• The 2017 season will represent a new leaf being turned in the program's sixth season, as U-M bid farewell to its first full recruiting class last season. Gone is the programs all-time leading scorer in Kyle Jackson, the No. 7 pick in the National Lacrosse League draft, as well as three-year starter in goalie Gerald Logan. Additionally, the Wolverines will look to replace three of its top six scorers in Jackson (29g, 7a), Peter Kraus (21g, 3a) and Mike Hernandez (9g, 2a). Another lynch pin in longstick midfielder Chase Brown (41 gb, 21 ct), departs, along with the teams main faceoff option in Brad Lott (56 percent).
• Looking to replace Class One will be a nationally heralded recruiting class that consists of 13 freshman, as well as two transfers in graduate student Dickson Smith (Virginia) and sophomore Jack Olson (Johns Hopkins). Ranked No. 15 in the country by Inside Lacrosse, the freshman class is highlighted by a quartet of Power 100 recruits, led by goalkeeper Matt Trowbridge (No. 31 overall, No. 3 goalkeeper), as well as midfielder Avery Myers (No. 38), midfielder Christian Ford (No. 65), and attackman Hank Adams (No. 86).
Smith, the brother of current Wolverine junior Eric Smith, played in 16 games for the Cavaliers in his career in Charlottesville, collecting eight ground balls and caused three turnovers. Olson played in one contest for the Blue Jays last year, and was ranked No. 62 in the 2016 Inside Lacrosse Power 100, and the No. 6 faceoff specialist in the country.
• Senior attackman Ian King returns to lead the offense, fresh off a season where he racked up 13 goals and 17 assists (30 points) in only 11 games. King, who led the team in goals in 2014 (32), as well as goals and assists in 2015 (23, 11), showed his versatility as more of a feeder last season, setting the program record for assists in a season with 17.
• King is only three points away from becoming the second player in U-M history to eclipse the 100-point mark, as he enters his senior year with 68 goals and 29 assists (97 points). He is also 20 goals away from breaking Kyle Jackson’s career goal record, and 16 points from breaking Jackson’s point record of 113.
• Along with King, the Wolverines will lean on a pair of sophomores at print date in Rocco Sutherland and lefty Brent Noseworthy, both of who saw time last year as true freshman. Additionally, senior Andrew Roswell, junior Pat Tracy, sophomore Brandon Shima, and freshman Hank Adams could all see time on the unit.
• The midfield will be headed by senior Mikie Schlosser & sophomore Decker Curran, as well as a plethora of other options. While looking to replace a handful of departed seniors from a year ago, the unit will depend on sound sticks, and add an emphasis to finishing opportunities when earned. Playing smart and sticking to the system implemented by offensive Conor Ford will continue to be stressed to the young unit.
• With the departure of four-year starter Brad Lott at the face-off X, junior Mike McDonnell, who went 23-of-48 at the dot as the secondary option a year ago, will be looked upon to fill the void. Along with transfer Jack Olson, a pair of seniors in Will Biagi and Brian Archer could also see time, along with freshman Matt Dellacroce.
• After an outstanding freshman campaign at the No. 2 LSM option, sophomore Nick DeCaprio will be joined by highly touted JM Priddy to form one of the more formidable units in the Big Ten. "We have a great deal of confidence in Nick and JM, who are both elite LSM’s," said Paul. "They are both hard workers and are focused on being as good as they can be. With Nick last season, we knew how talented he was, but he also had last year to learn and not be thrown straight into the fire as a true freshman."
• Defensively, senior Andrew Hatton returns as a mainstay on the close defense. He, along with the likes of classmate Stefan Bergman, sophomore MJ Melillo, and freshman Finn Goonan are all capable of contributing on the unit. A new wrinkle is that of the Smith brothers in junior Eric and graduate student Dickson. Eric 'has come a long way' in his first two years in Ann Arbor, while Dickson ran with the first team the majority of the Fall.
• With incumbent starter Gerald Logan’s transfer to Johns Hopkins, the goalie position is up for grabs entering the season. The race to man the crease will be a four person battle between senior and 2014 starter Robbie Zonino, as well as redshirt-sophomore Tommy Heidt, sophomore Gunner Garn, and freshman Matt Trowbridge. "We have a pretty high level of confidence in our goalie unit, and they do a great job as a unit, and competing with each other," said Paul. "They are also incredibly supportive of each other during such a heated competition."
Zonino has appeared in 24 games in his career, and was named to the ECAC All-Freshman team in 2014, while Heidt arrived at U-M as the No. 17 player in the 2014 version of the IL Power 100, and No. 1 goalkeeper.
• Christian Ford shares the namesake of one of the most iconic Michigan alums in the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford. Ford, a three-year football letterman, was also named the team's MVP in 1935. Christian is the son of Gerald’s second child, John ‘Jack’ Gardner Ford. Christian will also don the iconic No. 48 jersey made famous by his grandfather.
•Gerald Ford actually played a major inspiration in the new Michigan Numerals that were launched under the new Nike contract, as inspiration was taken from the typography used on uniforms in the mid-1930’s. When Georgia Tech came to play Michigan in a 1934 football game, the Yellow Jackets refused to play Michigan due to African-American, Willis Ward, being on the team. Ford then threatened to the quit the team if Michigan gave into Georgia Tech’s demands, and the game went on to be played with Ford, and Ward, on the field. Ward went on to become one of Michigan’s most decorated athletes ever, winning seven Big Ten championships in track, and earned six varsity letters in all.
• Freshman Ryan Prior, a native of Birmingham, Mich., is the grandson of Tom Maentz, team captain of the 1956 U-M football team. A member of the University of Michigan Athletics Hall of Honor, he was named second-team All-American in 1955. Along with Ron Kramer, he was referred to as a member of the 'Touchdown Twins', and were the first U-M athletes to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1955.
• The University of Michigan reached an agreement in principle on July 6, 2015 with NIKE to become the Wolverines’ official athletic footwear, apparel and equipment provider until 2027, with an option to extend the deal to 2031. The partnership commenced on August 1, 2016, and sees NIKE supply all 31 of U-M’s athletics programs with uniforms, footwear, apparel and equipment. U-M and NIKE will also collaborate throughout the agreement on innovation initiatives in sports technology, design and best practices. The lacrosse program will continue to have it's hard goods provided by Cascade/Maverik.
• Projected to be completed in the winter of 2018, the Athletics South Competition and Performance Project will benefit nearly two-thirds of the student-athletes associated with Michigan Athletics. The $168 million project will add approximately 280,000 square feet of space for men’s and women’s track and field, cross country and lacrosse as well as women’s rowing. A 2,000-seat lacrosse stadium will create a home for the university’s newest varsity programs. A performance and team center will provide specialized spaces for each team and shared resources for all teams. It will include strength and conditioning, athletic medicine, a performance lab, meeting space, and locker rooms.