HEAD COACH: Jim Harbaugh (20 – 11)
CAREER RECORD: 86 – 38
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Pep Hamilton
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Don Brown
STADIUM: Michigan Stadium (107,601)
September 1 at Notre Dame
September 8 Western Michigan
September 15 SMU
September 22 Nebraska
September 29 at Northwestern
October 6 the Maryland
October 13 Wisconsin
October 20 at Michigan State
November 3 Penn State
November 10 at Rutgers
November 17 Indiana
November 24 at Ohio State
Florida 33 – 17
Cincinnati 36 – 14
Air Force 29 – 13
Purdue 28 – 10
Michigan State 10 – 14
Indiana 27 – 20 OT
Penn State 13 – 42
Rutgers 35 – 14
Minnesota 33 – 10
Maryland 35 – 10
Wisconsin 10 – 24
Ohio State 20 – 31
South Carolina 19 – 26
2017 TEAM OFFENSIVE STATS
2017 TEAM DEFENSIVE STATS
FIVE YEAR WINNING TREND
2013: 7 – 6
2014: 5 – 7
2015: 10 – 3
2016: 10 – 3
2017: 8 – 5
RETURNING STARTERS OFFENSE: 6
RETURNING STARTERS DEFENSE: 8
PASSING: Brandon Peters, 57 – 108 – 672 – 4TD – 2INT
RUSHING: Karan Higdon, 164 – 994 – 11TD
RECEIVING: Sean McKeon, 31 – 301 – 3TD
TACKLES: Devon Bush, 100
SACKS: Khaleke Hudson, Chase Winovich 8.0
INTERCEPTIONS: four players tied with 2
2018 TOP RECRUITS
Aiden Hutchinson DE, Dearborn, Michigan
Cameron McGrone LB Indianapolis, Indiana
Mustapha Muhammed, Missouri City, Texas,
Myles Sims, CB Atlanta, Georgia
Joe Milton, QB Orlando, Florida
Jalen Mayfield, OT Grand Rapids, Michigan
Brian Hayes, TE Traverse City, Michigan
Gemon Green, CB DeSoto, Texas
Christian Turner, RB Buford, Georgia
Taylor Upshaw, DE Bradenton, Florida
One of the biggest hurdles head coach Jim Harbaugh must overcome is finding a consistent quarterback. His success at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers with signal callers has not worked out as well in Ann Arbor. Harbaugh is now hoping former Mississippi quarterback Shea Patterson will be the answer. Patterson would be a huge upgrade over three quarterbacks from last season that completed a combined 53.5% of the passes with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Harbaugh also has a new offensive coordinator in Pep Hamilton (kind of), but Harbaugh will take a more active role in the offense. One of the huge question marks for Michigan’s offense will be the line. Three starters return, but they will have to develop chemistry very quickly. Ben Bredeson will start at left guard with Michael Onwenu at right guard and Sean Bushnell-Beatty at right tackle.
The running game was one of the few bright spots for Michigan in 2017. Karan Higdon returns after rushing for 994 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2017. Chris Evans will add depth in the backfield. The Wolverines have a young but talented receiving corps led by Donovan Peoples-Jones, Grant Perry, Tarik Black, Kekoa Crawford, Nico Collins and Eddie McDoom.
There is plenty of talent but it will take time to develop as coach Harbaugh looks to solidify the foundation around six returning starters.
While the offense struggled last season, the defense was solid. Michigan returns most of the key pieces from last year’s #3 -ranked defense in the country. The strength will be at defensive end where Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich combined for 14 sacks . They do lose All-American Maurice Hurst, but former five – star recruit Aubrey Solomon appears ready for a breakout season on the inside. Veteran Bryan Mone and third – year NT Michael Dwumfour are also poised to make a bigger contribution.
The Wolverines have All-American inside linebacker Devin Bush and an All-American candidate in Khaleke Hudson ready for a big season.
Michigan featured the top pass defense in the country last season, allowing just 150.1 yards per game and 5.9 yards per attempt. Every starter in the secondary returns including Lavert Hill and David Long.
