Football

Quinten Johnson will have a chance to compete at VIPER next year.

Quinten Johnson knew he didn’t go to Michigan to star as a freshman. Recruited as a multi-dimensional four-star defensive back in the Wolverines’ 2019 class, he knew he wouldn’t immediately usurp their crop of established starters.

What he didn’t know is that he would spend his entire freshman season watching from afar, sidelined by a groin injury that required season-ending surgery.

When it comes to the status of college football in the fall, many unknowns remain.

This is to make two points. First, there is a myriad of opinions and information, and it’s going too fast for anyone to keep up. Making a coherent prediction out of that is impossible, but on aggregate, it doesn’t look good. Second, having college sports requires everyone — the federal government, 50 state governments, localities, school administrators, coaches, athletes themselves — to be on the same page.

Does that seem likely to you right now?

In the fall, running back Zach Charbonnet made his mark early in the season, as Michigan football's fourth true freshman to start at running back in the season opener since 1944.

Last August, the most impressive statistic from true freshman running back Zach Charbonnet’s college debut wasn’t his 90 rushing yards. Rather, in the Michigan football team’s 40-21 win over Middle Tennessee State, it was the true freshman’s pass blocking that stood out most. He picked up nine blitzes in as many tries, showing strength in an area of the game that often keeps highly-touted freshmen off the field.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is still working the recruiting trail amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past two weeks, Michigan has secured three commits in the class of 2021, giving the Wolverines a total of five in the class. The Daily breaks down who these prospects are and how they could add to the team.

After rebounding from a slow start in 2019, Josh Gattis will look to carry consistency into Year 2 at Michigan.

More importantly, it was during that trip when Harbaugh handed Gattis the keys — both literally and figuratively. His newest staffer sat in the driver’s seat the entire time, foreshadowing what was to come in the Fall when Harbaugh relinquished offensive control to a full-time play-caller for the first time since returning to Ann Arbor in 2015.

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Then there is the rest of the package. Milton’s completion percentage didn’t rise above 50 throughout his time in high school. He throws with so much zip that it’s a problem — he said in the fall that his receivers would leave the field with dislocated fingers in high school. Nearly every time his name is mentioned, it is said that he needs to work on touch and accuracy. Those two things generally don’t threaten to derail the career of someone with as much talent as Milton before he even starts a game, but it remains to be seen whether they will prevent him from reaching his ceiling.

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But without a spring season to separate the two, all we have is the tape, consisting of 35 pass attempts and 23 rush attempts for McCaffrey, and 11 pass attempts and 12 rush attempts for Milton.
The Daily went back and analyzed each player’s play in 2019, focusing on McCaffrey in this piece.

Cameron McGrone will be a big piece of Michigan's defense at middle linebacker next season.

In a normal year, this would be about the time Michigan would hold a coordinators’ press conference. Don Brown would stand in front of reporters, be his normal, animated self, and speak to the issues facing the Wolverines’ defense this season.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh must navigate a quarterback competition.

There’s no spring practice because of the COVID-19 crisis, and no chance for the media to ask questions of Harbaugh for the first time since the Citrus Bowl loss to Alabama.

Still, they remain pertinent. The Daily decided to break down three of the biggest questions surrounding the offense. Here they are:

Michigan State hired Mel Tucker as its football coach early Wednesday morning.

According to multiple reports, Michigan State has chosen Colorado’s Mel Tucker as its next head coach.