Free Press sports writer Nick Baumgardner breaks down what happened in Michigan football’s 41-15 loss to Florida in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 29, 2018.
Nick Baumgardner, Freep
Michigan football‘s eight early enrollees are all registered and accounted for, as winter classes began Wednesday in Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines formally introduced all eight, including 4-star running back Zach Charbonnet and 4-star defensive tackle Mazi Smith, earlier Wednesday.
Charbonnet, Smith, 4-star tight end Erick All, 4-star defensive back Jalen Perry, 4-star quarterback Cade McNamara, 4-star defensive lineman David Ojabo, 3-star receiver Mike Sainristil and 3-star defensive end Gabe Newburg were the eight who enrolled early this year.
Some of those players will have an opportunity to push for time right away next season, perhaps led by Charbonnet — who was the second-highest rated prospect in Michigan’s 2019 signing class.
Michigan’s depth at running back is a question mark at best entering 2019, as the Wolverines will have to replace 1,000-yard rusher Karan Higdon. Former running back Kurt Taylor transferred to a junior college while O’Maury Samuels, also a former back, was dismissed from the program in December.
Michigan returns senior Chris Evans, who has rushed for 1,722 yards and 14 touchdowns during his career. Christian Turner, who was able to keep his redshirt in 2018, ran seven times for 32 yards in the Peach Bowl last month. Michigan will also bring back rising senior Tru Wilson, a former walk-on who rushed for 364 yards and a touchdown while serving as the Wolverines top pass protector in 2018.
Smith, a 6-foot-3, 303-pounder from East Kentwood, could compete for time early along Michigan’s defensive interior. The Wolverines are thinned out on the interior of the line with the graduation of Bryan Mone and Lawrence Marshall and the recent transfer of Aubrey Solomon.
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