The Michigan Wolverines released their first depth chart of the regular season on Monday, and although there's nothing as startling as last year's benching of Tate Forcier in favor of Denard Robinson (in retrospect, a very very good move, but still quite jarring at the time), there are a few head-scratchers as Brady Hoke gets ready to lead his charges into their first game against Western Michigan.
First, the depth chart in full, helpfully formatted by mgoblog:
|MICHIGAN OFFICIAL TWO DEEP 8/29/2011|
|QB||D. Robinson||D. Gardner|
M. Shaw OR
|V. Smith||S. Hopkins|
|FB||J. McColgan||S. Watson|
|WR 1||J. Hemingway||K. Grady||J. Jackson|
|WR 2||R. Roundtree||J. Gallon||M. Odoms|
|TE||K. Koger||B. Moore||S. Watson|
|LT||T. Lewan||M. Schofield|
|LG||R. Barnum||E. Mealer|
|C||D. Molk||R. Khoury|
|RG||P. Omameh||E. Mealer|
|RT||M. Huyge||M. Schofield|
|NT||M. Martin||W. Campbell|
|DT||R. Van Bergen||Q. Washington|
|WDE||C. Roh||J. Black||F. Clark|
|MLB||K. Demens||J.B. Fitzgerald||
|WLB||M. Jones||B. Herron||B. Hawthorne,
|SLB||C. Gordon||J. Ryan||B. Beyer|
|SS||T. Gordon||C. Johnson||J. Furman|
|FS||J. Kovacs||M. Robinson|
|CB1||T. Woolfolk||B. Countess||G. Brown|
C. Avery OR
|P||M. Wile OR
|K||B. Gibbons OR
|PR||J. Hemingway OR
D. Dileo OR
J. Gallon OR
|KR||J. Gallon||K. Grady||V. Smith|
First of all, the notion of a four-way tie at punt returner is just a little funny, isn't it? One would assume that the punt returner of the week would just be whoever's out of the rotation at WR, so as to keep legs fresh where possible, but still -- four punt returners!
But speaking of that rotation at wide receiver, that is definitely Martavious Odoms at third string WR2, with nary an "OR" to keep him in the conversation as a top reserve option. That's a little surprising; Odoms has 22 starts to his name through his career in the maize and blue, and although he ceded that starting role to Junior Hemingway in the early stages of 2010 after a season-ending foot injury, Odoms is still a much more experienced option than either Jeremy Gallon or the prodigal Kelvin Grady. Odoms has also been seen with a cast on his left arm for a while, and ice on his right shoulder; perhaps this is just a matter of a lack of practice time getting Odoms back up to speed? We'll likely know the answer to that question in about three or four weeks, provided Odoms stays healthy; if he's not moving back up the depth chart by then, we'll know Hoke has moved on to other options at wideout.
Past that, it's very nice to see Troy Woolfork atop the CB depth chart after the horrific dislocated ankle he suffered last August, ending his 2010 season before it began. His talent and experience were both sorely missed by an already comically thin Michigan secondary last year, so here's to Woolfork putting together the healthy and productive senior season he was supposed to have last year, and here's to modern orthopedic medicine turning a guy around from a dislocated ankle to back starting at cornerback in just 12 months. That's phenomenal.
Oh, and it'd be nice to know who's actually starting at tailback, wouldn't it?