Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mailbag question: Recruiting Defensive Linemen and Linebackers?

Posted at 8:00am -- 12/3/2009

Mailbag question: Recruiting Defensive Linemen and Linebackers?


Hey guys, we went through another tough season!!!

Now it is time for recruiting and my question to you is: does it seem like we are recruiting a lot of CB, S, WR, RB and not enough LB, and D-LINE?

Last year on D we got: Vlad, M. Jones, I. Bell, JT Turner, Witty, T. Gordon, T. Jones.

On O we got: V. Smith, Fitz, Stokes, Gallon, and Cam Gordon. That's 12 (CB, S, RB, WR) compared to 1 (DT) Big Will, 2 (DE) Craig Roh, and Anthony Lalota 1 (LB) Brandin Hawthorne, for a total of 4.

For 2010, we have received verbals from 3 RB, 5 WR's, 2 S, 3 CB including CC (13).

We received a verbal from 1 DT, 3 DE and no true LB (5). I understand kids grow and a safety might grow into LB, but it seemed like we had no pressure on the opposing QB's this year (we made average QB's look like all Americans) and opposing RB's ran at will on us. Why doesn't Coach Rod and staff go after top d-line men and LB's are the top guys out of our reach, do any of these guys want to play for us, or does Coach Rod and staff feel there is not a need for top flight D-line men and LB's?

Thanks guys, awesome job... Mark from Monroe, MI.


Thanks for the questions and comments.

Much of what could “cure” the Michigan program is contained in your comments. The imbalances that have evolved in the last two or three years, concerning position numbers, have become problematic and need instant remedy.

We are definitely concerned with the current and future status of linebacker and defensive line recruiting as well as roster depth. Michigan cannot afford mere bodies that fill a spot. The Michigan staff must secure a quantity of quality, so to speak. That is, plenty of ready to go, highly skilled, elite players; not just potentially good players, who may grow, who may change position, and may (or may not) be ready to contribute in two or three years.

We agree that the defensive backfield needed a major upgrade and that a couple of highly skilled wide receivers would definitely help the offense in the obvious need of stretching the field. There has been progress in the defensive backfield and if the Wolverines pull off the commitments of two more highly regarded defensive backs, then Michigan will have its most athletic group at corner and safety in quite a while.

The real key is getting a great lockdown corner. Lockdowns can change a game, both strategically and tactically. Is should be noted that many come to programs as corners and end up at safety. The lockdown corner and the great defensive tackle are rare and valuable talents.

Yes indeed help is greatly needed in the form of a couple of more of those 300lb. stud defensive tackles that every program in the country covets and recruits vigorously. We are hoping that the lack of defensive line help is because it is not a great year for defensive linemen in 2010 and that Michigan lands some great ones in 2011.

The staff is in on some defensive linemen, but it is getting to the point where the recent signees and commits must all pan out or trouble akin to the linebacker situation will soon pop up (some say this has already happened). The staff cannot afford for the new and future defensive linemen to duplicate the non-progress of some of the slot receivers over the past few years and become bodies on the roster. There is a cry in the wilderness for help and we hope the Mounties are on the way.

Now concerning linebacker: we unfortunately do not see any change next year, excepting any improvement brought about by normal growth and maturity. Josh Furman of Maryland is down to Michigan and Virginia Tech. He is very fast, he plays a great brand of football, and at about 200 pounds could grow into a Stevie Brown linebacker quite easily. Other than that, Michigan so far has secured commitments from three players who may or not play linebacker, but most likely hybrid and strong defensive end is in the future of the three mentioned above.

We would expect to here a battle cry for recruiting linebackers of quality next year. Will they come and will they be good enough to make a difference from the start?

Again thank you for your letter and thank you to the entire readership.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!


GregGoBlue said...

Agreed re: Furman. He's the premiere example of the type of athletic player this staff is trying to comprise our defense of.

4.37 40 speed, 200 lbs; this kid as an athlete. But a ways to go in terms of development as a true defensive threat, especially in coverage. High ceiling, nasty player, fast as hell, I hope this kid goes blue.

ErocWolverine said...

They need him.

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