2011 LB two-deep

Submitted by leftrare on November 17th, 2010 at 8:47 PM

OK, so Demens is the man at MLB, and although he wasn't great against Purdue, nobody's going to argue that he wasn't the best available body at the position in that game or any other game this year.

Replacing Mouton?  If Purdue was a trial run, using Fitz, Ezeh and Moundros, it would appear that the staff would like to see Mouton's position manned by another 240-ish guy, and that they don't like Bell, and that outside of Bell, there's only Fitz.

So, here's your 2011 two-deep at MLB/WLB: Demens, Fitz, who the hell knows, who the hell knows.

Here are the candidates: the bigger guys Bell, Ryan, Paskorz; and the athletes Furman, Jones, MRobinson and, wildcard I'll throw in, Cam Gordon.

Am I missing something?  Is the plan to eventually go with a faster-lighter version of Mouton or is there impending potential among the bigger guys listed above that I'm not aware of?

Board, does this worry anyone?



November 17th, 2010 at 8:51 PM ^

no. Assuming we maintain some sort of set with 3 linebackers, we'll return Demens at MLB, and Fitzgerald at one of the linebacker spots, that's two with starting experience. Behind them, there are a plethora of promising linebackers with game experience like Jones, MRob, and Cam, and developmental talent behind them. Don't worry, be happy.


November 17th, 2010 at 10:28 PM ^

Kovacs is gritty, gutty, tough, heady, smart, and is a real football player, but he is too small at his current position as it is.  He stays true to his assignments but when he hits a blocker it is over.  I don't see him shedding blockers or having the speed to blitz the way true linebackers need to.


November 17th, 2010 at 10:41 PM ^

Don't waste your time reading other posts...this is what it'll be:

SLB: Fitzgerald(Sr.)/Furman(Fr.), Herron(Sr.)...Jones(Fr./R.S.)
MLB: Demens(Jr.), Bell(So.), Ryan(Fr.)...*Morgan(Fr./R.S.)/Dawson(Fr./R.S.)/Grant(Fr./R.S.)
WLB: Jones(So.)/Robinson(So.), Leach(Sr.)...*Frost(Fr./R.S.)

#1) I think we're moving to more of a pure 3-3-5 defense.  That means no more OLB/DE hybrid position (ala craig roh).  Instead it'll be a pure NT, two pure DE's, and three pure LB's.

#2) The starter's going into the spring are probably going to be Demens, Fitzgerald and Jones, but Robinson is really going to be pushing Jones, and hopefully - fingers crossed - Furman will also be pushing Fitzgerald.

#3) Kris Frost.  I think we're going to get him.  He's down to us and auburn, and auburn's about to get hit HARD with post-season sanctions.  He might spend (at least part of) his redshirt season on offense though.

#4) Desmond Morgan. I think we're going to get him also.  He's down to us and Northwestern, because academics are his number one concern.  But I think that the strength of our football tradition is going to end up putting us over the top there.

#5) Lamar Dawson, Curtis Grant.  It'd be stupid to predict us getting either of these studs at this point in time; but it'd also be stupid to rule us out on either.  Still a lot to be decided in both recruitments.  Either could start as a true freshman.  Exciting...

True Blue In Ohio

November 17th, 2010 at 9:00 PM ^

Linebacker play next year could be the biggest weakness of theentire Michigan team next year.  I was hoping Jake Ryan would step up and stand out, but it seems he is destined for a DE and probably a year away from getting in the two deep.  Look out for Furman....fast and athletic!


November 18th, 2010 at 10:50 AM ^

I haven't heard much about Ryan (which is OK, IMO, for a true frosh) but I really liked the kid coming out of H.S. and was hoping he would be a contributer in the next few seasons.  He really seemed like a football player.  I worry sometimes about all of the measurable, work out warrior types not ending up being able to play as well as they look in the tale fof the tape.  This kid seems to have the potential to be a Spielman, Eric Anderson type of a player. I haven't seen him in practice, and I hope he ends up where he is best suited but I am still hoping it is at LB.


November 17th, 2010 at 9:07 PM ^


  • Mike Jones
  • Cam Gordon
  • Marvin Robinson/Josh Furman


  • Kenny Demens
  • Isiah Bell
  • Jake Ryan


  • J.B. Fitzgerald
  • Brandon Herron
  • Brennen Beyer?

