Michigan Tight Ends vs. Notre Dame Linebackers and Safeties
Michigan’s starting tight ends will be a coverage mismatch for most of their opponents this season. Zach Gentry is 6′ 8” and 262 lbs. Sean McKeon is 6′ 5” and 251 lbs.
Gentry and McKeon were both in the top-three in receiving yards on the team last season. They were also the only players on the team that had multiple touchdown receptions. That was probably a reflection of the quality of quarterback play the Wolverines had in 2017, but Gentry and McKeon have proven to be reliable red zone targets.
The matchups will mostly be determined by the offensive alignment on a given play. Throughout the game, we will probably see Drue Tranquill and Asmar Bilal in coverage against the tight ends the most frequently. Tranquill has proven to be very sound in pass coverage over the years. Bilal has not done as much to instill confidence, but he has shown the coaching staff enough this offseason to earn a starting job at the Rover position.
There will also be scenarios where starting safeties Alohi Gilman and Nick Coleman will be asked to cover Michigan’s tight ends. I would feel less confident in those matchups mainly because of the size difference. As defensive backs, Gilman and Coleman are used to playing with a size disadvantage, but this is a significant deficit to make up for.