Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News identifies 10 key players for Michigan’s fall camp.
DE Chase Winovich: Winovich has boundless energy that mirrors his head coach and he is the defensive lineman that current linemen and those from last year’s team now in the NFL have said to keep an eye on this fall. Teammate Maurice Hurst said by the end of this season he expects high-motor Winovich to be All-Big Ten.
CB Keith Washington: When outgoing UM cornerback Channing Stribling was asked earlier this year who among the young defensive backs might be a surprise, he immediately mentioned Washington. Washington is a 6-foot-2 cornerback who has added a little bit of weight to his lean frame. He impressed in the spring and will have a shot to start this fall.
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones: Keep a close eye on him and not only because he’s fast. Blink, you might miss him. Peoples-Jones is a dynamic athlete and a freshman who surely will contribute this fall at receiver, along with fellow frosh Tarik Black.
QB Brandon Peters: After the spring game, the Peters-for-Starting-Quarterback campaign began. He has tremendous upside, is a talented athlete and as Harbaugh said, he’s a “natural thrower.” He and John O’Korn will challenge Wilton Speight for the starting job. Even if Speight wins the job for a second straight season, the backups will get a chance to play.
RB Karan Higdon: It will be running back by committee this fall with Chris Evans likely leading the way, but Higdon impressed the coaches and has improved his game heading into the season. Harbaugh described Higdon last week as someone who is in “phenomenal shape” after summer conditioning and workouts.
FB Ben Mason: Mason, a freshman, was moved from linebacker to fullback, and while he may not unseat returning fullbacks Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi, the coaches haven’t stopped raving about his strength and blocking ability.
G Michael Onwenu: Onwenu played on both lines last year as a freshman and will be settling in at guard on the offensive line this fall. He was pushing 380 pounds last year and has made an effort to drop some pounds heading into this season, without losing his immovable-object quality.
K Quinn Nordin: Kenny Allen was all-Mr. Kicker last season and handled every aspect of the kicking game, and now it’s time for Nordin to step in to kick field goals. He has a huge leg and got stronger overall during the spring.
LB Devin Bush Jr.: Bush is perhaps the hardest hitter on the team and showed that last season on special teams. He will become a leader at linebacker along with veteran Mike McCray and could very well be the best player in that group.
C Patrick Kugler: Kugler has waited and waited for this chance to start at center. Freshman Cesar Ruiz certainly will push him for the job, but Kugler is a veteran who during spring practice proved he’s ready for the job that will enable Mason Cole to move back to left tackle.