March 29, 2012
Borton's Blog: Five to watch
Any spring game "five to watch" list changes weekly, because of names emerging, mentions by coaches, etc. Here's this week's five most anticipated sightings for April 14.
Understand, this isn't a best-player list, or most improved, or any such rundown. It involves players about whom there has been some buzz, and that require scrutiny.
1. Ricky Barnum - The fifth-year senior is holding his own at the center position, and if he's the triggerman for this offense, he immediately becomes a key to Michigan's success. How he adjusts to defenses, makes calls and works with the linemen on either side of him will be watched carefully.
2. Elliott Mealer - Another fifth-year senior could wind up right beside Barnum. Mealer has played very sparingly in his years at Michigan, but he's making a bid to man the left guard position. U-M coach Brady Hoke likes how he's adjusted in the second year of Al Borges' offense, and Mealer definitely brings experience.
3. Terrence Talbott - This junior cornerback wasn't even a blip on the radar screen last season. But Hoke noted he got off to a slow start because of injury, and the head coach is keeping a close eye on him this spring. Talbott could make a bid to further shore up what looks to be an increasingly strong secondary.
4. Raymon Taylor - Michigan coaches were talking about the sophomore defensive back last fall, and they're still doing so this spring. He's capable of making a move, and he'll be battling for a starting spot right through fall camp.
5. Devin Gardner - No, he's not going to unseat Denard Robinson at quarterback. But Hoke didn't rule out doing some more creative things with the veteran signal-caller prior to the start of spring practice, and he'll bear watching as the Wolverines try to put the most talent on the field at the same time.
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