Kicker Quinn Nordin wasn’t perfect in 2017, but his 19 – 24 performance on field goals for a first – year kicker was acceptable. Brad Robbins also struggled at times, but he showed flashes of why he was rated as the country’s top – rated punter coming out of high school in 2017. The return game will be left up to Peoples – Jones, one of the top rookie returners in America last season.
PROJECTED RECORD: 10 – 2, 7 – 2 Big Ten
COACH HARBAUGH TALKS AT BIG 10 MEDIA DAYS
THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.
JIM HARBAUGH: Good afternoon. Great to be here. Questions?
Q. I think you would agree that one of the great things about football is the continuous change, the continuous evolution each year, each game. With that said, this is a new year, a new Michigan football team. When you wake up in the morning and go to work, what gets you excited about the 2018 version of your Michigan Wolverines?
JIM HARBAUGH: First of all, what gets me the most excited is having a season to gear up for. And that’s pretty consistent with most of the people I talked to, whether it’s high school players, coaches, college players, coaches, pro players. Coaches.
It’s very exciting at this point and thankful to have a season to gear up for. I’ve also talked to some other players or coaches that don’t have a season to gear up for this year. And it’s sad. But also feel very good that I have a season to gear up for.
So chomping at the bit, ready to go.
Q. A lot of turnover I guess in the offensive coaching. You’ve had Jed in there, Ed Warinner this year, Doug Fry, run game coordinators, tight end coordinators. How close are you guys continuity-wise to really nailing down the offensive side, the defensive side? How close are you to just nailing down the offensive side coaching-wise?
JIM HARBAUGH: Great collaboration. I think that’s what we were striving for with our offensive coaching staff and great additions. Jim McElwain has been a great addition. Ed Warinner has been a great addition. Sherrone Moore has been a great addition.
Jay Harbaugh back is doing a very good job. Pep Hamilton doing a great job. We feel like we’ve got a lot of good football minds, guys that are passionate about ball, and also collaborating and working very well together.
Also added Ron Prince, who has been a real blessing having him on the staff. Brandon Blaney, Ben McDaniels, Roy Roundtree, Patrick Kugler, also graduate assistant Alphonso Smith. And Tanner Engstrand, who was the offensive coordinator at USD last year.
It’s been tremendous collaboration. It needs to be when you have that many good coaches. You need to draw from as many or as all as you can.
Q. (Question off microphone)?
JIM HARBAUGH: I feel good about adding him.
Q. I’ve been asking other Big Ten coaches about just their overall thoughts on the effectiveness of the playoff system. Now that we’ve had four years to sort of digest this, just what are your thoughts on just the effectiveness that you’ve seen?
JIM HARBAUGH: Thoughts on the playoff system, I guess the first thing that comes to mind is more would be more. More would be better in the playoffs. Four right now, go to eight and eventually get to 16.
Q. Michigan hasn’t beaten Ohio State in six seasons. How much do you hear about that, and how much pressure do you feel to change that this year?
JIM HARBAUGH: We feel like just improvement. We need to improve. And that will lead to success. It will lead to championships. It’s that simple.
Q. You came into Ann Arbor with perhaps the most hype of any coach in the history of the Big Ten. Maybe in all of college football. A few years later you’ve got a third place, a third place and fourth place finish. And you’re 1-5 against Michigan State and Ohio State. What do you have to do this year to demonstrate to the Michigan community that you are on the path to achieving what they hired you to achieve?
JIM HARBAUGH: The improvement will lead to success, will lead to championships.
Q. In past years, you’ve visited the soccer teams that have played in the big house when they’ve had these big games. You’ve done some promotional events with them. Do you plan to go to the game this week or do any kind of visiting with the teams, anything like that coming up?
JIM HARBAUGH: Yeah, really would love to see it. So plan on going to the game and each year made it a point to go over and talk to the players and coaches. I know they’re busy too.
But it’s always good. Inspiring. And always learn a couple things, which is good. We’re excited to have him.
