Over the weeked, Wolverine Digest's Michael Spath released a list of the top 125 Michigan players of the Jim Harbaugh era and ranked those Wolverines to boot. Since Harbaugh has produced so much NFL talent over the last five years, there is a lot of room for movement on this list, and here are 10 players that I think deserve to be ranked a little bit higher.
9. Jabrill Peppers
At Michigan, Peppers was truly a do-it-all player that wore many different hats as a Wolverine. On defense, Peppers floated between the safety and Viper positions and shined in each of those roles to the tune of 125 career tackles, over 20 tackles for loss and 11 pass deflections. Peppers was a Heisman finalist during his time in Ann Arbor, and that type of accomplishment is worthy of a top five position on this list.
10. Jake Butt
While Peppers reached prominence due to his versatility, Jake Butt did one thing and did it very well-- catch passes. Whether up the seam, on the sidelines near a first down or over the middle, Butt was a sure-handed tight end that stamped his name all over the Michigan record books. Butt was named the Ozzie Newsome Tight End of the Year after a dominant junior campaign, and he is easily the top tight end of the Jim Harbaugh era.
15. Mason Cole
Although sitting at No. 15 is a fairly lofty designation for center Mason Cole, the former Wolverine really excelled and was a dependable fixture in the middle of the Michigan O-Line. Cole was a three-time All-Big Ten honoree in Ann Arbor and started 51 straight games upfront, so his impact as a blocker was not only notable for its effectiveness but also its longevity. Cole eventually was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft, going to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 97.
37. Graham Glasgow
In his three years as a starter at Michigan, Graham Glasgow chipped in at both center and offensive guard and did fairly well in stabilizing U-M’s blocking group up front. Glasgow earned All-Big Ten honorable mention honors after the 2015 season, and he has made a smooth transition to the NFL as well. Like his brothers, Glasgow over-performed relative to his expectations at Michigan and is one of the top examples of player development in Ann Arbor. A top 30 position for Glasgow on this list is a bit better of a fit.
40. Willie Henry
As a stout pass-rushing threat in the middle, defensive tackle Willie Henry played a big role in Jim Harbaugh’s first season at Michigan. Henry finished the year with 10 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, and his most impressive performance was a two-sack effort against Michigan State in 2015. Henry improved each season at Michigan, and Henry’s peak was too good for him to sit at No. 40.
45. Khalid Hill
During his last two seasons at Michigan, Khalid Hill grew into an important role in Jim Harbaugh’s offense. Hill became the go-to guy in both short-yardage and goal-line situations, and the bulky fullback plowed through the line of scrimmage and found success more often than not. In 2016, Hill logged 10 touchdowns and followed that up with a three-touchdown senior season a year later. While it’s a niche role, that level or production warrants top 30 consideration as well.
58. Channing Stribling
Partnered up with Jourdan Lewis at cornerback, Channing Stribling helped form one of the best defensive back duos for Michigan over the past couple decades. Lewis was a lockdown corner on his side, and Stribling was not much easier to throw on either. As a senior in 2016, Stribling was named to the All-Big Ten second team after deflecting 17 passes during the season. Stribling has a case to be a top 50 player due to his fit and effectiveness in slowing down opposing passing attacks.
60. Ben Mason
Much like Khalid Hill, Ben Mason has been used as a battering ram of a fullback during his time at Michigan. Mason has racked up nine touchdowns so far, and his hard-nosed, gritty playing style is why he is quite often in Harbaugh’s good graces. Mason even spent time moonlighting as a defensive tackle and linebacker, so he’s another athlete that can help the team in multiple ways, which is why No. 60 might be a bit conservative for his true ranking.
67. Grant Perry
Though Grant Perry only caught three touchdowns as a Wolverine, the sure-handed slot receiver built a track record of making big plays. Perry was a player who could be counted on for first downs and other important junctures of the game, and he actually took a lot of pride in his run blocking as well.
75. Sione Houma
During Harbaugh’s first year at Michigan, Sione Houma really had a breakout campaign as one of multiple fullbacks in the offense. Houma showed the ability to tote the rock and scoot for first downs on occasion, but he was also a handy receiver out of the backfield and finished with five touchdowns as a senior. Houma is a classic example of a player that Harbaugh got the most out of during his time in college.
What do you think about the top 125 list? Which player jumps out to you as underrated? Agree or disagree with these picks? Let us know!