MICHIGAN: Four Days and Counting

Hoosier Nation continues its day-by-day preview of the Indiana-Michigan Big Ten opener. Today, we look at four names to know off Coach Rich Rodriguez's roster...

Jibreel Black, DE – the younger brother of starting IU defensive tackle Larry Black, Jibreel is a second-string defensive end for the Wolverines. Many Hoosier fans expected Black to suit up in an IU uniform after he verballed to Coach Bill Lynch last summer, but he subsequently de-committed, pledged to hometown Cincinnati, and then backed out of that commitment following Brian Kelly's departure for Notre Dame. The 6'3", 255-pound Wyoming H.S. product eventually landed in Ann Arbor, where he has cracked the two-deep for Coach Rich Rodriguez's team. Black has yet to record any defensive statistics this season, but he has played in each game while backing up Ryan Van Bergen.

Vincent Smith, RBMichael Shaw, Michigan's starting running back – or "super" back, as the Wolverines prefer to call its version of the position – is questionable for this weekend's game after he sprained his knee Saturday against Bowling Green. While Shaw could still play depending on the outcome of some tests this week, there's little doubt that Smith will see extended duty against the Hoosiers. Smith is a 5'6", 180-pound sophomore who has carried 44 times for 172 yards and three touchdowns this season. He's battled back from his own injury, as he suffered a torn ACL in last year's season-ending 21-10 loss to Ohio State that kept him sidelined until the fall. But he's returned and has had double-digit carries in three of the season's first four games while splitting carries with Shaw.

Will Hagerup, P – Jibreel Black isn't the only sibling of a Hoosier who will have an impact on Saturday's game. Will Hagerup, the younger brother of Hoosier punter Chris Hagerup, is a Wolverine freshman who handles the team's punting duties. A heavily-recruited high school talent, Will is averaging 39.0 yards on 11 punts this season. Thanks to the highly-productive Wolverine offense, Hagerup has been used sparingly (if at all) in three of the team's four games. He had only one official punt against both UConn and UMass (he did have a second punt blocked against UMass) and didn't have any punts in last weekend's 65-21 win over Bowling Green. His busiest day was easily his nine-punt afternoon in Michigan's 28-24 win at Notre Dame, when he averaged 38.3 yards per kick

Jordan Kovacs, S – Michigan has long been known for the plethora of highly-ranked recruits its attracted over the years, but Kovacs is from the opposite end of the spectrum. Kovacs arrived at UM as a walk-on and wound up making eight starts last season as a freshman while ranking second on the team with 75 tackles. That earned him a scholarship, and he's picked up where he left off this fall. Kovacs leads the Wolverines with 35 tackles, including double-digit tackle efforts against both Notre Dame and UMass. He also has 2 ½ tackles for loss, one interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He'll play a very important role against an Indiana team that will likely test the Wolverine secondary all afternoon long.

Coming Up
On Monday– Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday– Four Names to Know
On Wednesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – Two Big Concerns
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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