Q. I was wondering, what has Ed Warinner specifically brought to the program from your vantage point? And another question I’d like to ask, from a quarterback situation, is that an open book right now for you? Is Shea Patterson a leader as some people seem to assume? Where do you stand in that situation?
JIM HARBAUGH: Well, Ed has done a tremendous job. He’s really brought a lot of enthusiasm, wealth of knowledge, tremendous experience with coaching in the Big Ten, and just a good dude. Really was good to work with. Has been fantastic. We enjoy watching tape with him. Enjoy talking football with him. Enjoy watching him coach, and I think that’s been a really good thing for us.
Quarterbacks position, don’t have any announcements to make today about that.
Q. Any concerns with if you went to eight- or 16-team playoff, it would water down the regular season? And is there a limit to how many games college football players should play in one season?
JIM HARBAUGH: Well, I mean, the I-AA teams have been very successful at that model. I think, if my math is right, right now, if you play all the way through to a championship game, that would be 15 games.
And through a 16-team playoff, that would be 16 games, right, under the current model. Probably take away the championship, the league championship game. It would eliminate that one, and then so it could be 16 games. But only the two teams playing in the national championship would play that many games.
That’s kind of my thought about the amount of games you would play. Most teams would still play 13.
Q. Can you talk about Chase Winovich and how you’ve seen him evolve as a player and maybe specifically how he’s gotten better going into this season?
JIM HARBAUGH: The first thing that comes to mind with Chase is the incredible work ethic that he has, the great effort that he always plays with. A lot of people talk about the motor he has, and that’s a great analogy. He’s always playing all out. And the talent has really, really gone up and up each year. Really finding his position, which is defensive end, has been great for his career and for our football team.
He was a linebacker. Then we could see the speed that he had. And we were playing him at tight end some, and then he went to defensive end, was playing some defensive end on the scout team, and really was tough to block.
And from that point on, they just developed a love and passion for playing the defensive end position. And he’s great at it. I think he would be a tremendous stand-up outside backer, maybe be a true prototype 3-4 outside backer and a nickel defensive end rush passer.
Will bring a lot of value at the next level, the pro level as well as the college level. And really excited for his season. Praying for all good things to come his way this season, and pulling hard for him.
He’s a Go Blue guy all the way. Enthusiasm and energy is infectious in a real positive, productive way for our football team.
Q. I was talking to Brady Quinn a little bit ago. He thinks the quarterback Shea Patterson could become one of the pure passers in college football. I know there’s a meritocracy, there’s a competition that needs to unfold in August, you got Dylan McCaffrey, Joe Milton, some other guys. Just curious what that quarterback room’s like and what you’re thinking of it as we sit here in July.
JIM HARBAUGH: Sure. So it’s very valuable. Shea Patterson went through all of spring practice with our team and got great work in there. Played really well. Brandon Peters was also improved this spring. Dylan McCaffrey probably made the most improvement of any quarterback. And on our roster Joe Milton came in and was a mid-year, so participated in spring practices as well and did very well. I think he’s got a very bright future.
And Michael Sessa has done a fantastic job. Buck West moved over from safety and receiver now he’s going to play both quarterback and receiver.
And that’s been our quarterback room. And I would say overall it’s better as a group than we were last year. And I feel like our starting quarterback will also be better, play better.
And so that’s how I’d evaluate the room.
Q. Your thoughts on with Karan being on the Doak Walker Watch List? There’s Miles Sanders from Penn State, J.K. Dobbins from Ohio State, Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin. What are your thoughts not only on Karan’s improvement but the overall complexion of running backs in the Big Ten?
JIM HARBAUGH: Always been a great tradition of great running backs in the Big Ten. Always has, is, and probably always will be. Karan Higdon is an outstanding football player. I always think of Karan and Chris Evans. They’re both great. They’re both really good players and that bodes really well for our football team. Both have really come into leadership roles on our team is the way it’s developed over the last nine months.
