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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Michigan
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  05/28/20 - Dylan McCaffreyrJr/2022, Michigan, 6-4, 220 (DS#13 QB) + More +

  Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said his quarterbacks are doing what they can to stay in shape, throwing and working on the offense install every day. Harbaugh, who appeared Thursday on "The Rich Eisen Show," was asked how he will evaluate the quarterbacks heading into the upcoming season considering there was no spring practice, which was canceled when all on-campus activities were suspended in mid-March. Shea Patterson, the Wolverines' starting quarterback the last two seasons, has moved on to the NFL, and Michigan will break in a new starter. Dylan McCaffrey, Joe Milton and Cade McNamara will be part of an open competition once on-campus workouts and practices are allowed to begin. "That's to be seen," Harbaugh said about the evaluation process. "We've got some guys we really love and they've been champing at the bit. The guys are excited to get back to working out with the team, back to practicing, but our quarterbacks, in particular, they're champing at the bit, which is better."

McCaffrey has the most game experience. Last year he was 10-of-20 for 116 yards and one touchdown, while Milton was 3-of-7 for 59 yards and a touchdown. Harbaugh said the staff meets frequently with the quarterbacks in Zoom video conferencing sessions. "We've been installing football and told the guys, 'Hey, learn the system the best you can,'" Harbaugh said. "'Be an expert at it when we do get back together and also get in the best shape of your life and throw the football. Get out and throw it every day.' Each one has done that and taken advantage of that and gotten guys to throw to. - Ann Arbor News


(DS#13 QB) rJr/2022 QB Dylan McCaffreyMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  05/27/20 - Cameron McGronerSo/2023, Michigan, 6-0, 232 (DS#3 ILB) + More +

  On the surface, Don Brown likes what he has at inside linebacker. Michigan's defensive coordinator returns two players with starting experience, including Cam McGrone, the redshirt freshman who earned all-Big Ten honorable mention in 2020. , McGrone, listed at 6-foot-1 and 232 pounds, dethroned Ross for the middle linebacker spot with his outstanding play in 2019. The Indianapolis native racked up 66 tackles (9 1/2 for a loss), four sacks, five quarterback hurries and forced a fumble in 10 starts. His speed has been compared to former Michigan linebacker and first-round pick Devin Bush. "Very similar (to Ross), except he runs a 4.4 (40-yard dash)," Brown said. "You don't get many of those guys now." - Ann Arbor News

(DS#3 ILB) rSo/2023 ILB Cameron McGroneMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  05/27/20 - Vincent GrayrSo/2023, Michigan, 6-1, 185 (DS#5 CB) + More +

  Don Brown may have jumped the gun. Asked last week during a video conference call with reporters about Michigan cornerback Vincent Gray, who is set to enter his redshirt sophomore season this fall with more responsibility than ever, the 64-year-old defensive coordinator described a player with an incredibly high ceiling. So high, in fact, he fears Gray may decide to declare for the NFL draft before his eligibility is up. "Not that I begrudge that - because I wouldn't at all," Brown said. "But I think he's an outstanding player with tremendous range."

Gray, listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, is next in line to fill an open spot at corner, a staple of Michigan's in-your-face, blitz defense in recent years. With Lavert Hill gone, the Rochester, Mich., native is the logical choice to line up opposite of Ambry Thomas in the backfield. "He played all year last year," Brown correctly pointed out, referring to Thomas' 13 appearances and one start as a redshirt freshman. "Was in the rotation the entire year. When Lavert got hurt and did not play (against Illinois), he played the whole game." In total, Gray notched 20 tackles (1 1/2 for a loss) and five pass breakups while taking on many different roles. He played mostly corner, but Brown asked Gray to take on more responsibility at nickel and at safety, especially late in the season with Brad Hawkins injured. - Ann Arbor News


(DS#5 CB) rSo/2023 CB Vincent GrayMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  05/25/20 - Dylan McCaffreyrJr/2022, Michigan, 6-4, 220 (DS#13 QB) + More +

  Missing spring football hurts for every team, but for a team breaking in a new starting quarterback, not to mention four new starters on the offensive line, this was a tough break for the Wolverines. It's a three-man competition - Dylan McCaffrey, Joe Milton and Cade McNamara - but really, this is about McCaffrey and Milton. Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis said they're starting with a blank slate, and last year's depth chart won't play a role. But clearly McCaffrey has the edge in terms of game experience as Shea Patterson's backup. - Detroit News

