NCAA Football

Michigan Wolverines defensive end Rashan Gary (3) plays against the Maryland Terrapins in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

No. 10- The top 10 has finally arrived, and it starts with the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan and Jim Harbuagh were one yard away from locing up a spot in the College Football playoff, but a few costly turnovers helped Ohio State win that game in double OT and advance.  The recruiting class is stacked, ranking 4th in the nation.

The biggest question of the offseason is who will be catching passes from Wilton Speight. The leading returning receiver is fullback Khalid Hill, who caught 16 balls for 118 yards. One person expected to help out right away is incoming freshman and 5 star recruit, Donovan Peoples-Jones, the number one wideout in the 2017 class. They are losing 138 receptions, 2000 yards and 13 touchdowns from the graduated players, but along with Peoples- Jones will be sophomores Kekoa Crawford and Eddie McDoom who will line up at outside and slot.

One player Harbaugh is not excited to replace is tight end Jake Butt. Butt is a former All-American and Mackey Award winner and now a TE for the Broncos. Harbaugh is hoping Ian Bunting and Tyrone Wheatley Jr will be a dual-threat tight end tandem. Bunting played his best game after Butt went down with the ACL injury, and caught 4 balls during Florida State. Tyrone Wheatley was most of a blocking tight end.

Michigan’s defense is only returning one starter. The best defense in the nation in 2016 was hurt by the NFL draft, where Jabrill Peppers, Taco Charlton And Jourdan Lewis were all taken early. They will look to the defensive line to anchor the in-experienced defense, and will expect Bryan Mone and Maurice Hurst to step up as playmakers. Mone was once a 5 star recruit, and hasn’t had a significant role during his first three years, but his three tackles during Ohio State showed some promise. Maurice Hurst played his best game during Florida State, where he had a sack and a forced fumble. Mone and Hurst will be the senior leaders for this defense.

Some Key games for the Wolverines in 2017

Sep. 2 – Michigan vs Florida – Dallas, TX

Oct. 21 – Michigan @ Penn State – Univ. Park, PA

Nov. 25 – Michigan vs Ohio State – Ann Arbor, MI

Sam Webb from Michigan Insider talks Wolverines football:

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