more has happened on this front. If Grady is the
number two back coming out of spring, I wouldn’t expect to hear more about
him moving on.
A player who has the potential to come up and grab the backup position is Brandon
Minor. Minor, who was an unexpected contributor as a freshman, showed plenty
enough talent to secure the number two slot. Expect the competition between
he and Grady to be sizzling hot, and it will likely carry over into training
camp this summer.
Carlos Brown was/is slated for the defensive side of the ball this spring,
but may find himself taking snaps at running back as well (especially if Hart
is held out of action). That said, because depth shouldn’t be an issue
in the fall (thanks to Hart’s presence and the addition of freshman Avery Horn), we still expect Brown to wind up on the defensive side of the ball.
Speaking of Avery Horn, don’t forget this youngster’s name. He
will not be around for the spring, but he will be one to keep an eye on in the
fall. He was by far the most underrated player of the 2007 class, in my opinion,
and could see time as a change of pace type player down the line. I could also
see him contributing on special teams.
The fullback position should be interesting to watch. The battle to replace
departed Obi Oluigbo will likely come down sophomore Andre Criswell and freshman
Vince Helmuth. Criswell has earned a reputation as a determined blocker and
has two years in the program under his belt. Though he clearly has more knowledge
of the position than Helmuth, he doesn’t have as much experience as a
ball-carrier. The former Saline standout was an early enroller and could develop
into a decent threat out of the backfield. Hoe he develops as a blocker will
determine whether or no he can seriously contend for time at the position.
Previous Turel Position Previews:
Turel's U-M Spring Preview: Quarterbacks