Season wrap: Michigan football team needs big things from these 5 players in 2010
After two consecutive losing seasons, the Michigan football needs to make a bowl game next year. Here are 5 players whose progress this off-season will help determine the Wolverines’ fate in 2010:
Tate Forcier - Until Denard Robinson proves he’s a quarterback and with no idea how ready recruit Devin Gardner is for the Big Ten, Forcier is Michigan’s best hope behind center. He threw for 2,050 yards and 13 touchdowns as a true freshman, but struggled with turnovers (10 interceptions) and poor decision making at times. He has nine months to mature on and off the field, or Michigan will be in for another long season.
Will Campbell - Plenty was expected from the jewel of Michigan’s 2009 recruiting class, but Campbell didn’t see the field much early and showed he had a ways to go when he did. He played more over the final month, and coaches still believe in his bright future. As Michigan’s only 300-pound lineman, Campbell’s development is key to running the 3-4 defense. He can be a monster at nose tackle and allow Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen to slide to their more natural positions, or he can spend another year as a backup on the Wolverines’ undersized front.
Mark Huyge - The interior of Michigan’s offensive line looks set with David Molk at center and Steve Schilling and Patrick Omameh at guard. It’s the tackle spots that are most concerning heading into next year. Huyge won the right tackle job coming out of fall camp, then bounced around because of injuries to Molk. He started five games at right guard, four at right tackle, and never quite found a rhythm. Still, as a third-year sophomore, he's got plenty of upside. If not him, then Perry Dorrestein and Taylor Lewan have to solidify the tackle spots for Michigan to reach its offensive potential.
Fitzgerald Toussaint - Vincent Smith should enter spring practice as the starter, but Rich Rodriguez has always relied on multiple running backs. Mike Shaw gets first crack as Smith’s sidekick, but Toussaint is a better changeup. He’s a physical runner who’s up to 205 pounds, and he would have played this year if not for the shoulder injury he sustained in camp. Bruising Brandon Minor will be missed, but Toussaint can fill his void and may have a better career if he stays healthy.
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.