August 29, 2013
Maize 'N View: Ranking the freshmen's potential impact
A total of 13 true freshmen were listed on Michigan's first official depth chart of the season, and if all 13 play this year, that would represent the single greatest contribution of U-M rookies in the 41 years of freshman eligibility.
In the 1970s, only 26 true freshmen saw the field for the Maize and Blue, with six starting at least one game. That comes out to 3.3 contributors per year (there were only eight years of eligibility) and less than a starter per season.
As the game has evolved, scholarships decreased from 105 to 95 (1978) and to its current 85 (1992), the need for freshmen to play right away rose, and we saw the numbers increase in the 1980s (3.8 contributors and 1.4 starters per season), again in the 1990s (5.4 and 1.5 starters) and then in the first decade of the 2000s (7.0 participants and 2.3 starters per year).
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