Best Guess 2019 Roster

A new feature debuts, looking at how the roster for next season shapes up with the latest attrition/recruiting news.

This is a periodic feature taking a look at how we project Michigan to manage its 85 scholarships for the following season (2019). It considers several factors: potential early entries to the NFL Draft, those who may transfer and/or not rewarded a 5th year, latest information on the incoming recruiting class, and our own speculative analysis.

This feature is intended to be a tool for those trying to keep track of who could be coming and going for the Wolverines. Obviously, that also means some names of players either currently on the roster, or currently thought to be committed, may not be on this list.

Make of that what you will.

Quarterback (4)

Shea Patterson (Sr.), Dylan McCaffrey, (R-So.), Joe Milton (R-Fr.), Cade McNamara* (Fr.)

The current trend in college football, where if a quarterback ain't starting he's departing, likely means one of Michigan's 2018 quarterbacks won't be here next year. This would be almost the perfect QB room nevertheless. A proven play-maker as your starter. An emerging player backing him up. A potential phenom waiting in the wings. And another top recruit coming in.

Tailback (8)

Chris Evans (Sr.), Kurt Taylor (Jr.), Christian Turner (R-Fr.), Hassan Haskins (R-Fr.), Zach Charbonnet* (Fr.), Giles Jackson* (Fr.)

Fullback

Ben Mason (Jr.), Ben VanSumeren (So.)

An eclectic group this would be. Evans is sort of a poor man's Alvin Kamara-type, so he would need Turner, Haskins, or Charbonnet to become the between-the-tackles guy.

Wide Receiver (8)

Donovan Peoples-Jones (Jr.), Nico Collins (Jr.), Tarik Black (R-So.), Oliver Martin (R-So.), Ronnie Bell (R-Fr.), George Johnson* (Fr.), Quintel Kent* (Fr.), Kyle Ford/Cornelius Johnson (Fr.)

The top line talent here would rank up there with the top wide receiver corps returning in college football next season.

Tight End (6)

Zach Gentry (R-Sr.), Sean McKeon (Sr.), Nick Eubanks (R-Jr.), Luke Schoonmaker (So.), Mustapha Muhammad (R-Fr.), Erick All* (Fr.)

If there's a better tight end room in the country I'd like to see it. There's been talk of Gentry declaring early, but he's got to show much more production down the stretch to consider that.

Offensive Line (18)

Offensive Tackle

Jon Runyan, Jr. (R-Sr.), Andrew Stueber (R-So.), James Hudson (R-So.), Jalen Mayfield (So.), Ryan Hayes (R-Fr.), Trente Jones* (Fr.), Karsen Barnhart* (Fr.), Jack Stewart* (Fr.), Trevor Keegan/Danielson Ike/Bryce Benhart (Fr.)

Offensive Guard

Ben Bredeson (Sr.), Michael Onwenu (Sr.), Stephen Spanellis (R-Jr.), Joel Honingford (R-So.), Chuck Filiaga (R-So.), Phillip Paea (R-So.), Nolan Rumler* (Fr.), Zach Carpenter* (Fr.).

Center

Cesar Ruiz (Jr.).

On paper, this would be the most impressive collection of depth and talent on the offensive line this program has had in a long time.

Defensive Line (14)

Defensive Tackle

Michael Dwumfour (R-Jr.), Carol Kemp (R-Jr.), Aubrey Solomon (Jr.), Donovan Jeter (R-So.), Mazi Smith* (Fr.), Chris Hinton* (Fr.).

Defensive End

Kwity Paye (Jr.), Luiji Vilain (R-So.), Aidan Hutchinson (So.), Taylor Upshaw (R-Fr.), Julius Welschof (R-Fr.), Gabe Newburg* (Fr.), David Ojabo* (Fr.), Mike Morris* (Fr.)

This unit is poised to have the most question marks going into next season. Rashan Gary is assumed gone, and Winovich will be out of eligibility. So who's that disruptive force coming off the edge? Keep an eye on Hutchinson, who's already played some significant snaps this season.

Linebacker (11)

MIKE/WILL

Devin Gil (Sr.), Josh Ross (Jr.), Drew Singleton (R-So.), Jordan Anthony (R-So.), Cameron McGrone (R-Fr.), Charles Thomas* (Fr.), Quavaris Crouch (Fr.)

Viper

Khaleke Hudson (Sr.), Josh Uche (Sr.), Michael Barrett (R-Fr.), Joey Velazquez* (Fr.)

Assuming Devin Bush moves on and Hudson stays here because Bush has a more defined position in the NFL right now while Hudson -- as the Viper -- is more of a tweener. If Hudson stays, this will be one of the more athletic linebacker groups returning next season. Even if he leaves, this should still be a strength. Yes, we're making the bold call on Crouch.

Defensive Back (14)

Safety

Josh Metellus (Sr.), J’Marick Woods (Jr.), Brad Hawkins (Jr.), Jaylen Kelly-Powell (Jr.), Sammy Faustin (R-Fr.), German Green (R-Fr.), Quintel Johnson* (Fr.), Daxton Hill (Fr.)

Cornerback

David Long (Sr.), Ambry Thomas (Jr.), Myles Sims (So.), Vincent Gray (So.), Gemon Green (R-Fr.), D.J. Turner* (Fr.).

Long and Lavert Hill could both go to the NFL, or both stay. If they both stay, which we don't think is likely, this becomes perhaps the best secondary returning in college football. If one stays, it's still a top 10 unit. If they both go, than Coach Zordich will need to work his magic once more. And yes, we're making the bold call on Hill.

Specialists (4)

Will Hart (Sr.), Quinn Nordin (R-Jr.), Brad Robbins (R-So.), Jake Moody (So.)

Notes:

  • This roster projection puts the Wolverines two over the 85-person limit, but there are five players we’re currently projecting to return next year that could elect to declare for the draft. We’re already projecting three Wolverines to declare early for the Draft after the season - Gary, Bush and Hill.
  • Asterisks are current commitments in 2019.
  • Italics are projected commitments still to come.
  • Eligibility is how each player would be classified in 2019.
  • This feature will be updated as more news becomes available.
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