to play football, not to play trumpet
So we all watched the game yesterday and yes, it sucked. However, looking at it as objectively as I can, I think we learned more about where M is at as a team than in any other game this season. Previous games, win or lose, all pointed out weaknesses in scheme or personnel that could, to varying degrees, be addressed on a week-to-week basis through tactical adjustments or player rotation to yield better short term results. I think the coaches did a stellar job doing what they could with what they had to work with and I think the players also put it all out there. Their combined efforts have completely turned the program around and we are headed in the right direction, though clearly with some distance to go.
The OSU game was a perfect storm of going up against a team that has aimed at and achieved a program that competes on a national level year in and year out and playing them while they were firing on all cylinders. In short, we don't quite have the horses to run with them just yet.
On the topic of horses then, one thing that has been discussed as a position of weakness most of the season is linebacker and at no time was this more apparent than yesterday, however it doesn't seem like the current recruiting strategy is focusing adequately on this as a position of need. I very much agree with the assertion of many that when at full strength and against certain run schemes our DL was able to cover for a linebacker corps that is ill suited for the task at hand and it seems like there is no help in sight, either as younger players currently on the team or commits, or even as targets for recruiting.
I'm not a recruitnik, but I kind of follow it and it seems like this could be an issue over the next 3 years at least. I see tons of recruiting focus on offense at QB, running back and the line and rightfully so, but on defense there is a focus on DBs and DL which appear to be in relatively good shape and a paucity of options at LB.
Are they counting on converting some of the ATH recruits? Is LB something that doesn't necessarily get specialized in high school and is a position that you evolve into in college? Am I missing something in our current recruiting?
The depth is there, as the potential for multiple breakout campaigns up front defensively for Michigan this season.
Michigan's defensive line wasn't the team's problem in 2014, and it likely won't be in 2015 either.
But, can this group take the next step and turn into an actual force in the Big Ten, as Mattison believes it can?
Up front, things are rock solid. But there is something to address here, as the depth behind those front three need to begin proving themselves to avoid a drop-off in 2016.
For now, though, the middle of D.J. Durkin's defense is in experienced hands
A little mental distraction from the impending Lions game. UM obviously has 4 stud linebackers in this class. Anyone know where specifically these guys project? I know Ross was told he will play weakside. It looks like Bolden and RJS are more of the MLB type (Or maybe weakside in the 4-3 under). Then what about Ringer? Does anyone project to Sam?
No time to write a diary; it's past my bedtime.
Video companion to http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-linebacker-hesitancy-fml. Analysis, as always, courtesy Brian.
Full YouTube link is http://youtu.be/vHoyD1dnj4w
24/7 did a write-up of the top ten current linebacker classes for 2012. Michigan came in 2nd behind Alabama and ahead of Texas, USC, and Florida. There were no other Big Ten teams in the top 10:
When putting together a good group of linebackers, it doesn’t hurt to have two of the best in the nation in your back yard. That is the case with Michigan and its instate commits of James Ross and Royce Jenkins-Stone, both in-state prospects and both members of the Top247. As an added bonus, Michigan’s other two elite linebacker commits are out of rival Ohio State’s backyard. COMMITMENTS: James Ross, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Joe Bolden, Kaleb Ringer
Hoke/Mattison Uber Alles.
(H/T to new user Sean Connery)
Rivals lists our current linebacker targets and breaks them down. Where is Kris Frost?