(DS#13 QB) rJr/2022 QB Dylan McCaffreyMichigan
News Source: Detroit News
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  05/24/20 - Jalen MayfieldrSo/2023, Michigan, 6-5, 319 (DS#2 OT) + More +

  While a return to college football this fall appeared to have gained steam last week, University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel says there won't be a football season at UM unless students are able to take on-campus classes. Schlissel, in remarks appearing in a Wall Street Journal story published Sunday, said he will make the decision soon on how the upcoming school year will look. The University suspended on-campus activities in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If there is no on-campus instruction then there won't be intercollegiate athletics, at least for Michigan," Schlissel said to the WSJ. He later added he has "some degree of doubt as to whether there will be college athletics (anywhere), at least in the fall." How Michigan proceeds with classes, online or in-person, for the fall will be in place for the entire school year, he said. "What's going to be different in January?" Schlissel told the paper. This comes on the heels of decisions made last week that strongly suggested a return to college football this fall. - Detroit News


(DS#2 OT) rSo/2023 OT Jalen MayfieldMichigan
News Source: Detroit News
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  05/23/20 - Brad HawkinsSr/2021, Michigan, 6-1, 218 (DS#11 FS) + More +

  Way back at the NFL combine while Cesar Ruiz was sharing his story with reporters earlier this year, he was asked to name a Michigan player no one was talking about who would have a big year in the fall for the Wolverines. He didn't hesitate. "Brad Hawkins on the defensive side of the ball," Ruiz, like Hawkins a Camden, New Jersey native, said at the time. "He had an ankle thing that kept him out a little bit (late last season), but if you watch what he's able to do on the field, if you watch what he's able to do in practice, he's special. "I think Brad Hawkins is going to have a great season, and no one's really talking about it, which I'm surprised. But I believe something special is coming for Brad."

Hawkins, 6-foot-1, 218 pounds, played in 11 games last season at safety - he missed the Indiana and Ohio State games because of the leg injury that never was specified by Michigan, but practiced for the Citrus Bowl against Alabama and played some snaps. He finished the season with 53 tackles and was named the team's most improved defensive player. He and Dax Hill, a freshman last season, are projected to be the starting safeties this season. Bob Shoop, Michigan's new safeties coach, appeared on the "In the Trenches" podcast in March and already had a good feel for Hawkins' abilities. "He brings a tremendous amount of experience," Shoop said. "I think the expectations are he's going to be one of the leaders of this unit." - Detroit News


(DS#11 FS) Sr/2021 FS Brad HawkinsMichigan
News Source: Detroit News
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  05/21/20 - Michael BarrettrSo/2023, Michigan, 5-11, 227 (DS#999 ILB) + More +

  Michael Barrett, a former high school quarterback from Georgia who distinguished himself last season at Michigan executing two faked punts, appears to be the heir apparent at the viper position in coordinator Don Brown's defense. Khaleke Hudson, the starter at viper the last three seasons who led Michigan with 101 tackles last year, has moved on to the NFL leaving open a position he had made his own. "I've seen enough out of Michael Barrett to be excited," Brown said Thursday in a video conference call with reporters. "Runs 4.51 - that's fast - at 220 pounds. That's a good place to start. He's had a tremendous role model in Khaleke Hudson that showed him the way.

"He's worked extremely hard and has a close relationship with (linebackers) Cam McGrone, in particular, and Josh Ross. That chemistry, that camaraderie you search for that allows some groups to be exceptional I think is there." Earlier this year at the NFL combine, Hudson singled out Barrett and Anthony Solomon and said they learned from playing behind him last season. "Michigan is going to get great players with them guys," Hudson said at the combine. "They work hard every single day." - Ann Arbor News


(DS#999 ILB) rSo/2023 ILB Michael BarrettMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  05/20/20 - Dylan McCaffreyrJr/2022, Michigan, 6-4, 220 (DS#13 QB) + More +

  Ohio State football coaches since Jim Tressell have publicly put a year-round emphasis on the annual rivalry game with Michigan. The Wolverines have not placed the same 52-week emphasis on The Game. Buckeye fans cite that as a factor in their teams' current eight-game winning streak in the rivalry. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, however, told NBC Sports' Mike Tirico on Wednesday that the losing streak definitely stirs an emotional response for him. "We gotta beat Ohio State," Haurbaugh said on 'Lunch Talk Live.' "Nothing makes us angrier than that, or me. That's what we're working toward every day. "We've beaten everybody else, but we haven't beaten them. And that's what we have to do - beat them, win a (Big Ten) championship, get ourselves in the playoffs, win a national championship." - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#13 QB) rJr/2022 QB Dylan McCaffreyMichigan
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  05/18/20 - Nico CollinsSr/2021, Michigan, 6-3, 222 (DS#16 WR) + More +

