It is no secret that the Michigan Wolverines had a mildly disappointing season in 2013. Michigan finished 8-5 which included a loss to their biggest rival, Ohio State. As we look ahead to 2013, Michigan has bigger plans for their season.
I am going to take you through position by position on Michigan’s roster. I will examine it and grade each spot. The first position I will tackle is quarterback.
The quarterback spot is seemingly stronger than last year. With the departure of Denard Robinson, this opens up roster spots for quarterbacks who can make a bigger impact with their arm. On the top of the depth chart stands Devin Gardner.
Gardner is a junior who was under Robinson’s wing for the years he was there. He finally got his first chance to produce as a starter when Robinson went down against Minnesota. This past season, he had 41 less attempts throwing than Denard, yet still managed to only throw 100 yards less than Robinson. This shows just how much better of a passer Gardner is.
Gardner is also no scrub at running. He rushed for seven TDs last season in the short time he played. To add to that, he had 101 yards. While these numbers are nothing to be amazed by, they are nothing to look past. They aren’t crazy numbers like a Denard Robinson, but he isn’t Denard Robinson. What he can do is move around the pocket and escape pressure. This dynamic aspect to his game makes him an overall better threat.
The change from Robinson to Gardner is an improvement. He fits Brady Hoke’s more conventional style of offense and he is an overall better passer. With an entire off season knowing he has the job, we should see much improvement in his game.
Comparing Gardner to some of the top backs in the nation makes him seem a lot more mediocre than comparing him to Robinson. We all know Johnny Manziel makes Gardner look like a C. I feel he can put up very comparable numbers to Braxton Miller.
The rest of the quarterbacks crank the grade up, though. With the new five star recruit in Shane Morris as a third or fourth option, you know we have depth. Russell Bellomy is a solid back up quarterback who needs some work.
Overall, Michigan’s future looks bright at the quarterback position. However, for this season, the Michigan Wolverines will look solid.