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It’s about that time again, Spring football is over, and we begin the long wait for the first game of the 2022 season.
Michigan came into this offseason with momentum, and many believe the Wolverines could repeat as B1G champions.
Here are a few storylines that we should follow as Michigan football enters its summer offseason phase.
It’s Now Or Never
One area Michigan has dramatically improved in over the last two offseasons is the skillset of incoming recruits, primarily on the defensive line.
These aren’t the young guys of the past that plan to come to school and wait their turn.
They are ready to play now.
Nipping on the heels of upperclassmen and putting pressure on the older players to perform. Players such as Braiden McGregor.
McGregor is a 6’5 265lb freak athlete who can be the type of disrupter Aiden Hutchinson was for the Wolverines last season.
Mcgregor was a top-250 recruit but suffered a knee injury his senior year in high school that forced him to redshirt in 2020.
With three years in the program learning from guys like former 1st round pick Kwity Paye, potential top-3 pick Aiden Hutchinson, and projected 1st round pick David Ojabo, you have to wonder if the switch doesn’t flip this year, will it ever?
Can JJ Make Up Ground?
The biggest storyline coming into spring ball was the highly anticipated battle between QBs Cade McNamara and JJ McCarthy.
You rarely hear a fan base clamoring for the backup to start over a conference champion-winning quarterback who led them to the playoffs, but JJ McCarthy isn’t just any backup.
The highly touted five-star quarterback wowed fans with his elite arm and athleticism.
There’s no doubt about it; he has all the tools in his belt to be an elite college quarterback that can take your team from good to great.
Unfortunately, McCarthy’s spring was shut down early due to shoulder soreness, and the quarterback battle fans so anxiously anticipated was paused momentarily, with McNamara heading into the summer as QB1.
This summer will prove to be a very pivotal one for McCarthy.
Can he use it to make up the ground Cade has created during spring ball or is the gap too wide?
Harbaugh loves competition and will embrace it between his two talented signal-callers, but it’s up to McCarthy to determine if he can carve out a more prominent role in the fall.
Ronnie, Is That You?
In the 2021 season opener against Western Michigan, wide receiver Ronnie Bell was having a performance that had fans thinking about the Biletnikoff award.
Unfortunately, we never got to see what Ronnie could do as he suffered a torn ACL while returning a punt.
Bell is the heart and soul of the Michigan wide receivers room. With him returning from injury in the fall, everybody within earshot of Schemblecher hall is wondering if he’ll pick up where he left off before his injury.
Bell has been the most reliable receiver since he stepped foot on campus, and with much of the offense returning from last year’s team, adding the best receiver to the mix should be an upgrade.
The question is, will the game-changing version of Ronnie Bell show up in 2022? Or will he still be nagged by his injury?
Bell can hurt a team from the outside and the slot with his savvy route-running ability and excellent hands. The Wolverines need him to be one-hundred percent for the upcoming season.
Coach Harbaugh said Ronnie seems to be on schedule to be a full go in fall camp, and if he can find his original form, I’m expecting a record-breaking season from the senior wideout.
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