Spring Practice Primer: Michigan Wolverines

College football never ends, and during the next few weeks teams will be getting ready for the 2013 season in their spring practice sessions. Here's a look at the Michigan Wolverines and what they'll be working on this spring.

    Alabama and Virginia Tech will play for the    
Devin Gardner began 2012 as a receiver and finished it by throwing for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. (USATSI)

Spring practice begins: March 16

Spring game: April 13

2012 record: 8-5

Returning starters: 12 (six offense, six defense)

The Least You Need To Know About Michigan This Spring

-- Denard Robinson is gone. Though, strangely enough, for as dynamic as Michigan was with Robinson, the Wolverines might be better off without him this season. Devin Gardner took over as the starting quarterback in November after beginning the season as a wide receiver. Gardner performed well in his five starts, too, and his skill set as a quarterback seems to fit what Brady Hoke and offensive coordinator Al Borges want to do on offense better than Robinson did. So now Gardner gets an entire spring and summer to work on being a quarterback rather than a wide receiver, which should help him perform even better in 2013.

-- There are questions on the offensive line. Michigan got a pleasant surprise when tackle Taylor Lewan announced he was going to put off the NFL for another year to return to Michigan, but the Wolverines still lose both their starting guards and center on the offensive line. This is going to be a very interesting position battle to watch all spring. If there's one thing that Michigan is not lacking, it's talented offensive linemen.

-- Now is the time for a couple of running backs to make an impression. Fitz Toussaint is not going to be practicing this spring as he recovers from an injury, and highly-touted recruit Derrick Green won't arrive until the summer. That means guys like Thomas Rawls and Justice Hayes are going to carry the load this spring and this is a great chance for them to impress the coaches and show them what they can do.

-- The secondary should improve. The Wolverines allowed only 169.5 yards per game through the air last season, which was the second-lowest total in the Big Ten, but their defensive pass efficiency of 127.84 was ninth in the conference. And in no game were the problems in the secondary exposed more than the Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina. Well, things are already better now that Blake Countess is back from a knee injury that he suffered in the first game of the 2012 season.

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CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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