Birk's Eye View: Friday morning University of Michigan football practice thoughts
Of course, it’s far too early to call this quarterback race over, but as I wrote yesterday, I expect Forcier to start this year. My guess is Sheridan would be the backup early because he gives Michigan the next best chance to win (based on readiness), but Denard Robinson will get playing time and vault ahead of Sheridan before long.
Robinson brings a different skillset, and ultimately is a better fit for the offense than Sheridan. For now, he’s still running with the third team.
Here are some other thoughts from Friday's workout:
â€¢ Running back Brandon Minor was back at practice Friday, but wearing a green jersey for limited contact. Minor was held out of practice Wednesday with headaches from a recent car accident. Receiver Greg Mathews also was in green, and freshman cornerback J.T. Turner cannot practice in pads yet.
â€¢ Michigan's punt returners are having problems catching (or judging) the ball. During the morning punt period, with no oncoming cover team, return men Carlos Brown, Terrence Robinson and Martavious Odoms dropped three consecutive catchable balls. Mathews finally broke the streak with an easy snag on a line drive punt near the sideline.
â€¢ Scouts were on hand from the 49ers, Seahawks, Dolphins and Lions. There may have been others, but those were the ones I saw.
â€¢ I spent some time watching the linemen during Friday’s morning M drill, the gauntlet style full-contact period that pits three one-on-one matchups with a running back trying to make it through unscathed. My impressions of watching the linemen battle:
- Brandon Herron and Ryan Van Bergen both got the best of Ortman in the drill, pushing aside the tackle to make stops on the ball carrier near the line of scrimmage. Herron also scored an easy win over Perry Dorrestein on one of the last reps, while Huyge locked up Van Bergen early in the drill.
- True freshman William Campbell had no trouble fending off John Ferrara and Elliott Mealer in his first two reps at the drill. Campbell is big, but not the least bit sloppy at 6-foot-5 and 318 pounds. He will see plenty of playing time this year.
- Ferrara did redeem himself when he locked up tackle Renaldo Sagesse near the end of the period.
- Molk devoured freshman Craig Roh near the end of the drill. Roh could play as a true freshman backup at the hybrid quick end position now that Marell Evans has transferred. Herron is the starter there, and, I think, primed for a big season. I'll have more on him this weekend.
Dave Birkett covers the University of Michigan football team for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org