2008 Michigan Preview: Offensive Backs

Projected Depth Chart

QB Speed RB Power RB MX
Threet (fFr) Brown (Jr) Minor (Jr)

Moundros (rSo)
Feagin (Fr) OR
Sheridan (W – rSo)
McGuffie (Fr) OR Horn (rFr) Grady (rJr) Helmuth (So)
Cone (rSo) Cox (Fr)

Uh, crap. Both players who threw any meaningful passes last year are gone, Chad Henne (the four-year starter) to the NFL and Ryan Mallett (the ex-heir-apparent) to Arkansas. The cupboard isn’t entirely bare, but it’s damn close. Steven Threet, a redshirt freshman who sat out last year after transferring from Georgia Tech, was a four-star recruit in 2007, but isn’t the mobile player that Rich Rodriguez would like in his spread. Walkon Nick Sheridan is more athletic, but a worse passer. Incoming freshman Justin Feagin is expected to get some playing time as the dual-threat that Rich Rodriguez desires. Redshirt sophomore David Cone… at least he’ll leave Michigan with a good degree.


Michigan Quarterbacks Passing 2007
Name Comp Att % Yds TD Int Yds/Att
Chad Henne 162 278 58.27 1938 17 9 6.97
Ryan Mallett 61 141 43.26 892 7 5 6.33
David Cone 1 1 100.00 21 0 0 21.00

Michigan Quarterbacks Rushing 2007
Name Att Yds TD Yds/Att
Ryan Mallett 33 -38 1 -1.15
Chad Henne 24 -120 0 -5.00

Threet and Feagin had better be able to step up, otherwise Michigan’s offense might be in big trouble. Threet will be the passer of the two, and Feagin will be eased into the offense with running plays, and eventually work his way into the passing game. Sheridan will likely only be used as a contingency plan, and Cone doesn’t look to get any playing time. If spring was any indication, there needs to be a lot of improvement in this unit for success.

Four-year starter Mike Hart departs as Michigan’s all-time leading rusher. Stepping up, however, Michigan has a number of viable options. Redshirt junior Kevin Grady was the backup in 2005 and 2006, but was out last year with an ACL injury. He is also expected to be suspended for an indefinite period of time for a July DUI arrest. True juniors Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown were the backups last year, and filled in when Hart was out. Redshirt freshman Avery Horn is a speedy option, though he might not have the moves to be a true tailback. Incoming freshmen Sam McGuffie and Mike cox will challenge for playing time. The fullback will either be redshirt sophomore Mark Moundros or true sophomore Vince Helmuth.


Michigan Running Backs Rushing 2007
Name Att Yds TD Yds/Att
Mike Hart 265 1361 14 5.14
Brandon Minor 90 385 1 4.28
Carlos Brown 75 382 4 5.09
Mike Milano 5 23 0 4.60
Jim Potempa 6 16 0 2.67
Michigan Running Backs Receiving 2007
Name Rec Yds TD Yds/Rec
Mike Hart 8 50 0 6.25
Mark Moundros (FB) 3 11 0 3.67
Brandon Minor 3 1 0 0.33

Grady is the most powerful runner of the three, though he has problems fumbling in the past. He hasn’t shown the vision that was expected of him coming out of high school. Brandon Minor definitely loks the part of a D-I football player, and his imposing figure is an accurate indicator of his strong running style. He doesn’t have the best speed, but he runs with power. Carlos Brown is the speedster of the proven players, though his vision has been criticized in the past. He has taken snaps at quarterback as well, and may be the recipient of a direct snap or two. Horn is fast, but doesn’t really have moves or vision, and is best when he gets the ball in space and has to do little other than run fast in a straight line. Sam McGuffie’s internet fame speaks for itself, and Cox seems to be in the mold of Brandon Minor. Helmuth is the more athletic fullback, and is more likely to be a “runaway beer truck,” but Moundros picked up the offense better in the spring and may get the starting nod.

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