With the season still a few months away, the Michigan football program is already making preparations to address needs on the depth chart heading into fall camp.
Position switches has been one way Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has been addressing said depth. Players like Chase Winovich, Khalid Hill and others have switched to other positions, some more than once, and have seen success on the field after their respective moves. Harbaugh is hoping for the same after doing some minor tinkering in May.
In a surprise interview with WTKA 1050, Harbaugh addressed the thought process that went into the decision to make former wide receiver Drake Harris into a cornerback.
"It was a couple of weeks ago and I was just thinking about it and called up Drake," Harbaugh said. "It was a 'what do you think of this? Here's an idea.' The reason I think it would work, you're never 100 percent sure, Drake is what everybody is looking for - tall corners. They're looking for those 6-foot two, three corners at the NFL level. Another thing that's good about it is that he's smooth. He's a smooth athlete and he's long, he's got length. I just wanted to present that to Drake and Drake's dad, who is a good dude too, now and not in August to see what he thought. He thought about it, prayed about it and wants to give it a shot so that's where we're at it. It's one of those journeys where you don't know how it's going to end but I think it's something that could be very good."
While the Harris position switch was known thanks to a tweet by the new cornerback, another potential position switch is brewing with an early enrollee true freshman. As a guest on the "Pardon My Take" podcast by Barstool Sports, Harbaugh mentioned that linebacker Ben Mason would make an excellent fullback. With Hill in his final season of eligibility, Harbaugh believes the transition to Mason could be seamless.
It appears things are headed in the right direction.
"Ben Mason goes forward and hits people better than anybody I've ever seen," Harbaugh said. "What a great thing to say about somebody, go forward and hit people. That's the fullback position, your identity is a lot on offense with the fullback. The identity on offense, really, there's one guy. What's our toughness identity on offense, what's our identity on offense? Our fullback is carrying a lot of water there. Who would you rather have than Ben Mason? He looks like he was born to play the position. A lot of the running backs are clamoring for it, too. Chris Evans says, 'let Ben Mason be a fullback, we want Ben Mason to be a fullback!' Other guys see it, too. It's fun, he's got a real enthusiasm for the game, he loves football. I'm excited about him, let's see where that goes. It's a joy to coach these guys, it's an honor to be out there with them. This is one of those fun things that you try to get brewing, we've got some of that going on."