Five impact freshmen for Michigan
Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News breaks down five freshmen who could make a difference for the Wolverines this season.
• Rashan Gary: Ever heard of him? Everyone has been talking about Gary, the nation’s top recruit and a defensive tackle who is expected to make an impact this fall. Senior defensive end Chris Wormley said everybody seems to forget Gary is a freshman, but said he has picked up things quickly and is a fast learner. “We’re excited to see what he can do,” Wormley said. With Michigan’s defensive line set up essentially as a 1A, 1B sort of thing with constant rotation, Gary will see the field.
• Michael Onwenu: You can’t miss this guy, you really can’t. The 6-foot-3 lineman from Detroit Cass Tech High is a massive human. Senior defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow said Onwenu weighed in at 375, senior defensive end Taco Charlton said he’s closer to 380 and Wormley described him as “almost 400 pounds.” Bottom line, he’s big, and he has shocked his teammate with how nimble he is. He has spent time this fall practicing on the offensive and defensive lines, and has essentially been an immovable object either line he’s played.
• Ben Bredeson: There’s been a quarterback competition this fall, but there’s also been a battle at left tackle. Bredeson was a four-star lineman from Wisconsin, where he was the top player in state. He is challenging sophomore Grant Newsome for the job. Michigan made Mason Cole its first freshman starter at left tackle, and Cole is now at center. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will start the best player despite age.
• Devin Bush Jr.: Bush, an early enrollee linebacker, is playing a position that didn’t exactly turn heads last season. And now with new starters at that position this fall, the linebackers have largely been overlooked while the defensive line and secondary have received all the praise. Bush had a chance to practice in the spring and earned high marks.
• Chris Evans: Evans’ new teammates have raved about his athleticism and ability to play a number of roles. He is listed as a running back, but could play receiver. Senior tailback De’Veon Smith said he hasn’t seen an athlete like Evans in a while. Smith praised his explosiveness and speed and is “excited to see what he does this season.” Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno described Evans as an instinctive back in terms of seeing a hole and making a cut.