Come one, come all. Michigan football is heading to Bradenton, Florida this weekend to kick off spring practices. One position that will be interesting to watch for multiple reasons, including the #1 overall recruit joining the fray this summer, is in the middle of the defense.
Early on in 2015, the defensive tackle spot looked to be stocked full of talent and playmakers. But then Bryan Mone went down with a broken ankle in fall camp. So, the staff turned to Ryan Glasgow, who ended up becoming a star in the middle. And then he tore his pectoral muscle in November and was out for the remainder of the year. That left Maurice Hurst as the only true nose tackle to pair with a couple 3-5 techniques to pair with him in Willie Henry, Chris Wormley and Matt Godin.
This spring, Michigan gets back Mone and Glasgow (though he probably won’t do much coming back from injury) as well as everyone else on the line outside of Henry who went to the NFL. So, who will replace Henry? I think everyone knows that answer but both of the incoming freshmen won’t enroll until this summer.
Pre-Spring Expected Depth Chart
-Not yet enrolled
- #43 Chris Wormley, 5th
- #99 Matt Godin, 5th
- #45 Brady Pallante, JR*
- Rashan Gary, FR
- Michael Dwumfour, FR
- #73 Maurice Hurst, SR*
- #90 Bryan Mone, JR*
- #96 Ryan Glasgow, 5th (Inj.)
Name to Watch Closest
Mone. Coming back from an injury for a big guy is always a thing to watch and with how important Mone will be to the 2016 defense, this is one to watch even closer. He flashed signs of being a star during his true freshmen year and should take another step forward in his development after a year of watching and learning.
Don’t Forget About Me
Godin. The former Catholic Central (MI) star seems like he’s been a part of the program forever. He’s flashed his potential at times but has dealt with injuries and inconsistency that has kept him from solidifying himself on the depth chart. But could this be the offseason where he figures it out? Being a senior with his 5th year of eligibility on the line, he’ll may need a big spring to earn that last scholarship year.
Hurst. There aren’t too many options this spring at the defensive tackle spot to discuss so this isn’t too big of a reach for a breakout prediction. Hurst really started to show his potential in 2015 and should take that next step into dominance in 2016 under Don Brown and Greg Mattison’s tutelage.
Other Spring Positional Previews
Who do you believe will leave spring ball as the starting nose and defensive tackle? Breakout candidates? Add your predictions in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: TOLEDO BLADE/LORI KING