Football

Cesar Ruiz was one of 10 players drafted from Michigan in the NFL draft

Ten Michigan players were selected in the NFL Draft this weekend, the second-most of any school.

That stat is a bit misleading given that just two of those players — center Cesar Ruiz and linebacker Josh Uche — were selected in the first two days of the draft. Still, the Wolverines were one off their program record of 11 players drafted, set in 2017. They also continued their streak of 82 consecutive years with at least one player drafted, tied for the longest in the country with USC.

The Daily football beat projects the depth chart for the fall, despite the lack of spring football.

This past Saturday would have been Michigan’s spring game if not for COVID-19, but in its absence all that remains is speculation on what we might have seen. The biggest takeaway from spring games is typically getting a peek at the rotations and seeing who works out with the first team. Luckily, we’re not totally in the dark. The 2019 season offered plenty of clues as to who could be among the Wolverines’ starters in 2020. The Daily’s football beat projected Michigan’s starting lineup and broke it down, position by position.

Sophomore running back Zach Charbonnet caused a high school opponent to fracture three vertebrae.

Zach Charbonnet has no qualms about playing with physicality. In his first game at Michigan last fall, Charbonnet earned plaudits for his pass protection. At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Charbonnet has the strength to go through defenders as a runner. Sometimes literally.

Dylan McCaffrey has the Wolverines at 4-0 in The Daily's NCAA 14 simulation.

The future looks bright for simulated Michigan. This week, we’ll continue with matchups against cupcakes Ball State and Arkansas State, followed by a bona fide trap game at Navy to round out non-conference play.

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.