There are a few spots on the defense that are up for grabs this fall. I would like to know who you think will win the starting job and why. Here are the positions - weakside defensive end, both outside linebackers, and both D-tackle spots.
Many things will happen between now and September, but here's how I think it will play out at DE. Even though Van Bergen looks like he's in the lead for the DE spot, I really think Craig Roh will impress. That kid showed a relentless motor in the All-American game that reminds me of Brandon Graham. He wasn't going against chopped liver in that game either.
Because Mike Martin flashed in the backfield all year last year, I really think he earns the #1 spot at DT. Second string will be a battle, but I'm not going to give Big Will the nod just yet. I think Sagesse will use his experience to beat him out for the second spot.
As far as outside linebacker, this one is tough because there are a few frosh safeties who project at this position that could push for PT. If the spring game is any indication, Jonas Mouton and Marell Evans will start at Will and Sam. (For those of you who don't know, "Will"=Weakside Linebacker, "Mike"=Middle Linebacker, and "Sam"=Strongside Linebacker. The strength of the defense is determined by either the wide side of the field or the strength of the offensive formation. Each team does things differently, and last year the field determined the strength for the UM defense. If the ball is on the left hash, the right is the strong side, and vice versa. Determining the formation strength can get complicated, but here is a simple version: if there is one tight end and he is lined up on the left side, that is the strong side.) If I had to bet, I think J.B. Fitzgerald wins out the weakside spot because of speed. Mouton stays at Sam.
What do you think??