UM’s Gary, Skyline’s Hayes among SI’s 2017 breakouts
Expectations already are high at Michigan for Rashan Gary who, in March, defensive coordinator Don Brown called one half of the best defensive-lineman tandem in the country with senior-to-be Maurice Hurst.
Brown’s not alone in ratcheting up expectations for the Wolverines’ talented sophomore to be.
Sports Illustrated’s Colin Becht, who in March named Gary one of the country’s breakout sophomores for 2017, included him among eight breakout stars for the 2017 college football season, regardless of class, based on their spring performances.
Gary played in 13 games last season, finishing with 27 tackles, including five for loss.
“Despite the hype of being the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2016,” Becht wrote, “Rashan Gary had to take a backseat at Michigan last season behind an experienced, disruptive defensive line. Now, with the playbook down and the depth chart wide open, he’s ready to shine. ... (In the spring), he showed Michigan might not suffer much of a dropoff from last year’s pass rush, which ranked fourth in the nation with 3.54 sacks per game.”
Also on the list is Notre Dame sophomore defensive end Daelin Hayes, an Ann Arbor Skyline product.
“... Based on the level of Daelin Hayes’s production and coach Brian Kelly’s assessment, it seems pretty clear why he’ll garner plenty of hype heading into the fall,” Becht wrote. “The sophomore was credited with three sacks in Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold game along with seven tackles.
“ ‘It’s pretty clear Daelin Hayes is going to be around the football and be a disruptive player for us,’ Kelly said after the game. The Fighting Irish could desperately use some disruption this season after they ranked seventh-worst in the country in sacks last year with 14.”