With Michigan’s spring game happening Friday night, I have put together a list of a couple breakout candidates on the defensive side of the ball for the Wolverines. And with the look of how established and dominant this defense looks to be, there are only so many options and most of the names I’ve predicted are veterans making a bit of a comeback.
1. CB Channing Stribling
According to just about every member of the coaching staff, there wasn’t a player that had a better spring than Stribling. The senior corner is no stranger to the playing field as he’s appeared in 34 games throughout his career but has yet to solidify himself as a game changer. Well, from the look of things, this is his year. And this spring game could be his true coming out party to the world.
2. LB Devin Bush Jr
Bush Jr chose Michigan over Florida State for multiple reasons but a main factor was the chance at early playing time. Good call, Jr. Thanks to that decision, his early enrollment and spring practice play, he has used his athleticism to really standout at the linebacker position. I fully expect him to show off his abilities on Friday night against his teammates.
3. LB Mike McCray
Though Bush Jr has been a standout for the underclassman, McCray has been the veteran linebacker standout. The redshirt junior has had his fair share of injuries throughout his career, including a nagging shoulder injury, but he seems to be as healthy as ever and his play has shown it. This spring game should be his chance to really show his skills off on Friday.
4. DE Chase Winovich
Winovich came to Michigan with high expectations from the fan base as he looked to fit the program as well as can be. However, he struggled with gaining weight and finding a true position. But now that he’s in his 3rd year in the program, he’s added the right size and found himself a perfect position as a rush defensive end in Don Brown’s defense. Early returns have been great and he should have himself a nice spring game as one of the only true pass rushers on the defense.
5. LB Noah Furbush
Like Winovich, Furbush looked like the athletic linebacker that the roster needed. And like Winovich, he struggled gaining the necessary weight to contribute until now. After becoming a legit standout on special teams in 2015, the former Ohio high school standout looks like he’ll see plenty of time on defense this fall. It should all start in the spring game tomorrow night.
Will you be at the spring game? Who do you believe will be the defensive breakout candidates for Michigan? Let us know if the comment section below!
Photo Credit: Matthew O’Haren/USA TODAY Sports
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