  Josh Gattis has worked with some big-time receivers. At Penn State, he helped mold Chris Godwin into an NFL third-round pick. He coached Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, a pair of first-round picks, at Alabama. So when Michigan's offensive coordinator dishes out praise, it deserves some paying attention to. And that's exactly what Gattis did last week when the topic of Michigan receiver Nico Collins came up. "Nico Collins, I firmly believe, is one of the best receivers in all of college football," Gattis, who is also Michigan's receivers coach, told reporters in a video conference call on Thursday. "And when you look at it statistically, his numbers match up there."

It's hard to decipher what Gattis was referring to here - a follow-up question was never asked - as Collins failed to finish in the top 50 nationally in receiving yards, receptions or yards per game in 2019. Still, the 6-foot-4, 222-pound Collins put together respectable seasons in back-to-back years, earning honorable mention all-Big Ten honors the last two. This past fall, the Birmingham, Ala., native caught 37 passes for 729 yards and seven touchdowns, leaving a talented and busy Wolverines receiving group in receiving yards per catch (19.7) and per game (60.75). And he did it while navigating injuries. "He was another guy that missed all the offseason last year," Gattis said. "So, when Nico started off the season, he had just gotten cleared two weeks before the season started. "He's a tough kid, because he played the previous year (2018) kind of beat up a little bit." - Ann Arbor News


(DS#16 WR) Sr/2021 WR Nico CollinsMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  05/18/20 - Cameron McGronerSo/2023, Michigan, 6-0, 232 (DS#3 ILB) + More +

  Even after a 9-win season and third-place finish in the Big Ten East Division, Jim Harbaugh believes his team remains on the precipice of doing great things. Michigan's head coach appeared on "The TK Show" podcast with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami last week, another outlet that provided Harbaugh an opportunity to promote his open letter pushing for change to the college football and NFL eligibility models. But Harbaugh was also asked about his five-year run at Michigan, where he has amassed an impressive 47-18 record but is without a Big Ten title game or College Football Playoff appearance to show for it.

"It's been years of just completely pouring myself and my heart and soul into this job, coaching guys and developing players and graduating players," Harbaugh said. "It's been great years. It's been great years." Then Harbaugh continued: "Always want to do better. Striving to be the best. Right now, I think our team is kind of on the cusp. We haven't gotten over the top and into the playoffs and the championship, and that's what drives us, what motivates us every day on the field and every day working toward that goal." - Ann Arbor News


(DS#3 ILB) rSo/2023 ILB Cameron McGroneMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  05/16/20 - Nick EubanksrSr/2021, Michigan, 6-4, 256 (DS#2 TE) + More +

  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer doubled down Friday on her stance on fans attending sporting events this fall: No full stadiums until a vaccine is available. "We're going to be in a new normal for quite a while," Whitmer said during her weekly news conference, "and it doesn't mean that sports is over. Sports is not over." "We need a vaccine, and we need mass quantities available to be able to test and acknowledge we have some immunity built up. We're not there yet. Until that happens, I think all the organizers of these leagues understand how important it is that we act responsibly here."

Whitmer's response echoed her comments from a radio interview Tuesday, in which she stated she doesn't think capacity crowds at events will be allowed this fall. There are more than 50,000 cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and more than 5,000 people have died. Of those deaths, more than 2,000 come from Wayne County, where Detroit's major professional teams play. Right now, Michigan's stay-at-home order runs through May 28. - Lansing State Journal


(DS#2 TE) rSr/2021 TE Nick EubanksMichigan
News Source: Lansing State Journal
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  05/16/20 - Chris EvansrSr/2021, Michigan, 5-10, 216 (DS#35 RB) + More +

  While Michigan is set to return a packed running back room this fall, there's one member who stands above the rest when it comes to experience and versatility. Chris Evans, sidelined during the 2019 season due to off-the-field academic issues, is back and figures to be integral part in the Wolverines' offense. It's a system that relies on quarterback reads, run-pass option tags and spacing the field. And rewards athletic playmakers, like Evans. "I remember being in this conference, seeing Chris play as a freshman and seeing the impact he was able to make early on," Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis said Thursday in a conference call with reporters. "He's got a unique skillset because of his versatility, not just as a runner but his ball skills, which are pretty elite for a guy at his position."

