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Keep your enemies close: Michigan Wolverines

Michigan’s two best players are also some of the best in the country.

NCAA Football: Peach Bowl-Florida vs Michigan Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Who are the best players on the team Wisconsin is playing in any given week? We aim to find out and give you mini scouting reports on them so you can sound smart talking to your friends by saying “well, actually...” and then whatever smart thing we tell you. You’re welcome in advance for being the go-to friend in your group for Michigan football knowledge.

The Michigan Wolverines are a program that everyone knows, obviously because they are a blue blood in this sport. However, not everyone knows the ins and outs of what makes Michigan a good football team.

For the Wolverines it appears that 2019 could be the year they make the jump of beating Ohio State and getting to a Big Ten Title game, but a large portion of that comes down to the play of a new and revamped offense. That new offense starts with quarterback Shea Patterson.

Best Offensive Player: QB Shea Patterson, senior, No. 2

You could make an argument for Michigan’s duo of wide-outs in Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black, but at the end of the day the quarterback is responsible for getting those players the football. If he can’t do that? The offense will struggle. Patterson’s ability to get the aforementioned duo the football will be huge for their offensive success in 2019.

Patterson has an accurate throwing arm and his overall arm strength seemed to take a jump from his days at Ole Miss to Michigan. However, I think Patterson’s strongest attribute is his feet and mobility. Patterson’s innate ability to feel pressure and escape the pocket allows Michigan to run a plethora of play action and read option plays. With Patterson able to create plays outside the pocket it gives the dynamic duo at receiver the added opportunity to get open and make things happen. With little returning production at running back, Patterson will be leaned on heavily in the new offense under offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.

Best Defensive Player: CB Lavert Hill, senior, No. 24

Michigan’s defense has some question marks coming into 2019 after the departures of Devin Bush, Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich in the front seven. With new faces littered all over the defensive line and linebacker positions the Wolverines will rely on an anchor in the secondary like Lavert Hill. Hill played all 13 games a season ago and was named to the 2018 All-B1G team last fall. Hill’s biggest strength is his speed, as he often showed last year. Whether it be closing on a receiver in space or making tackles in the backfield Hill shows the speed needed to be a top cornerback in the Big Ten. Hill was also used in special teams a lot last season, a similar role that Jabrill Peppers held during his time with the Wolverines.