Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
[Ed-S: Festivus Bump!]
In modern football, there are 2 popular base defensive sets. Most teams run either a 3-4 Base or a 4-3 Base.
The quick explanation of these defenses is that the first number (“3” in a 3-4) is your number of Down Linemen (literally people who line up with their hand on the ground in a 3 or 4 point stance on the line of scrimmage) and the second number (“4” in a 3-4) is your number of linebackers (people who line up in a 2 point stance, behind the down linemen).
This diary will discuss the 4-3 Under, its similarities to a 3-4 set, and make sense of our defensive line recruiting. For the purposes of this diary I’m ignoring the secondary. You need corners and safeties. They’re all similarly sized players, get fast ones. The front 7 is where you need guys over a 100lb range and some more major differences show up.
Here’s a base 4-3:
Here's a base 3-4:
Both of these defensive base sets have advantages and disadvantages, and both lend themselves to different styles of players. When it comes to what Michigan is running as a base defense, the 4-3 Under, recruiting starts to make sense if you look at it as a 3-4 defense.
The 4-3 Under:
First, look at the D Line from the middle out. In a 4-3 Under you have a defensive tackle on the Nose, in a 0 or 1 Technique (NT) (Technique definitions:
You then have 2 players lining up at the 3 tech (DT) and 5 tech (SDE). Then you have 2 players further out on the line, at a 7 tech (WDE) and 9 Tech (SAM). Finally, you have 2 linebackers off the line of scrimmage (MIKE and WILL).
Now, compare these positions to the 3-4 Base. You still have a huge space-eating Nose Tackle (NT) who lines up at the 0 or 1 tech, 2 Defensive Ends over the guards, tackles, or in between (4 tech... hmmm, just a slight shift from the 3 or 5 tech...) and 2 people outside of them near the line of Scrimmage (OLBs). Finally you have 2 linebackers off the line of scrimmage (MIKE and WILL).
If you look at these two defenses, the only main difference is one of your 3-4 OLBs has his hand on the ground. That’s it! There are minor shifts on the line and other intricacies, but big picture the 4-3 under has personnel requirements very similar to a 3-4.
For the 4-3 Under OR the 3-4 in your front 7 personnel you need:
- 3-Tech DT and SDE (5-Tech)
- WDE and SAM
Michigan is recruiting the right numbers for the scheme they run. These are 17-year-old guys we’re discussing with recruits. Some will get bigger, some are maxed out. Some of the WDE/SAM types will be better at coverage and will play SAM. We saw Frank Clark and Beyer make this switch this year, one was a LB, one a DE in High School, and they switched at Michigan. Some will be better pass rushers and will drop into coverage less at the WDE.
The “Glut” at SDE doesn’t exist since the 3-Tech DT is a very similar position in the 4-3 Under, so some of these guys will play there. The coaches know what they need to run the 4-3 under, and hopefully this diary provided some insight into the personnel requirements so we can somewhat understand the method to the madness.
Check Steve Helwagen's take on Gene Smith's inept handling of the NCAA situation. Summary quote:
"Oh, man, it was so bad for Gene they had to pull him as the MC of the Bob Knight recognition Tuesday for fear he would get booed out of the building.
I don't know how you can pay somebody $1 million a year to botch something this big. I like Gene personally. He seems like a nice enough guy. But from day one this was not handled properly."
Be careful what you say, it brings people like this out of the woodwork. What a great message for a high-school student. Of course, he might be an expert on internet tough guys?
The Wall Street Journal convened a panel of eight experts from across the fashion business . . to evaluate the primary home uniforms . . and determine the best and worst.
Michigan: Of all the traditional uniforms, the Wolverines' maize-and-blue unis earned the highest marks from the panel.
American fashion designer Marc Ecko especially liked the color weight on the jersey, while graphic artist Josh Vanover praised the "bold, bright colors" and "clean" fonts.
But what really pushed Michigan to the top was its iconic winged helmet, which received near-universal praise for its creativity.
"Anyone that uses it, no matter what color you put it in, it's Michigan," said Anthony Coleman, the managing editor of the fashion and street culture blog SlamxHype. "You can use it, but realize that you're stealing from Michigan."
Beyond the 6 departing senior starters at Ohio, 10 more starting positions could be lost if juniors declare for the NFL or transfer to another school (which they can now do without penalty, due to the bowl ban). Apparently, John Simon is considered a candidate for the NFL jump. I am not sure about the others.
My questions are:
What effect will the bowl ban and coaching changes have on their decisions?
Are other schools contacting these juniors to assess their interest in leaving?
In addition, I wonder how many Ohio players were getting illegal payments under the table. No doubt there are more than the NCAA has so far acknowledged, since a key informant refused to talk and implicate the other players. Moreover, if these players were getting payments and the payments stop due to the increased scrutiny, will these players bolt? Will they worry what other details about them will gradually leak out (eg if ESPN wins the lawsuit and gets access to Smith and Tressel emails)?
Starting Junior Players
54 John Simon (6-2, 270, Jr.)
53 Garrett Goebel (6-3, 290, RJr.)
32 Storm Klein (6-2, 230, Jr.)
6 Etienne Sabino (6-3, 242, RJr.)
7 Travis Howard (6-1, 190, Jr.)
44 Zach Boren (6-0, 252, Jr.)
11 Jake Stoneburner (6-5, 245, RJr.)
17 Ben Buchanan (6-0, 180, RJr.)
7 Jordan Hall (5-9, 195, Jr.)
7 Jordan Hall (5-9, 195, Jr.)
ADDITION: as suggested by a poster below (Vivz), RS Soph players also are eligible to leave. So, if we include three starters, who are RS So, the total losses for Ohio could, in theory, rise to 19 starting positions. (see discussion below regarding how many ACTUAL losses are likely
93 Adam Bellamy (6-4, 302, RSo.)
4 C.J. Barnett (6-0, 190, RSo.)
74 Jack Mewhort (6-6, 303, RSo.)
MAACO to your friends. Shouldn't be close, but the same thing could be said last night. We'll see if it looks like we should be wishing we were playing Boise as much as it looked like TCU wasn't so tough last night (or more likely, just really didn't want to be there). Does Boise want to play? We shall see.