This was the first year under the NCAA's new redshirt rules that allow a player to participate in four games without that counting as a year of eligibility. According to participation reports Michigan managed to get to the end of the regular season without burning any unnecessary freshman redshirts, pending one fullback's unlikely participation in the bowl game. Since I have the data I figured I might as well share.
These three freshmen played in all 12 games
- WR Ronnie Bell basically took over Eddie McDoom's role and finished with 145 yards and 2 TDs on 9 targets.
- DE Aidan Hutchinson spent the season as Chase Winovich's backup, and while that may sound like a redshirt he was a valuable asset.
- K Jake Moody was the kickoff specialist from Day 1 and won the placekicking job prior to the Indiana game.
They also missed a chance to get a redshirt on sophomore RB O'Maury Samuels, who played played in six of Michigan's first seven games before falling out of the rotation. And just for completeness purposes I'll mention reserve S Jaylen Kelly-Powell played in seven games, and WR Tarik Black might have been eligible for a sixth year if his foot injury limited him to four games this year, but he returned for MSU and has now played in five.
Already at Four:
FB Ben VanSumeren (WMU, SMU, Neb, NW) can maintain his redshirt status as long as he doesn't participate in the Peach Bowl.
Played Three Games or Fewer:
- QB Joe Milton (Wisconsin, Rutgers, and OSU) is the big name, since it means he's available in case Patterson goes out again.
- OT Jaylen Mayfield (WMU, Nebraska, Maryland) also has a shot to win a future tackle job in the bowl game with his redshirt secured.
- RB Christian Turner (Nebraska, Wisconsin) had 13 carries for 63 yards before shutting down. He appears to be a part of the future.
- RB Hassan Haskins (ND, WMU) appeared in a few games early in the year. He's not on either stat sheet.
- Luke Schoonmaker of Connecticut was on the field against Rutgers, presumably a nice treat for family members who came to see him. He didn't register on the stat sheet.
- Vincent Gray also got in against Rutgers according to the participation report (I didn't have this one)
- Cameron McGrone got in on special teams versus Nebraska.
Did Not Play
Tight end Mustapha Muhammad and TE/OL Ryan Hayes never got on the field, as Michigan had plenty of tight ends and sixth OL candidates. On defense the two project DEs Julius Welschof and Taylor Upshaw didn't play this year, and neither did recently converted viper/slot receiver Michael Barrett nor the rest class of lengthy/leapy defensive backs: German and Gemon Green, Sammy Faustin, and Myles Sims as Michigan went most of the season with its three starters.