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Michigan spring practice preview: Exodus of talented seniors means starting spots are open everywhere

Sep 3, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh (left) waits to lead his team out of the tunnel prior to the game against the Hawaii Warriors at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

Offensive newcomer to watch

WR Donovan Peoples-Jones: Peoples-Jones was Michigan’s top recruiting target in 2017, and Harbaugh is expecting him to contribute in a major way right from the start. Peoples-Jones (6 feet 2, 190 pounds) is expected to contribute in a major way with his side and speed.

Defensive newcomer to watch

S Jaylen Kelly‐Powell: He was teammates with fellow early enrollee People-Jones at Detroit Cass Tech, and though he isn’t nearly as celebrated as his teammate, Kelly-Powell was a big-time recruit in his own right. He was a four-star prospect, and while he’s a bit small (he’s listed at 6-0 and 175), he runs well and showcased bit-time ball skills in high school. Coaches lauded both his coverage ability and blitzing ability, and given the open spots at safety, Kelly-Powell can stake a claim this spring.

Offensive veteran on the spot

RB Ty Isaac: Isaac, a former four-star prospect who was considered one of the top-60 recruits in the 2013 signing class, transferred to Michigan from USC after the 2013 season. But he hasn’t contributed in a serious way. Isaac has all the physical tools to be a feature back, but he never has put it all together in Ann Arbor. He now is a senior and needs to make an impact this spring.

Defensive veteran on the spot

DT Bryan Mone: Mone, a junior, is loaded with promise, but injuries and his spot on the depth chart have kept him from making a big contribution. This season, there are no more excuses for Mone. He is at the top of the depth chart and starts spring ball healthy and ready to contribute. With Solomon arriving this summer, Mone needs to show this spring that he can handle a starting job.

RELATED: This year, Michigan headed overseas (to Rome) for spring break

Notable players who will miss spring practice

The most notable player who could miss spring ball is Perry, who has legal issues and is suspended. If his legal issues are cleared up, his return would provide valuable depth at wide receiver for the Wolverines.

Also of note

Spring game: April 15
Season-opening game: vs. Florida in Arlington, Texas, on September 2.

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