And that’s also a really good team thing because they’ve embraced those roles. It’s important to them and it’s important to each of them how they play but it’s also you see them working with the younger backs. And we’ve got some talented younger backs. And it’s nice to see that those guys Chris Evans in particular grabs guys goes over pass protections with them, always see Karan putting his arm around a younger back or player and talking to them, motivating them, teaching them.
So can’t say enough good things about Karan Higdon or Chris Evans, both.
Q. I wanted to get your opinion on the talk of the day about the potential for an injury report or availability report and then also with the gambling aspect that’s been allowed, how do you view that and how do you teach that to your players in your program?
JIM HARBAUGH: As far as gambling, don’t associate with gamblers, avoid it like the plague. Don’t walk away from that, run. Very dear friend, Jim Bees (phonetic), who passed away, but great businessman. He owned muffler shops. He would talk about — Jim, what do you think about this investment here? He goes, I wouldn’t walk away from that investment, I’d run.
That’s always stuck with me. That’s the same advice I would give players as it relates to gambling and any form or fashion.
Q. For the injury report. You’ve obviously dealt with that at the pro level, which not a lot of college coaches have dealt with.
JIM HARBAUGH: Yeah, I would be fine with that. Want to do an injury report, we can do an injury report.
1 Ambry Thomas DB 6-0 179 So. Detroit, Mich. / Martin Luther King
2 Carlo Kemp DL 6-3 264 Jr. Boulder, Colo. / Fairview
2 Oliver Martin WR 6-1 198 So. Coralville, Iowa / West Senior
2 Shea Patterson QB 6-2 203 Jr. Shreveport, La. / IMG Academy
3 Rashan Gary DL 6-5 281 Jr. Plainfield, N.J. / Paramus Catholic
3 Quinn Nordin K 6-1 195 Jr. Rockford, Mich. / Rockford
3 Brad Robbins P 6-2 181 So. Westerville, Ohio / Westerville South
4 Nico Collins WR 6-4 206 So. Birmingham, Ala. / Clay-Chalkville
4 Reuben Jones DL 6-4 245 Sr. Lakeland, Fla. / Lake Gibson
5 Joe Milton QB 6-5 220 Fr. Pahokee, Fla. / Olympia
5 Aubrey Solomon DL 6-3 297 So. Leesburg, Ga. / Lee County
5 Kurt Taylor RB 5-8 194 So. Covington, Ga. / Grayson
5 Jared Wangler FB 6-2 240 5th Royal Oak, Mich. / De La Salle
6 Michael Sessa QB 6-8 210 Jr. Hinsdale, Ill. / Hinsdale Central
6 Myles Sims DB 6-3 173 Fr. Atlanta, Ga. / Westlake
6 Josh Uche LB 6-3 226 Jr. Miami, Fla. / Columbus
7 Tarik Black WR 6-3 206 So. Hamden, Conn. / Cheshire Academy
7 Khaleke Hudson LB 6-0 205 Jr. McKeesport, Pa. / McKeesport
8 Drew Singleton LB 6-2 219 So. Union City, N.J. / Paramus Catholic
9 Donovan Peoples-Jones WR 6-2 199 So. Detroit, Mich. / Cass Technical
10 Devin Bush LB 5-11 222 Jr. Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Flanagan
10 Dylan McCaffrey QB 6-5 199 So. Castle Rock, Colo. / Valor Christian
12 Chris Evans RB 5-11 206 Jr. Indianapolis, Ind. / Ben Davis
12 Josh Ross LB 6-2 229 So. Southfield, Mich. / St. Mary’s
