The 2017 Michigan Football season was a very big disappointment. But the 2017 season is now over and it is time to move on to next season. Here is a very early look at what may be Michigan’s starting lineup to start the 2018 season.
Quarterback was a huge problem for Michigan this year but there should be a huge improvement at the position. Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson is expected to be eligible immediately for Michigan and if he is, I fully expect him to be the starter.
Shea has a great arm and he is also a mobile quarterback that can move around in the pocket and get a first down with his feet. With the right players around him Shea could have a monster 2018 season for the Wolverines.
Michigan returns it’s two leading rushers from last season, Karan Higdon and Chris Evans. Karan Higdon will most likely be the starter but Chris Evans will get the similar number of carries as Higdon.
Higdon rushed for 929 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, which are both career highs. Evans ran for 685 yards and 6 touchdowns, which are also both career highs. With both Higdon and Evans Michigan could have one of the best back fields in the Big Ten and maybe the country next season.
Michigan returns all of its receivers from last season and gets one back as Tarik Black will return from an injury that sidelined him for almost the whole season. I expect Donavan Peoples Jones and Tarik Black to be Michigan’s starting receivers in 2018.
Peoples Jones didn’t have a huge 2017 season like some expected he would but he showed some signs that he could be a great receiver, especially with improved quarterback play. Tarik Black showed showed he could be a solid receiver also in the three games he played before getting injured. Before getting injured Black was arguably Michigan’s best receiver.
Wilton Speight to Tarik Black for a Michigan TOUCHDOWN!!! pic.twitter.com/KtvkCdibZL
— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) September 2, 2017
Michigan returns two really good tight ends in 2018. Zach Gentry and Sean McKeon both had big seasons this year. I expect Gentry will start but McKeon will also get a lot of playing time. The tight end position will be solid for this team in 2018. Incoming Four Star recruit Mustapha Muhammad could find himself onto the playing field early too.
Michigan loses a really good fullback in Khalid Hill for the 2018 season. I believe Ben Mason will be the starting fullback for the Wolverines in 2018. Mason is a tough runner and showed signs of that this season especially with his touchdown against Wisconsin. Although losing Hill will be a big loss, I believe Mason will fill in nicely.
On the first carry of his college career, freshman fullback Ben Mason slams into the end zone with 2:24 left in the first half. Michigan ties the game with Wisconsin, 7-7. pic.twitter.com/qcTPNndcK6
— Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) November 18, 2017
Michigan loses Mason Cole and Patrick Kugler on the offensive line for the 2018 season. I expect Grant Newsome to start at LT(if healthy), Ben Bredeson at LG, Stephen Spanellis at C, Cesar Ruiz at RG, and Jon Runyan Jr. to start at RT.
Michigan’s 2017 OL was not a good unit. I believe if the right coaches are brought in, the 2018 OLine could be a much improved unit.
Michigan’s 2017 DL was a very strong unit. Although Michigan loses Maurice Hurst, they return the rest of their DL. I believe the starters will be Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, Aubrey Solomon, and Bryan Mone. This will be one of Michigan’s strongest units in 2018. I expect the 2018 DL will be just as good and maybe even better then the 2017 DL.
SACK! On 3rd-and-16, Chase Winovich takes down J.T. Barrett for a loss of four yards. pic.twitter.com/jiwCgewlyt
— Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) November 25, 2017
Michigan returns their top two linebackers from last season, Devin Bush and Khaleke Hudson. I believe Hudson will remain starting at the VIPER. And Bush will remain as the MLB. I expect Josh Uche will fill in for Mike McCray as the other LB. McCray will be a big loss but from what I have seen from Uche, he will fill in just fine.
Devin Bush’s interception led to a Michigan field goal. pic.twitter.com/5qBFShvyIg
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) November 18, 2017
Michigan’s starting cornerbacks from the 2017 season will both return next year. Lavert Hill and David Long had very nice seasons for first time starters and I expect that they will both be starting again. I believe they will continue to get better and have a very strong 2018 campaign.
Like the cornerback position, Michigan returns both of its starting safeties next season. But I believe the starters will be Tyree Kinnel and J’marick Woods. Woods showed throughout the season what he could do and I believe he will beat out Josh Metellus for the starting job.
Michigan stopped Indiana on the goal line in overtime. Tyree Kinnel's interception on fourth down sealed it. pic.twitter.com/vIycYgYZUj
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) October 14, 2017
The 2018 season should be a good one for Michigan. They return almost all their starters and get a very talented QB in Shea Patterson. I believe the 2018 season will be one to remember for Michigan fans.
- Players Michigan Loses for the 2018 Football Season - January 17, 2018
- Michigan Football Projected Starters in 2018 - January 6, 2018
- Michigan Basketball Player Grades Entering Big Ten Play - December 29, 2017