When it comes to the Michigan football team, there are always questions fans want answered. So I am introducing the “You ask, I answer” TBHR Twitter Mailbag!
How does one participate? Simple! All it requires is a question and a single tweet. It’s that simple. I will choose the best questions and feature them on this post as well as answering your questions.
So, let’s get started.
@JoshuaHenschke who do you think wins the starting job at tailback this season?
— James Thorne (@JamesThorne93) July 29, 2013
@JoshuaHenschke If you had to guess what’s the pecking order at running back this season?
— Steve Kays (@SteveCKays) July 29, 2013
The running back position is always the most highly asked question this offseason as it is probably one of the biggest question marks this Michigan team has on the depth chart. Even though it is a played out storyline, Michigan fans were disappointed by the way the RB position performed last season – Fitzgerald Toussaint finished with over 1,000 yards rushing in 2011, the first RB since Mike Hart – and rightfully so.
But, who starts week one? That’s the most important question needed to be answered.
My gut says Hoke will stick with an experienced guy like Rawls or Fitz, but it wouldn’t at all shock me if someone like a Justice Hayes snakes some playing time away from the veterans on this team. Yes, I am fully aware of Derrick Green’s presence. Yes, I am saying I’m not fully sold on whether he’ll start week one. Just because you’re a five-star world class high school player doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed anything. Green knows this and so does the coaching staff. So he is going to put in his time to make sure he sees the field early and often this season. With Green comes a situation the coaches must deal with, is he TOO talented to redshirt? I say yes, solely based on the fact that Michigan has no frontrunner for the position. It’s practically fair game.
Another issue is how well can Toussaint come back from a horrific leg break suffered late last season? Can he bounce back and be the guy we saw in 2011? Or are those days long gone? Only time will tell. The coaches and Toussaint say he will be 100% for fall camp, which automatically
So, to make a long story short. Who gets the majority of the carries? I still think it’s Fitz’s job to lose FOR NOW. Unless Green has an incredible camp, which is still likely, he should be the number two guy. Another scenario could see Green taking control of the position in the later half of the season once he has had enough in game experience to deem himself ready to be a starter.
@JoshuaHenschke Do you think Devin Gardner could be a darkhorse for a Heisman this season?
— steven booth jr (@sboothjr) July 29, 2013
Do I think Gardner has a chance at having a season where he COULD be mentioned in the same breath as the preseason Heisman favorites? It’s a possibility. Do I think he will win it? No, I do not. I don’t think Michigan is quite at the level where producing a Heisman winner, or at least a finalist, is a sure thing. Simply put, they need to win more bowl games. Also simply put, they need to win a conference title.
Devin Gardner is a very talented athlete who I feel is underrated coming in to this season – and rightfully so – and should having a coming out party if all goes as planned. The half-season that Gardner did play at quarterback wasn’t a fluke and I feel he can do much better with a whole season to work with. With a solid season this year, Gardner could at least set himself up for a Hesiman conversation next season. Whether he will ever win one is uncertain.
Though to be frank, my expectations for Gardner aren’t at a national award winning level. I want Gardner to beat Michigan State, beat Ohio State and compete for a conference title. Then work up nationally. Starting out small may lead to bigger things in the future
@TBHReport What’s are the chances that Michigan Lands Da’shawn Hand?
— steven booth jr (@sboothjr) July 29, 2013
Michigan’s chances to land Hand are about as good as any right now. Though I don’t know all of the details, he had a really positive visit which puts him in great position to end up in Ann Arbor. A lot of the recruitniks are saying that Hand is Michigan’s leader.
Obvious UTL is going to be a big day for Michigan as that is his official visit date, which could make or break Michigan’s position amongst his top three or five. But, considering how big the event acually is, don’t expect this to be nothing short of a positive trip for Hand. Michigan could very well land him right then and there.
@TBHReport Whats your take on if Michigan should play more night games?
— Lee T (@michrules32) July 30, 2013
I am “all in” for Michigan playing night games only under one condition, this doesn’t apply to the game against Ohio State. I am all for changes, though mostly subtle, but I also like to respect tradition. The game against Ohio State is sacred and should always stay at noon. Though I realize what the two teams are going to miss out on by going to night games, I would just hate for the rivalry to get to that point. Threatening to take away Ohio State as the last opponent of the regular season is enough to give me a heart attack, I can’t see a change from the noon kick either.
But, am I all for playing Michigan State at night? Absolutely. Penn St? Yes! Even continuing the rivalry against Notre Dame if it meant exclusive night games? Absolutely. Seeing Michigan Stadium under the lights is amazing and should be experienced more often.
@JoshuaHenschke Who winds up with the better Michigan career, Shane Morris or Wilton Speight? #Prediction
— Jesse (@78Grams) July 29, 2013
This is the hardest type of question to answer, predicting careers who haven’t played a down yet. Here are two players – one in high school and one just getting on campus – who are very talented at the quarterback position and were offered scholarships in hopes one of them can be their next long-time starter after Gardner is gone. Whether it be next year or after.
In regards to Morris, he enters campus with an enormous amount of hype. Whether he can live up to Michigan fans insatiable expectations is one thing, but can he outperform Speight?
Speight has been an underscouted quarterback up until he received his Michigan offer. I’m sure after his senior season the country will know more about what Speight can do. If he can make the coaching staff fall in love with him after one throwing session, then he has serious talent.
Speight will be at a disadvantage to Morris as he will have a year less of coach guidance from the Michigan staff. But, this doesn’t mean he doesn’t have what it takes to be better than Morris. Morris will have incredible talent coming in on the recruiting trail with Speight forming bonds with them as well.
But, if I were to say who will have the better Michigan career, I might have to go with a tie. But with a slight lean to Speight. I know this might be shocking and this isn’t a knock on Morris at all, he is incredibly talented and has the chance to be great. But, the incredible hype machine surround him and his recruitment might doom him. Overthrows a wide open receiver? Fans expect more from him. Throws three touchdowns in a win against MSU? With his talent, it should be four or five. Though it sounds silly, that is the mindset of some fans. That in itself could tarnish his career in the eyes of some. I just believe Speight will have the ability to gel and learn with the talent Hoke is bringing in. Having that kind of early relationship with your offense is crucial.