2007 Michigan Football Preview

 
Big Ten football fans

2007 Michigan football preview

2006 Record: 11-2, 7-1
Head Coach: Lloyd Carr

Players Drafted:
Leon Hall CB - Round 1 - Cincinnati
Alan Branch DT - Round 2 - Arizona
LaMarr Woodley DE - Round 2 - Pittsburgh
David Harris ILB - Round 2 - NY Jets
Steve Breaston WR - Round 5 - Arizona
Prescott Burgess OLB - Round 6 - Baltimore
Tyler Ecker TE - Round - 7 - Washington

Top Recruits:
Donovan Warren - CB - 6’0” - 175 - Long Beach, CA
Ryan Malett - QB - 6’6” - 235 - Texarkana, TX
Tony Clemons - WR - 6’2” - 205 - New Kensington, PA
Martell Webb - WR - 6’5” - 220 - Pontiac, MI
Austin Panter - LB - 6’3” - 240 - El Dorado, KS
Michael Williams - CB - 5’10 - 180 - Ventura, CA
Ryan VanBergen - DE - 6’5” - 260 - Whitehall, MI

Key Players Returning:
Mike Hart - RB - Sr.
Chad Henne - QB - Sr.
Mario Manningham - WR - Jr.
Jake Long - OT - Sr.
Adam Kraus - OG - Sr.
Terrance Taylor - DT - Jr.
Shawn Crable - LB - Sr.
Jamar Adams - S - Sr.


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2007 Michigan Offensive Outlook

The Michigan Wolverines offense will look to devour defenses this season with a nucleus of high-profile athletes. Coach Lloyd Carr has weapons that produce a quick strike through the air or pound out a drive on the ground. Senior QB Chad Henne has developed into a passer that can burn the secondary which has provided RB Mike Hart the opportunity to find creases in the defense on the ground. Henne enters the 2007 season as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and a healthy Mike Hart will allow Henne to produce numbers that could warrant Heisman talk.

Hart is a bruising runner who averaged 4.9 yard per carry in 2006 and scored 14 touchdowns. Hart has overcome injuries in his career to put him in position to become Michigan's all-time leading rusher. Also, Henne will most likely put his name at the top of the Wolverines all-time passing list. There’s no doubt that these seniors are back in 2007 with more than statistics on their mind. They have their eyes on a much bigger prize that was well within reach last year.

On the receiving end, junior Mario Manningham will be the number one long distance threat. Manningham caught nine touchdowns from Henne in just 10 games last season. He is a game-changing receiver, but will need help from other receivers to take away some of the attention. Adrian Arrington had a solid 2006 season, but his status is in question after being suspended from spring practices. It appears that Arrington is working his way back into the mix, and sophomore Greg Mathews has the ability to step in and catch the ball. Senior Mike Massey will provide a nice option for Henne from the TE position.

Senior OT Jake Lake will anchor the left side of the line. At 6’7”, 315 pounds, Long easily could have opted for the NFL Draft after his junior season. Senior OG Adam Kraus will solidify the left side of the line that should be the best in the Big Ten. C Justin Boren (Soph.), OG Alex Mitchell (Jr.), and OT Steve Schilling (Redshirt Fr.) just have to play decent enough for Henne and Hart to make plays.

 

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2007 Michigan Defensive Outlook

The Wolverines lost 7 starters from their 2006 defense that led the NCAA in rushing yards allowed per game (43.4). Four of those players were drafted in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. The biggest question will be how the new starters respond to full-time roles, but it appears that the defense won’t have to be as good as last year considering the high-powered offense for the Wolverines should score plenty of points.

The defensive line will have one returning starter in junior DT Terrance Taylor. Taylor is a monster in the middle of the line who can stuff the run and keep blockers off the linebackers. Juniors Tim Jamison and Will Johnson along with sophomore Brandon Graham will fill out the rest of the defensive line with Taylor. Depth could be a factor considering the lack of experience, but there should be plenty of opportunities throughout the season to work players into the second half of games.

Shawn Crable is the lone starter retuning at linebacker. Crable, a senior, is a seasoned veteran who can apply pressure from the outside. Crable should help incoming starters Chris Graham and John Thompson adjust to their new roles, and this group should be able to help stuff the running game.

The secondary took a hit after losing Leon Hall. While stopping the run was no problem for the Wolverines last season they were not as spectacular defending the pass. Senior Jamar Adams returns to his starting position at safety, and junior Morgan Trent is back at cornerback. Both Adams and Trent went through some tough spells in 2006, but they learned valuable lessons along the way. Stevie Brown should lock down the strong safety position, and newly recruited Donovan Warren will push sophomore Johnny Sears for the final CB spot.



Michigan Special Teams

Bryan Wright appears to be the leading candidate to win the kicking duties, but senior KC Lopata still has his hat in the mix. Wright does not have much experience considering Garrett Rivas handled the job the past four years. Zoltan Mesko returns for his second year as the punter.

The return game is in need of a new spark. Steve Breaston was a touchdown waiting to happen when he returned kicks at Michigan, and Michigan always seems to have someone step in and make a mark as a return specialist. A number of names have been tossed around as next in line including Greg Mathews and Carlos Brown.

Don't miss the Michigan Wolverines football 10-year program review from College Sports Fans! They provide a complete review of the Michigan football program from the past 10 years as well as the Michigan basketball program.

2007 Overview: The Wolverines will most likely find themselves in a similar position as last when they reach the end of their schedule, although, this year they are on the national radar prior to game one. They will face three decent opponents in September when Oregon, Notre Dame, and Penn State all come to Ann Arbor. However, it could be November before they see their first true test when they head to Wisconsin. Finally, the seniors will look to cap off their careers as Wolverines when they host the Buckeyes on November 17th. There is a good possibility that their final Big Ten game will have the same implications on the line as last year. If the Michigan defense comes around in 2007, their offense could carry them to the BCS Championship Game on January 7th.


Michigan Wolverines 2007 Football Schedule
September 1 - Appalachian State
September 8 - Oregon
September 15 - Notre Dame
September 22 - Penn State
September 29 - @ Northwestern
October 6 - Eastern Michigan
October 13 - Purdue
October 20 - @ Illinois
October 27 - Minnesota
November 3 - @ Michigan State
November 10 - @ Wisconsin
November 17 - Ohio State

 

 

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