How the Class Fills Needs. TEs/DEs/OLBs/ILBs

Rankings Shmankings!<br><br> Who cares if the U-M recruiting class is ranked #2 or #102 ... the REAL question is how does the class help the team -- how does it fill the team's needs?<br><br> GBW looks at the team, and the '05 recruiting class, position by position: <br><br> Next up, the <b>Jumbo Athletes: Tight Ends, Defensive Ends, and Outside and Inside Linebackers</b><br>

(Eligibility is as of fall '05)

Tight Ends

Leaving: Jim Fisher

'00 Rec. Class: Tyler Ecker (Sr. Elig.? Or Jr.?)
'01 Rec. Class: Tim Massaquoi (5th)
'02 Rec. Class: Kevin Murphey (RS Jr.)
'03 Rec. Class: none '04 Rec. Class: Mike Massey (RS Fr.)

Incoming Freshman: Carson Butler ('s #57 Midwest prospect and #46 DE, 3*)

Comments: With Ecker and Massaquoi in their final seasons, Michigan may look for a top TE for the '06 recruiting class ...especially since Butler could end up at DE.

Defensive ends/Outside Linebackers

Leaving: Roy Manning

'01 Rec. Class: Pierre Woods (5th)
'02 Rec. Class: Jeremy VanAlstyne (RS Jr.)
'03 Rec. Class: Lamarr Woodley (Jr.), Shawn Crable (RS So.)
'04 Rec. Class: Tim Jamison (So. or RS Fr.)

Incoming Freshman:
- Chris McLaurin ('s #53 Midwest prospect, 3*, #58 LB)
- Eugene Germany ('s #33 DE, 3*... basically non-ranked because he hadn't played in a year and was considered to be enrolled at USC, but he was U-M's biggest recruiting loss a year ago)

Comments: this is a tough position to fill; with headliner Germany and top sleeper McLaurin coming in, Michigan is in good shape here ... the only caveat being whether Germany has to sit out in '05.

Inside Linebackers

Leaving: Lawrence Reid and Joe Sarantos

'01 Rec. Class: Scott McClintock (5th)
'02 Rec. Class: David Harris (RS Jr.)
'03 Rec. Class: Prescott Burgess (Jr.)
'04 Rec. Class: Chris Graham (So.), John Thompson (RS Fr.)

Incoming Freshman: Brandon Logan ('s #80 Southeast prospect, 4*, #38 LB)

Comments: Especially assuming U-M goes back to the 4-3, this position group is thin; look for 2-3 ILB's in the '06 class ... fortunately the next recruting class (for once!) seems to have plenty of ILB's for U-M to recruit.

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