By: Dennis Fithian
Running backs: Looking strong with a clear cut Fitz Toussaint as the starter. You could see the potential with sophomore Thomas Rawls in the spring game breaking some tackles on a 21 yard TD run early and two yard burst late in the game. Vincent Smith is small but brings a change of pace and leadership.
Quarterbacks: Michigan has an obvious Heisman candidate with Denard Robinson. Brian Griese and Tom Brady made huge strides from their junior to senior seasons. Robinson has the work ethic and patience for the position like those two. It seems a sure thing that UM will use Devin Gardner and/or Russell Bellomy in different packages with Robinson, like last year, playing somewhere else than QB. Gardner looks bigger but didn’t have a great spring game. Bellomy looked comfortable but looks like he has to fill out more to take some legit college snaps.
Wide outs: UM will miss Junior Hemingway. The returners are solid but are run after catch guys. Hemingway could go get the football anywhere. There will more of a premium on accuracy from Robinson on hitting these guys in stride.
Grady Brooks Award: (Brooks was a former UM LB who always looked great in the spring but never really translated the play to the regular season) Last year I liked Jibreel Black. Black looked bigger and faster than last year so look out for him again.
Keep an eye on high school seniors who enrolled early: S Jerrod Wilson and LB’s Joe Bolden and Kaleb Ringer. Bolden’s a Clay Matthews look alike.
A great loss this weekend with the passing of Kenneth “Red” Simmons at 102 years old. In my 11 working in Ann Arbor I ran into and interviewed Red a number on times. Stories of Joe Louis, Jesse Owens and great Michigan athletes over the years were special. Red was always in great shape, smiling and will be greatly missed. RIP Red you are great.