One of my surprises in spring was that Wilkins was moved to SDE. I thought he was more of a speed rusher due to his body type. Since I have not seen him in person this year, has he been able to add a significant amount of weight for the position and how is he carrying it (e.g. is he still explosive)? I have no doubt the staff knows a few things about DEs so I don't need the standard "Hur, trust the coaches", I am only looking for an update on one of the guys I really liked as a recruit.
News on the beefing up of Wilkins
Where's the news?
Wilkins has been moved to DT not SDE.
It was rumored that he was pushing 265 lbs. back in January.
Relevant news on players has been pretty sparse. Hoke gives nothing out in his pressers and the insider info has been pretty generic and lame.
I haven't really seen him in action since he arrived on campuse, but here were my thoughts on him coming out of high school.
If you don't want to click over, here's a summary:
Wilkins was recruited as a Quick OLB/DE hybrid by Greg Robinson, but then the 3-3-5 was implemented. He doesn't have great change-of-direction skills, which is why he's not a great fit at the rush linebacker position. He's not a guy you want to see in coverage. He was a big, thick dude coming out of high school, and he was a supposed workout warrior (I ranked him as Michigan's strongest recruit in 2010 with a bench of 365 lbs.) I mentioned then that if he hit any kind of growth spurt, I figured he would move inside and become a full-time DE.
Anyway, he was 244 pounds coming out of high school, and now he's 262, so he's obviously put on some of that weight. While he's listed as a DT, I think he's playing the 5-tech DT/DE, which is the same position that Matt Godin is being recruited for. This is a very similar role to that of Greg Banks from last year, although I think Wilkins has a higher upside than Banks.
I would like to see him contribute, I think he has good upside.
I still think he'd need to bulk up a good bit to be the 5-tech that Godin is being recruited for. They said he'd play at 290-295, Wilkins is only 262. 262 isn't even big for a DE, so it's a little surprising they have him listed there.
Well, keep in mind that this is the same position that the coaches recruited Keith Heitzman for (who's significantly smaller than Wilkins). I still think Wilkins needs to add some weight, but he's already put on 18 lbs. in less than a full year on campus, which is significant. I doubt he'll stop at 262 lbs.
Yeah, then Heitzman really needs to beef up too.
What is this position? Is the 5-tech really a DT, or is it a DE? More specifically, who else is on the line? Is there a 5-tech, then 2 DTs and a DE? Or is the one other DT and 2 DEs? The way I picture it, this 5-tech "DT" is in there with two other DTs and a weakside DE, meaning he's really a DE, just with maybe a LB who lines up outside of him on occasion. Is this correct or am I way off?
You have a weakside end (Roh), a 3-tech DT (Campbell), a 1-tech NT (Martin), a 5-tech DT (Van Bergen), and a SAM linebacker (Cam Gordon). So there are three "defensive tackles" on the field, but the 5-tech is kind of a tweener DE/DT. If you remember Dan Rumishek, I think he was a good example of that 5-tech DE/DT.
The guys I listed aren't necessarily the starters at the position, but they're possibilities. Just trying to give you a feel for who might be out there.
Starting at the right, you have Roh as the WDE, then BWC as the 3-tech DT, then Martin as the NT. The DE left of him is the 5-tech you're talking about, where Wilkins would play - somewhat of a DT, somewhat of a DE. Because the SLB next to him (Cam G.) would be standing up, blitzing in some cases, dropping back in coverage on others, and holding the line on run plays to the strong side. If the TE goes out on a route, the 5-tech becomes the de facto DE. If he stays to block or doubles, the 5-tech is essentially a DT. Yeah I think Wilkins would be perfect here, and I'd wager he's more than 265 right now.
Looks like the old 5-2.
Thanks bodog and Magnus, that's essentially what I thought but the extra explanation is handy. I like the idea of extra beef on the line.
Will this change somewhat when we play against spread teams, or teams that never or rarely line-up with a TE? If we play a team that passes all the time like a Texas Tech-style offense, would we play two true DEs who are more of pass rushers than most of our 5-tech DTs will be? This sounds idea against teams like Iowa or Wisconsin, but maybe less so against NW or Purdue.
It's possible that you would have different DL personnel, but I think it's unlikely. I guess it depends on who you have out there. For example, if the SAM is a guy who can hold up to tackles (a la Shawn Crable), then you might be able to remove the 5-tech and leave your SAM in as a DE. But Cam Gordon probably can't do that, so removing Van Bergen to have Gordon rush the passer would probably be a bad idea; perhaps that's where a guy like Fitzgerald or Jake Ryan would fit.
But I get the feeling that we're going to see some nickel corners in spread situations this year, which is something that Greg Robinson never really used. Someone like J.T. Floyd, Tony Anderson, etc. might come into the game in obvious passing situations.
There might be a time where a replacement 5-tech is needed, but if that is indeed where Van Bergen fits, then I don't really see a need. He's been a decent pass rusher these past couple seasons.
Leads much to be desired.
LEAVES some things, too.
Enbeefin. As in "Chili cheese fries enbeefin the smallest man." Or the enbeefining of Mr. Wilkins.
Not to hijack the thread or anything, but did anyone notice Brandin Hawthorne seems to be running with the one's at safety?
In the clips I've seen, Hawthorne looks more athletic this year than he has before. Maybe the light switch has come on for hm.
I tend to agree Magnus. I found it interesting solely because he isn't/wasn't a guy that was talked about as a potential starter at safety. Yet he seems to be everywhere in the practice videos.
I also had a couple Josh Furman sighting in the lastest practice video. Looks like he's running with the two's, and has some sweet dreads.
Just based on what I have seen in those clips, I can see Furman taking over the SS spot. He is obviously more athletic than Kovacs, but I guess he has to prove that he understand assignments and coverages in the new defense.
Good Info thanks Magnus!