Personnel Changes on the way at Michigan
With Harbaugh at the helm, Michigan is tapping every resource within its reach in order to get better. This has resulted in several personnel changed in Ann Arbor already with three potentially headline changes still on the way.
Coming off of a dominant performance in the Division 3 State Finals in 2012, Grand Rapids Christian wide receiver Drake Harris was on of the Midwest’s hottest prospects. Combining size (6’4”, 180 lbs.) and speed with superb ball skills, Harris showed the tools necessary to succeed at the next level.
His hamstring was not one of those tools.
Instead of building on the momentum from a monster junior season, Harris spent his entire senior season on the sidelines, choosing to rest an injured hamstring that occurred during pre-season workouts.
“He would be the first to attest that he has been banged up with a couple of injuries this summer,” Christian coach Don Fellows said before the 2013 season. “He has had a leg injury, and he is almost back, healed up right now. We shelved him for July.”
This injury proved to be of the long-term variety, as it hampered Harris for much of his true freshman year at Michigan, one that began in January of 2014 as Harris enrolled early. Harris, however, took a redshirt in order to focus on the health of his leg.
This spring provided hope that Harris had finally turned the corner in his recovery and would be a valuable asset for the Michigan Wolverines under Jim Harbaugh’s first year as head coach. Early reports touted Harris as a standout performer with the potential to stretch the field this season.
His progress has taken a decidedly south turn for Harris, though, as he reinjured his hamstring during practice earlier this week. This injury re-aggravated his prior injuries, and Harris has since been asked to consider taking a medical hardship at Michigan.
According to several people who know the Harris family, the redshirt freshman wideout does not see this as an attractive option and will seek a second opinion from a specialist on how to rehabilitate his hamstring injury. If Michigan does not reconsider asking Harris to accept a hardship, then Harris is expected to transfer to another school to continue his athletic career.
Incoming Senior Cornerback: Wayne Lyons
Along with an impressive assistant coaching staff, Jim Harbaugh has brought aboard one very important recruit’s mother to assist the Wolverines in several areas of day-to-day operation.
Gwendolyn Bush, who was introduced as the athletics player development staffer, is the mother to former Stanford senior cornerback Wayne Lyons. The 6’1, 193-pound cornerback from Florida tallied 30 tackles last season after amassing 69 with two interceptions the year before.
Michigan assistant coach Mike Zordich confirmed Lyon’s addition earlier this week.
“Wayne was here over the weekend, we spent some time with him and I’ve watched a lot of film on him,” Zordich said. “I think he’s the right kind of body, a bigger body, he’s a lot like Channing [Stribling]. A lot of length.
“From what I saw with him at Stanford, he did pretty well.”
Lyons is expected to compete for a starting position at cornerback once he arrives on campus. Based on early spring reports, Jourdan Lewis is the closest thing Michigan has to a lock at corner. Blake Countess has also received praise for his work ethic and Channing Stribling continues to look solid as well.
Shoring Up The QB Position
Since arriving at Michigan on December 30, 2014, Jim Harbaugh has added bodies to the quarterback position with gusto, bringing Zach Gentry along through recruiting in addition to former Houston QB John O’Korn.
And Harbaugh isn’t done yet.
Once Jake Ruddock visited Michigan for a practice last weekend, the Iowa graduate transfer knew that Michigan presented an opportunity for immediate playing time. This was a factor for Ruddock, who is reportedly not interested in transferring to a school where he would not be considered a favorite to start.
In lieu of his visit, Ruddock sees playing time in his future. Upon graduation from Iowa, Ruddock will be announced as a transfer quarterback to Michigan with the opportunity to play in 2015.
This assuredly stabilizes a position that has been highly suspect during spring workouts.