It goes without saying that Michigan's 2019 recruiting class was filled with talented players. Only a couple really made a significant impact in 2019, but six played a lot of snaps. Fans are already pretty familiar with the players below, but by the end of the 2020 season, fans might be talking about these guys on a daily basis.
All enrolled early and immediately generated some buzz. Tight ends coach Sherrone Moore is definitely high on the rising sophomore and that's why we saw him quite a bit last year. The 6-4, 229-pounder only caught one pass for 10 yards in 2019, but he was on the field a good bit and should be much more involved in 2020.
Charbonnet is the most accomplished player on this list after a 149-carry, 726-yard and 11-touchdown freshman campaign. I actually think he'll take a step back in 2020 because of the emergence of Hassan Haskins, reintroduction of Chris Evans and introduction of Blake Corum. A lot of fans are all aboard the Charbonnet train, and with good reason, but I'm not sure he'll be the guy in 2020. Still, he should have a very productive sophomore season and will likely be U-M's red zone back at the very least.
Hill, Michigan's most talented signee in the 2019 class, really came on at the end of the season. He only started a couple of times but he was able to intercept a pass, recover a fumble and catch a pass on special teams in limited action. In Michigan's bowl game against Alabama, Hill started and played every defensive snap. That's going to be the norm in 2020.
Hinton, Michigan's other five-star signee from the 2019 class, also started a game and logged a lot of snaps down the stretch. Against Alabama, he played more snaps than any other interior defensive lineman on the roster. He finished with just nine tackles on the year, but will be a mainstay on the interior of the defensive line in 2020 and should really make an impact from that position.
With receivers like Ronnie Bell, Tarik Black, Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones atop the depth chart last year, Jackson wasn't used much but, he still made some plays when he was on the field. The freshman had a rushing, receiving and return touchdown in year one, but only had one starter. He had nine grabs for 142 yards and a score last despite not playing a bulk of the snaps. With DPJ and Black no longer on the roster, Jackson might be the biggest breakout candidate on offense in 2020.
Like Jackson, Sainristil didn't play much behind some really solid, experienced receivers, but still managed to flash here and there. He caught eight passes for 145 yards and a score, and really showed how nasty he can be in the open field after the catch against Notre Dame. Both he and Jackson should be featured weapons in Michigan's offense in 2020.
Don't forget about...
These are players we're expecting to see a lot more of in year two after not really seeing the field in 2019 as true freshmen.
It's rare for an offensive lineman to come in and start as a rookie, so it's no surprise that Carpenter took a redshirt in 2019. Throw in the fact that he was playing behind first-round center Cesar Ruiz and you really understand why he wasn't needed. With Ruiz off to the New Orleans Saints, a new face will be initiating the offense on every play and we figure that to be Carpenter. Going from not seeing the field once to handling every snap is a massive jump, but at 6-5, 320 pounds with grown man strength, Carpenter should be up to the task.
Johnson is the third and often forgotten member of the 2019 wide receiver trio, and he's very different from Jackson and Sainristil. Johnson goes 6-3, 209 pounds, while the other two are both 5-10 or shorter. Because Johnson is a lot like Peoples-Jones and Black in the build department, he might fill a hole left by those two. He played in every game last year but had just six catches for 61 yards and a score and 39 of those yards and the touchdown came on one play late against Michigan State. He didn't see the field as much as Jackson or Sainristil in 2019, but he just might in 2020.
Most people expected to see Smith alongside Hinton early last year, but that never happened. Smith only played in two games and never saw meaningful snaps. At 6-3, 305 pounds, he needs to be ready to go in 2020. Hinton certainly is, so it's time for Smith to take the necessary steps to give U-M a very formidable duo in the middle of the defensive line for the next few years.
Solomon played in 11 games last year but it was pretty much all on special teams. He only recorded one tackle throughout the year but the coaches obviously liked something about him by burning up his redshirt. Most expect Michael Barrett to lock down the viper position but Solomon is definitely going to get a look there. He's 6-1, 205 pounds and can really run. He'll continue to be a contributor on special teams, but don't be surprised to see him on defense some this upcoming season.
Turner technically redshirted last year after seeing action in only four games on special teams. Cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich has been pretty high on Turner since he arrived at Michigan so we're expected to see him in a backup role this fall. With Ambry Thomas holding down one starting spot and Vincent Gray slated to be the starter opposite Thomas, Zordich needs to find a third corner to work into the rotation and provide some rest for the other two. That very well could end up being Turner, which would result in a lot more playing time and a much more important role.