Evans doesn't possess breakaway speed, but he does have an innate ability to make defenders miss and break tackles. His 5-foot-11, 216-pound frame made him difficult to take down from 2016 to 2018, when Evans rushed for 1,722 yards and 14 touchdowns. A former four-star recruit from Indianapolis, Ind., Evans broke onto the scene as a true freshman, rushing for 614 yards and four touchdowns. He followed it up with 685 yards and six touchdowns in 2017, though with a much larger workload, and became a threat in the passing game when he caught 16 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. Evans, whose rushing numbers dipped some (423 yards, 4 TDs), followed up with 18 catches for 148 yards and a touchdown in 2018. - Ann Arbor News


(DS#35 RB) rSr/2021 RB Chris EvansMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  05/14/20 - Dylan McCaffreyrJr/2022, Michigan, 6-4, 220 (DS#13 QB) + More +

  With a spring practice, perhaps Michigan's quarterback competition would be clearer at this point. But since the Wolverines never got in a practice because college sports activities were suspended two months ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains fuzzy. This we know - Dylan McCaffrey, the backup to starter Shea Patterson last season, Joe Milton and Cade McNamara are competing for the starting job. But in offensive coordinator Josh Gattis' view, the Wolverines are "nowhere near to having a front-runner" at quarterback. Gattis met with reporters Thursday via Zoom to discuss a number of topics regarding the Michigan offense, including replacing four starters on the line - he said Michigan could be more athletic up front. But the quarterback competition is front and center.

There is no timetable when college football will resume, so for now, Gattis and his players will continue to hold virtual meetings. He said they have one install per week, and the players are on their own working out. "We got to get the reps, we got to get the battle going to figure out who's going to be our quarterback," Gattis said. "They're all even. They're all dead even. There's nobody out front, there's nobody left behind. Each guy is different. Each guy has a different strength and a different weakness than the other guys, and so it's a really interesting battle because we've got to be able to decide who's going to give us the best opportunity to win games. - Detroit News


(DS#13 QB) rJr/2022 QB Dylan McCaffreyMichigan
News Source: Detroit News
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  05/13/20 - Josh UcheSr/2020, Michigan, 6-1, 245 (DS#7 OLB) + More +

  Josh Uche believed he could have returned to Michigan for more one season. As it turns out, his coach was lobbying for it. Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown said this week on the "In the Trenches" podcast that he pushed Uche, a second-round pick of the New England Patriots in April, to return to college for a fifth year. "Selfishly, I tried to get him to come back because I thought he would be like Josh Allen from Kentucky," Brown told host Jon Jansen. "Just continuing being more veteran as an outside linebacker. But obviously, you can't argue when he's in the second round, for sure."

Allen was the seventh overall pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019, thanks in part because of a Heisman Trophy caliber season in 2018 in which he was named the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year and won the national Bronko Nagurski Trophy. Uche, meanwhile, reached second-team all-Big Ten status in 2019 after really exploding onto the scene in 2018. The 6-foot-1, 245-pound linebacker only appeared in four games during his freshman year, 2016, a season he said in December was cut short by a meniscus injury. That injury potentially made him eligible to retroactively apply for a medical redshirt, granting him a fifth year and the ability to play for Michigan in 2020. "They were petitioning for it, and I think I would have gotten it," Uche told reporters in the lead up to the Citrus Bowl. "I think I did, but I didn't even follow up." - Ann Arbor News


(DS#7 OLB) Sr/2020 OLB Josh UcheMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  05/07/20 - Shea PattersonSr/2020, Michigan, 6-1, 212 (DS#18 QB) + More +

  Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has never been hesitant to challenge the rules that govern college athletics, particularly football. During this stay-at-home time during the COVID-19 pandemic, Harbaugh has designed three proposals that could re-shape the future for college football players by giving them more control over their careers. Among the proposals, Harbaugh suggests a player can declare for the NFL Draft after any season. If he is not selected in the first 224 picks of the draft, he could choose to return to college with his eligibility intact or sign an NFL free-agent contract and move on.

Harbaugh shared his thoughts Thursday afternoon in what he titled: "An Open Letter to the College Football Community," an opportunity, he suggested, to encourage discussion of the "evolving issues facing intercollegiate football." He wrote it is not unreasonable for college football players to feel their futures in professional football are hindered "given the rules currently in place." The idea of allowing an undrafted player to return to college has support from others around college football. "Let's find a way to let them come back," Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo said. "What is a good reason we're not letting them come back? I can't think of one." - Ann Arbor News


(DS#18 QB) Sr/2020 QB Shea PattersonMichigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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