Recruiting needs: Michigan Wolverines

January, 15, 2009
1/15/09
5:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

It doesn't take a recruiting guru to spot the biggest need for the Michigan Wolverines. Nothing against quarterbacks Steven Threet or Nick Sheridan, but neither man has the skill set to consistently operate Rich Rodriguez's spread offense.

Quarterback undoubtedly tops Rodriguez's wish list with his first full recruiting class, and the spotlight will immediately turn to Tate Forcier, one of seven players who enrolled early. Despite being a true freshman, Forcier likely will enter spring practice as the favorite to win the starting job.

Michigan's other major area of need is the defensive line after losing starters Terrance Taylor, Will Johnson and Tim Jamison. Star pass-rusher Brandon Graham will anchor the group in 2009, but there are opportunities for young players to step in right away. Defensive tackle signee William Campbell already is generating a lot of buzz, and Michigan certainly will add more depth up front.

With the team's new defensive coordinator likely using a three-man front, the Wolverines need some help in the back half of the defense, particularly the secondary. Gone are starters Morgan Trent and Brandon Harrison, and after finishing ninth in the Big Ten in pass defense, Michigan could use some new blood in coverage.

A surplus of running backs is never bad for Rodriguez's offense, and despite returning Brandon Minor, Carlos Brown, Kevin Grady and Michael Shaw this fall, Michigan needs to plan for 2010 and could add a few more ball carriers. The Wolverines also lose kicker K.C. Lopata and will look for a replacement in this class.

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