13 Eddie McDoom WR 6-0 181 Jr. Winter Garden, Fla. / West Orange
14 Josh Metellus DB 6-0 199 Jr. Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Flanagan
15 Jacob West QB 6-1 205 Sr. Pinckney, Mich. / Pinckney
15 Chase Winovich DL 6-3 253 5th Jefferson Hills, Pa. / Thomas Jefferson
16 Jaylen Kelly-Powell DB 6-0 173 So. Detroit, Mich. / Cass Technical
17 Will Hart P 6-3 196 Jr. Hunting Valley, Ohio / University School
17 Tyrone Wheatley TE 6-6 265 Sr. Buffalo, N.Y. / Canisius
18 Brandon Peters QB 6-5 220 Jr. Avon, Ind. / Avon
18 Luiji Vilain DL 6-4 242 So. Ottawa, Ontario / Episcopal (Va.)
19 Kwity Paye DL 6-4 241 So. Providence, R.I. / Bishop Hendricken
20 Brad Hawkins DB 6-2 204 So. Pennsauken, N.J. / Suffield Academy (Conn.)
20 Matt Mitchell DB 5-10 185 5th Dexter, Mich. / Dexter
22 Karan Higdon RB 5-10 190 Sr. Sarasota, Fla. / Riverview
22 David Long DB 5-11 187 Jr. Los Angeles, Calif. / Loyola
23 Jared Davis DB 6-1 180 So. Frankenmuth, Mich. / Frankenmuth
23 Tyree Kinnel DB 5-11 201 Sr. Huber Heights, Ohio / Wayne
23 O’Maury Samuels RB 5-10 192 So. Los Lunas, N.M. / Los Lunas
24 Lavert Hill DB 5-11 177 Jr. Detroit, Mich. / Martin Luther King
24 Jake Martin WR 5-11 191 Jr. Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Northern
24 Tru Wilson RB 5-10 200 Jr. Warren, Mich. / De La Salle
25 Benjamin St-Juste DB 6-3 193 So. Rosemere, Quebec / Cegep du Vieux Montreal
26 J’Marick Woods DB 6-3 203 So. Florence, Ala. / Florence
27 Joe Hewlett RB 6-0 196 5th Novi, Mich. / Northville
27 Hunter Reynolds DB 6-0 188 So. South Orange, N.J. / Choate Rosemary Hall
28 Brandon Watson DB 5-11 200 5th Wilmington, Del. / Eastern Christian Academy
29 Jordan Glasgow LB 6-1 210 Sr. Aurora, Ill. / Marmion Academy
29 Brendan White WR 6-1 194 Sr. Scottsdale, Ariz. / Notre Dame Prep
30 Tyler Cochran DB 6-1 194 Jr. Royal Oak, Mich. / Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
31 Phillip Paea DL 6-4 275 So. Berrien Springs, Mich. / Berrien Springs
32 Louis Grodman DB 5-11 188 Sr. Commerce, Mich. / Walled Lake Northern
33 Camaron Cheeseman LS 6-4 239 Jr. New Albany, Ohio / Gahanna Lincoln
34 Jordan Anthony LB 6-0 236 So. Silver Spring, Md. / IMG Academy
34 Kenneth Ferris TE 6-5 244 Sr. Fowlerville, Mich. / Fowlerville
36 Devin Gil LB 6-2 220 Jr. Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Flanagan
37 Dane Drobocky DL 6-3 234 Jr. Bowling Green, Ky. / Bowling Green
37 Bradford Jones TE 6-3 237 5th Bloomfield Hills, Mich. / Brother Rice
38 Joseph Files TE 6-4 247 Sr. Lake Orion, Mich. / Cranbrook Kingwood
39 Spencer Dickow FB 6-0 225 Sr. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. / Brother Rice
41 Kekoa Crawford WR 6-2 187 Jr. Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. / Santa Margarita Catholic
41 Adam Fakih LB 6-2 210 So. Beverly Hills, Mich. / Detroit Country Day
42 Ben Mason FB 6-3 251 So. Newtown, Conn. / Newtown
43 Jake McCurry WR 6-0 180 So. Solon, Ohio / Solon
44 Matt Baldeck LS 6-0 210 So. Lewistown, Idaho / Lewistown
