Seven Michigan Wolverines football players were named preseason All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports ahead of the 2021 season, including first-teamer Aidan Hutchinson, who is looking to make a splash while returning from a leg injury that held him out of the second half of last season.
The caveat, though, is that Hutchinson, a junior edge defender who registered 68 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, six pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, and two forced fumbles in 2019, is the only Wolverine on the first and second teams, with four of the remaining Michigan players listed landing on the third team and two on the fourth team.
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Three Michigan players check in on the third team offense, with redshirt sophomore running back Hassan Haskins, junior wide receiver Ronnie Bell and redshirt junior offensive lineman Andrew Stueber all seeing their names appear.
Haskins led the Wolverines in rushing last season with 375 yards and six touchdowns on 61 carries and — following the departure of Zach Charbonnet to UCLA — is set to be the feature back this coming season under the tutelage of new position coach and Michigan legend Mike Hart.
Bell was the leader in receiving yards for a second straight season in 2020, hauling in 26 receptions for 401 yards and one touchdown. The former two-star recruit is the lone fourth-year scholarship player at his position group and will look to build off the success he’s had the past two years.
Stueber is a versatile and important piece on Michigan’s offensive line, with head coach Jim Harbaugh having recently naming him virtually a lock to start somewhere, as he has experience at both right tackle and right guard. Stueber posted an overall PFF grade of 68.6 last season, which is considered above average, including a grade of 80.8 in the pass-blocking category, which was first on the team among offensive linemen.
Sophomore safety Daxton Hill is listed on the third team defense — his position group is loaded this year in the Big Ten. The former five-star recruit was second on the team with 46 tackles last season, while also registering pass breakups including one interception.
Redshirt junior linebacker Josh Ross has a big opportunity to lead, with Michigan implementing a new system under first-year coordinator Mike Macdonald, and he has found himself on the fourth team defense.
Ross registered a team-leading 53 tackles with 1.5 for loss, one sack and one interception, and is the only returning starting middle linebacker on the team.
To round it out, redshirt junior punter Brad Robbins was tabbed as a fourth-teamer, after starting last season as the backup and earning the starting job beginning in week two. He performed admirably, averaging 45.3 yards per boot with a long of 66 yards. He pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line on eight occassions.
Michigan’s seven players on Athlon Sports’ preseason All-Big Ten teams are tied with Illinois for the eighth-most in the league. Ohio State (13), Wisconsin (11), Iowa (11), Indiana (10), Penn State (10), Rutgers (9) and Minnesota (8) all had more players appear on the list.
Amount Of Players Named Preseason All-Big Ten By Athlon Sports
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