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Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Releases Depth Chart…Kind Of

Well, well, well… what do we have here? Is it a Michigan Wolverines depth chart? Yes. It sure is a Michigan Wolverines depth chart–and it’s hot off coach Jim Harbaugh’s press in Ann Arbor.

As expected, “OR” appears a few times on the list released by the Michigan athletic department. OR must be really good. He must be versatile–an ideal athlete for any position. OK, enough with the (attempted) jokes.

Here it goes:

Either Shane Morris or Jake Rudock or Alex Malzone or Wilton Speight will start Sept. 3 verus the Utah Utes in Salt Lake City. Really, it’s either Morris, a 6’3,” 209-pound junior, or Rudock, a 6’3,” 208-pound senior transfer from Iowa. The QB chart is double-lined and appears to be in alphabetical order from top to bottom, back to the top, back to the bottom.

Check out the photos that I lazily posted minutes after my inbox cooled off for a few:



Special Teams

What about Zach Gentry, a 6’7,” 230-some pound true freshman? Not listed. I’m going to assume that he’ll get one of those red shirts this season. Just a guess, though. No sense in keeping five active quarterbacks, right?

As for the running backs, De’Veon Smith appears to be the No. 1 guy. Then again, it’ll be a three-back system, according to Harbaugh, so bet on seeing Smith and fellow junior Derrick Green carry most of the weight while Ty Isaac lends a hand every now and then–most likely as a specialized guy (third down, goal line, etc).

Because it matters, Smith is listed at 5’11 and 228 pounds compared to Green’s 225–or roughly 15 pounds, at least, lighter than he was two years ago. Green’s physical transformation has been the topic of conversation for the past few months.

Isaac, the biggest of the top three, is listed at 6’3″ and 228 pounds–or about 12 pounds lighter than he was previously listed at USC. True freshman Karan Higdon and redshirt sophomore Ross Taylor-Douglas round out the four tailbacks. Prior to joining the backfield, Taylor-Douglas platooned as a defensive back.

As expected, sophomore Mason Cole landed the starting job at left tackle. Now listed at 6’5″ and 305 pounds, he’s expected to do what he did in 2014–and that’s continue steady play on the blindside. Already with 12 starts on his resume, Cole is well on his way to a standout career with the Wolverines.

The rest of the line is as follows: redshirt junior Ben Braden at left guard, fifth-year senior Graham Glasgow at center, redshirt junior Kyle Kalis at right guard, redshirt junior Erik Magnuson at right tackle.

The defensive depth chart wasn’t littered with OR. I guess he just plays on the offensive side of the ball.

But honestly, there aren’t many–if any–surprises among coordinator D.J. Durkin’s personnel. Redshirt freshman Jabrill Peppers is listed as the starting strong safety. I would have tabbed the 6’2,” 208-pounder as a free safety, but really, he’s going to play everywhere in the secondary.

Disregard that part of the chart.

And remember, Peppers does all.

Instead of Peppers, Jarrod Wilson is the man for the free spot. At 6’2″ and 210 pounds, he’ll pack some punch for those wandering through the middle of the field. Then again, so will the rest of the defensive backs–Michigan has installed a sizable lineup of corners and safeties.

At 5’10” and 175 pounds, junior cornerback Jourdan Lewis is the smallest starting defensive back. However, don’t let his size fool you–he plays absolutely huge most of the time. He’s a keeper.

Channing Stribling stands opposite of Lewis, occupying Blake Countess’ former post. At 6’2″ and 181 pounds, the junior continues the go-big trend that’s taken over defensive back recruiting at Michigan.

The shocker? None, really. Harbaugh hinted at a lot of “OR” and has repeatedly said that every player will get a fair shake at starting. In fact, that’s been the mantra of his staff since it arrived in Ann Arbor. But since it’s almost game day, it’d be wise to assume that most have had their chances–the chart seems pretty sturdy.

So…about that quarterback…

Would it be safe to assume that it’s Rudock? He is listed as a holder. Starting quarterbacks used to be the guys who did that job back in the day. And Harbaugh is a guy who likes back in the day. But then again, why risk a potential kick to the throwing hand or anything along those lines?

Just a thought.

And thanks to Harbaugh, as his QB depth chart does nothing but continue the calamity.

Follow Adam Biggers of Today’s U on Twitter @AdamBiggers81

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