Who's Leaving, Who's Staying, Who's Coming

Well, usually we do that after the bowl season, but since there is no bowl season...we'll do it now. Let's take a good look at who's going to be leaving due to graduation, NFL, or attrition.

Leaving Offense:

QB - 0
RB - 0
FB - 0
WR - Z. Babb
TE - M. Massey
OL - C. Zirbel

As you can see, not much action on offense. Maybe one of the first times the board has looked this bare in years. For a program on the mend, this is a welcome sight. Mike Massey is done because he's a 5th-year senior. Cory Zirbel is going to miss his senior year due to a knee injury he sustained in the pre-season this year. His injury was at first suspected to be a season-long injury, but as it turns out, it will likely end his career. He has agreed to come back next season as a student-coach.

Leaving Defense:

DT - W. Johnson, T. Taylor, J. Kates
DE - T. Jamison
LB - J. Thompson, B. Logan, A. Panter, A. Chambers
S - S. Edwards, C. Stewart, B. Harrison
CB - D. Dutch, M. Trent

We lose starters at almost every position. The defensive front takes the biggest hit with most guys leaving. The good news is that the only underclassman worth NFL consideration, DE Brandon Graham, has told Rodriguez that he'll be back next year.

Also taking a hit is the defensive backfield. Now, most might consider losing our safeties and Morgan Trent a very good thing. And I can see where they're coming from. Although I think it was a combination of the coverage package along with the lack of talent that crippled our secondary this year. We ran way too much zone. But either way, we're rebuilding in those two key areas.

Leaving Special Teams:

K - J. Gingell, K.C. Lopata
P - 0
LS - S. Griffin

Losing two kickers is never a good thing, even if they're not standouts.

So, who's left you might ask? Here's the members of the offense who saw action this season that will likely start/play considerable time next year.

Returning Offense:

QB - HA!
RB - B. Minor, C. Brown, S. McGuffie, M. Shaw
FB - M. Moundros
WR - L. Savoy, G. Matthews, T. Clemons, M. Odoms, D. Stunum
TE - K. Koger
OL - D. Moosman, M. Ortmann, S. Shilling, P. Dorrestein, J. Ferrara, D. Molk

Obviously, our QB situation is totally up for grabs. One thing I am sure of, Nick Sheridan will never leave the sideline, and Steven Threet will only be used in event of an apocalypse.

The RB situation is in good shape with what's coming back. As is the FBs and TEs. I'd like to see a little more movement in the WR corps, we have bodies in there...but we need some play makers to emerge. And of course everyone up front comes back, hopefully bigger, stronger and faster.

Returning Defense:

DT - R. Sagesse, M. Martin
DE - C. Butler, B. Graham
LB - O. Ezeh, J. Mouton, B. Herron
S - S. Brown
CB - D. Warren, T. Woolfolk

Hmm. Defense is a mystery to me. I really think we can get back to where we were at this year with the defensive front within a year or two. I like Martin a lot. Segesse saw some action this year as well which should bode well for his future role up front.

Carson Butler's move to DE was actually a pretty decent move. He saw some action late in the season, and looked OK. With Brandon Graham coming back, that is a huge lift for this position.

Linebacker is not going to change too much. The core unit will return.

And like we said before, the backfield gets hardest hit. I think Donovan Warren can be three times the CB that Morgan Trent was. Troy Woolfolk saw some action at CB, and hopefully will get better in the off-season. And Stevie Brown, while kind of small, plays a decent safety spot.

Returning Special Teams:

K - B. Wright
P - Z. Mesko
LS - G. Morales

Pretty obvious that Mesko is the MVP of this unit. Wright is the only kicker with experience we have coming back. And while I don't think Morales saw action this year in the long-snapper position, he's listed in the depth chart behind senior Sean Griffin...so I put him on here.

So, the next obvious question is...who's coming in?

Good question. It's a bit of a slippery slope, because I really don't know how good any of these guys really are. I know how good people say they are, but I've never watched them. All I can go by is Rivals rankings and star values. This is a mix of both current freshman who haven't played much this year/at all this year, and incoming freshman for the class of 09 that could make an impact next season.

Incoming Offense:

QB - S. Beaver, T. Forcier
RB - J. Gallon, F. Toussaint
FB - 0
WR - J. Feagin, R. Roundtree, D. Peace
TE - 0
OL - R. Barnum, D. O'Neill, M. Schofield

Good news Michigan fans, two new QBs are on the way for the 09 season...and they are both good. How good? Well, Rivals has them ranked both in the top 10 of 2009 dual-threat QBs list. I watched a high school highlight video yesterday of Forcier...and he's got both speed and a good arm.

Toussaint is a highly touted RB from Youngstown, OH. He's the #9 ranked all-purpose back in the nation. He and Gallon provide yet even more good depth at the already loaded RB position.

WR is a spot where there is potential for huge gains. Like I said, we have bodies, but no play makers. Hopefully with the addition of Feagin in the slot position, and Peace and Roundtree, Michigan can get better at the wideout spots with Matthews and Stonum.

OL is a place where we can only get better. The 08 edition of the line was very suspect. We had huge losses in personnel last off-season, and it showed. Couple that with bad injuries this year and you have the perfect storm. Hopefully the addition of O'Neill and Schofield can add some depth to an already young starting 5.

Incoming Defense:

DT - P. Graves
DE - A. LaLota, C. Roh
LB - M. Evans
S - I. Bell, V. Emilien, J. Turner
CB - B. Cissoko, J. Floyd

Defense will need to get good, fast. We have some real potential play makers on this crew. Guys like Graves, and all of the defensive backs may be counted on early to make an immediate impact. I think the incoming freshman, Cissoko and Floyd can improve our ability to defend the pass. Hopefully we won't skip a beat with the loss of most of our DBs from this year.

Incoming Special Teams:

K - B. Gibbons
P - 0

The one and only kicker on the way in is Brendan Gibbons. He's a two-star kicker from West Palm Beach, FL. He will likely be counted on right away to handle the kicking duties.

So there you have it. Is this the definitive list of who's who among leaving/returning/incoming Michigan players...not even close. But this is the best I can come up with right now. Odds are many many many things will change between now and September 5, 2009. But this should give you a better idea of where things stand.


  1. Anonymous4:34 PM

    You missed a biggie at wr with T-Rob. I think this kid will be great!


  2. Don't forget Junior Hemmingway, Patrick Omameh, and Rocko Khoury.

  3. Anonymous11:01 AM

    and S Mike Williams on the D should play a big role next year also...

  4. Anonymous6:14 PM

    Butler is gone

  5. Anonymous11:16 PM

    Uh, Cissoko is a returning CB, not an incoming freshman.

  6. Anonymous3:44 PM