44 Jared Char RB 5-10 192 Jr. Farmington Hills, Mich. / Harrison
44 Deron Irving-Bey DL 6-5 274 So. Flint, Mich. / Southwestern Academy
45 Peter Bush FB 6-2 225 Jr. Newport Beach, Calif. / Corona Del Mar
45 William Holton TE 6-4 214 Jr. Haslett, Mich. / Haslett
45 Adam Shibley LB 6-1 225 So. Cleveland, Ohio / St. Ignatius
46 Matt Brown FB 6-0 220 So. Solon, Ohio / Solon
46 Kareem Walker RB 6-1 211 Jr. Irvington, N.J. / DePaul Catholic
49 Tyler Plocki FB 6-1 219 So. Saline, Mich. / Saline
49 Andrew Robinson LS 6-0 221 5th Troy, Mich. / Troy Athens
50 Michael Dwumfour DL 6-2 290 Jr. Wayne, N.J. / DePaul Catholic
50 Michael Onwenu OL 6-3 350 Jr. Detroit, Mich. / Cass Technical
51 Cesar Ruiz OL 6-4 316 So. Pennsauken, N.J. / IMG Academy
54 Carl Myers DL 6-3 276 Jr. Grand Rapids, Mich. / West Catholic
55 James Hudson OL 6-5 302 So. Toledo, Ohio / Central Catholic
56 Jameson Offerdahl LB 6-2 218 Sr. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. / Cardinal Gibbons
59 Noah Furbush LB 6-5 240 5th Kenton, Ohio / Kenton
59 Joel Honigford OL 6-6 275 So. Sugarcreek, Ohio / Garaway
61 Dan Jokisch OL 6-4 251 Jr. Clarkston, Mich. / Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
66 Chuck Filiaga OL 6-6 345 So. Aledo, Texas / Aledo
67 Jess Speight OL 6-4 289 So. Richmond, Va. / The Collegiate School
68 Andrew Vastardis OL 6-3 311 Jr. Ashburn, Va. / Stone Bridge
70 Nolan Ulizio OL 6-5 295 Sr. West Chester, Ohio / Lakota West
71 Andrew Stueber OL 6-7 314 So. Darien, Conn. / Darien
72 Stephen Spanellis OL 6-5 307 Jr. Baltimore, Md. / Gilman School
74 Ben Bredeson OL 6-5 308 Jr. Hartland, Wis. / Arrowhead
75 Jon Runyan OL 6-4 298 Sr. Moorestown, N.J. / St. Joseph’s Prep
76 Juwann Bushell-Beatty OL 6-6 315 5th Paramus, N.J. / Paramus Catholic
77 Grant Newsome OL 6-7 314 Sr. McLean, Va. / The Lawrenceville School, N.J.
79 Greg Robinson OL 6-6 288 Jr. Hudson, Ohio / Hudson
81 Nate Schoenle WR 6-2 192 Jr. Plymouth, Mich. / Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard
81 Jack Young WR 6-2 190 So. Pittsburgh, Pa. / Mt. Lebanon
82 Nick Eubanks TE 6-5 240 Jr. Plantation, Fla. / American Heritage
82 Carter Selzer TE 6-8 222 So. Kansas City, Mo. / Rockhurst
83 Zach Gentry TE 6-7 248 Sr. Albuquerque, N.M. / Eldorado
84 Sean McKeon TE 6-5 248 Jr. Dudley, Mass. / Shepherd Hill Regional
86 Conner Edmonds TE 6-5 252 Jr. Richfield, Wis. / Germantown
88 Jack Dunaway LB 6-2 241 Sr. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. / Brother Rice
88 Grant Perry WR 6-0 191 Sr. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. / Brother Rice
90 Bryan Mone DL 6-4 325 5th Salt Lake City, Utah / Highland
91 Taylor Upshaw DL 6-4 240 Fr. Bradenton, Fla. / Braden River
93 Lawrence Marshall DL 6-4 285 5th Southfield, Mich. / Southfield
94 Ryan Veingrad TE 6-4 248 So. Boca Raton, Fla. / Spanish River
95 Donovan Jeter DL 6-3 288 So. Beaver Falls, Pa. / Beaver Falls
97 Ron Johnson DL 6-4 264 Jr. Camden, N.J. / Camden
99 John Luby DL 6-6 241 Sr. Lake Orion, Mich. / Lake Orion