Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Michigan Football Tidbits: Going into Spring Football -- Safeties

Posted at 8:00am -- 3/9/2010

Michigan Football Tidbits: Going into Spring Football -- Safeties

It is the beginning of March and the football team will soon be into spring ball. Below is what we think of a few key players:

Of course, the GBMW staff will have a better, more complete idea in a couple of weeks, but this is where the opinion is riding heading into spring football, now less than two weeks away.

Troy Woolfolk:

The million dollar question is where does Troy play and does he stay at the spot first assigned, or will he move to another position as per last year? Insight and common sense both dictate that the final position for Troy hinges on the progress and performance of others, perhaps most of all Justin Turner.

They (Woolfolk and Turner) could flip-flop as well, but we believe it would be best if Woolfolk plays the safety position. He brings not only speed but the experience to make the correct reads and checks. Sometimes younger players, even with good speed, do too much thinking and lock up with indecisiveness. Playing cornerback would be easier for Turner, at least early on. It becomes more about athlete against athlete at corner.

Vladimir "Vlad" Emilien:

GBMW saw him last spring and thought at that time he was the best combination safety we saw. Such an observation is good news and bad news, speaking poorly of the quality of depth and talent in the secondary. If Vlad can get healthy, we expect him to really push hard for playing time, and as with Turner Vlad would upgrade the defensive backfield’s talent and athletic ability level.

Last year one of the comments that several of us stated when watching Vlad was that he actually looked like a football player, and a true safety, with a winged helmet on. How long has it been since you have heard that about a Michigan safety? It will be most interesting to see how Vlad has improved since last year.

Jordan Kovacs:

Kovacs is another player we will be interested in seeing this spring. We are sure the coaches will give him every opportunity to continue to see the field and use that to motivate some of the more talented, athletic players to demonstrate that press clippings and ratings from high school are not vehicles to entitlement.

Our staff is wondering if the coaches will keep Kovacs at safety or instead moves him to Stevie Brown's hybrid position?

Likely the coaches love Kovacs, especially being a walk-on and it will take more talented players to actually knock him off the depth chart. So we will see if the better athletes can show they can play football.

Mike Williams:

Well for Mike it is now or never, as many like to say. This might be his last chance to grasp playing time before the coaches look to other players that will be coming in this season or next year. He has been a player that has been sacrificed on the message boards with his play in the defensive backfield. We wonder (just like Kovacs) where the staff ends up playing Williams. Will the coaches decide to move him closer to the line of scrimmage, or instead keep Mike at safety because of the depth issue? UM cannot realistically yet conclude that this spring will yield players ready to step up and see immediate, meaningful playing time.

This spring could be huge for Mike to make forward progress before some of the young, more talented players come in this summer.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!


Anonymous said...

How long has it been since you have heard that about a Michigan safety?

Amen to that!!!!


Anonymous said...

If Williams was able to add 15 or 20 pounds, do you think he would be able to slide into Stevie Browns hybrid position? He plays pretty well close to the LOS and can definitely deliver a hit.



ErocWolverine said...

Well we think that is a possibility for sure, but it might depend on what happens in the defensive backfield as far as where do they have to play certain players such as Woolfolk and do they have enough quality depth at safety to be able to move a player like Williams into that Stevie Brown position.

They might try it this spring and see how he does, but might not come until all the freshman arrive on campus and see what they got.

Should be a interesting spring that is for sure.

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