Have to see if/what happens with the defensive staff.. if we move to a 4-3, it would be like that. 3-4, not so sure. There are a lot of bodies, and it depends how some of the young guys (Marvin, Furman) develop too.


November 17th, 2010 at 9:59 PM ^

Cam Gordon is starting somewhere.  The coaches like him so much that they immediately started him at Spur after the position switch even though Thomas was doing a pretty good job.  So if he started all year as a RS Freshman I can't see him losing that position wherever he ends up.

Hair Raid Offense

November 17th, 2010 at 9:17 PM ^

Jake Ryan=Ryan Van Bergen. He's destined for DE.

Demens has the MLB spot locked down.

As for the 2 OLB spots. I'd like to see Furman, Cam Gordon, or Marvin Robinson get a shot. Fitzgerald, Bell, Herron, and Jones haven't done anything since they arrived, so why not give a younger more athletic guy a chance??


November 17th, 2010 at 10:21 PM ^

Size isn't the be all and end all and obviously with Barwis pumping Hulk gamma radiation into their bloodstreams, some players will end up gaining 15-20 pounds, but...

Jonas Mouton (6'2'', 240)

JB Fitzgerald (6'3'', 244)

Kenny Demens (6'1'', 236)

For example Marvin Robinson is listed at 6'2'', 203, Furman at 6'2'', 208, Cam at 6'3'', 207. 40 pounds is a lot to ask a kid to put on in one year. Of course Mike Jones is listed at 6'2'', 208 so who knows?

My guess is that Demens and Fitzgerald occupy two of the spots. As far the two-deep? Well, these are your contenders...

Brandon Herron/Jake Ryan/Isaiah Bell/True Freshmen

With the personnel available it might be a good idea to run out a small-ish LB. So...

MLB-Kenny Demens/Isaiah Bell

SLB-J.B. Fitzgerald/Brandon Herron

WLB-Marvin Robinson/Josh Furman

With Roh/RVB/Beast on the line and Woolfolk/Avery/Cam/Kovacs/Vinopal in the secondary unless Christian, Carvin, Tom Gordon, or a true freshman steps up.


November 17th, 2010 at 10:58 PM ^

I kind of see us running smaller type LBs as well, but I wonder if we go even smaller. Assuming we run a 4 man front of

NT: QWash/Ash

DT: Martin


WDE: Roh

That would makes LBs: (Projected with some Barwis beefing up)



Demens: 6'1 250
Bell 6'1 245
K Jones 6'1 225 (I know there is talk of him at Moutons spot, but I still see PT at MLB)

C. Gordon: 6'3 220
T. Gordon: 5'11 215
Furman: 6'2 220

M. Jones: 6'2 225
Fitzgerald: 6'3 245
Herron: 6'2 230

Marvin Robinson competes with Kovacs at SS. This is just a guess, but I really think if we were to play 3 LBs, Cam could end up being a good WLB. Fitzgerald might win the SAM job, but I heard good things about Mike Jones.





November 18th, 2010 at 10:53 AM ^

The key is the general set up needs to have Roh on the edge and not at linebacker. It looks like he wants that, is currently getting it,  and will have that in the future. This thread does a great job of reminding us that we have better numbers at Linebacker than we thought. Also they are pretty athletic.  The issue is offseason development and emergence.

Great post.


November 18th, 2010 at 10:59 AM ^

WDE: Roh, Black, Beyer (?)

NT: QWash, Ash, recruit to be named later

DT: Martin, Talbott, (maybe Chris Rock?)

SDE: RVB, Wilkins, Zettel (?), Paskorz

I like that line-up, especially if we can sign a DT in this class.  With guys like O'Brian, Wormley, and Godin in the next class already leaning our way, I definitely think a 4-man front is in our best interest.

Old School Wolverine

November 18th, 2010 at 9:05 AM ^

What your missing is the likelihood Rodgriguez to sign one of the 5 star LBs still floating out there. This is a decent probability, and whoever it is will probably be in the 2 deep.  Figure either 

Curtis Grant

Travis Hughes

Lamar Dawson

   and a few others