Carvin Johnson Starting in the Scondary. Devin Gardner likely won't redshirt.

Submitted by whyyoumadtho on August 30th, 2010 at 11:11 AM

My twitter is blowing up this morning. Two true freshmen starters, according to the first official depth chart, Carvin Johnson at a hybrid saftey spot. And Will Hagerup at punter.

And according to Varsity Blue "Rich Rod: Devin Gardner probably won't redshirt." This is the best link I have found this morning to the new depth chart.



August 30th, 2010 at 11:36 AM ^

So Furman is all of the sudden not a "beast" because he didn't pick up a starting spot after only 3 weeks of practice.  You have some pretty high expectations...

Ever think Johnson was just more physically developed coming in?  I make it a habit not to write off 17-18 year old athletes before they even start their first semester of school.

steve sharik

August 30th, 2010 at 1:05 PM ^

The Spur is an overhang type OLB, while the Bandit is the true hybrid player.  I don't think we'll see the Spur drop back and play a deep safety, but I do think we'll see it from the Bandit.

That said, it is schematically possible to drop either Spur or Bandit back. 


August 30th, 2010 at 11:17 AM ^

Michigan Football tweets:

RT @LarryLage: Rodriguez says he doesn't know if all 3 QBs will play in opener, but Gardner will not redshirt: "Devin is going to play"


August 30th, 2010 at 11:41 AM ^

If that's accurate, then I have to eat all my words about how RR will not play DG unless disaster happens. I don't understand it myself, because RR also just said he won't burn a redshirt just to give snaps at garbage time.

It also indicates that RR's assessment of the potential of TF and DR is not tremendously optimistic.


August 30th, 2010 at 11:55 AM ^

I think that should read "TF or DR". He was going to redshirt him as long has he had two viable options at QB. If one of those goes away, he no longer has a viable back up. My guess is that this is a combination of Tate not improving as much as he should and Devin improving way more than anyone expected. 

Maize and Blue…

August 30th, 2010 at 12:58 PM ^

Tate was one of the top players at the "Beanie bowl". I'm more concerned about Denard's performance against a real D that isn't playing vanilla than I am about Tate.  When Denard shows me he can be a viable passer in real game situations I will feel much more comfortable with him.  I believe his HS completion % was around 47% and that won't make it in D1 football.

If DG is as good as the hype and we believe him to be he won't stay for five years so why RS him.

biakabutuka ex…

August 30th, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^

Don't you think all the chatter about him being on the hotseat changes his strategy just a little? It's being demanded that he win now, so he can't really be worrying about the 2014 team anymore. That's what I get from it. Of course, if his job security is solidified before they burn the redshirt, maybe he'll reconsider.


August 30th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

How long do the coaches have to decide on whether or not to redshirt  a kid? Is it possible that Gardner doesn't play, unless absolutely necessary, and is redshirted later in the year?

Todd Plate's n…

August 30th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

some player quotes on Carvin from rivals (non-paywalled):

"He's been getting interceptions, laying the wood ... he just comes to practice and does his job, makes the play and gets back up and does it again," defensive tackle Mike Martin said Monday. "He's smart. He's always around the ball. He's a young guy and a humble kid ... I've been really impressed with him this camp and he has done a great job."


August 30th, 2010 at 11:36 AM ^

I know you've said before that Brown had essentially no deep/safety responsibility last year, wouldn't it make more sense to put Kovacs at that position where he can focus on playing in the box (where he excels) or do you think the tradeoff of Johnson covering tight ends, etc. one-on-one while Kovacs takes the occasional deep responsibility a preferable setup?


August 30th, 2010 at 11:50 AM ^

But at some point presumably the other safety is going to have some deep responsibility unless you play an eight man front every down and distance or swap him out for corner/nickle type players (which we don't have a whole lot of).  It just seemed to me that Johnson would be a more natural fit for the guy with some deep responsibility (even if he does spend the majority of first and second down playing near the line of scrimmage) than Kovacs would be.


August 30th, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

We don't run this particular defense, but I've talked to a couple coaches who have said that you should put your best overall athlete at Spur.  He has to cover and tackle on a regular basis.  So it makes sense that Steve Brown would have played Spur last year, and it makes sense that Josh Furman - an excellent athlete but who is raw - would play there, too.  I'm not convinced that Johnson is our best athlete, but he has a good combination of skills and he also seems to have good football instincts.

I'm not a huge fan of Kovacs' ability, but it makes sense for him to play Bandit instead.  Hopefully he can keep mental mistakes to a minimum and position himself correctly, because he doesn't have the athleticism to make up for mental mistakes.


August 30th, 2010 at 11:19 AM ^

Everything points to Johnson being a stud and a great pick-up by the staff. If he starts as a true freshman and it helps us win I am all for it.

The writing was on the wall with Hagerup I believe everybody and their grandmother knew Hagerup would be replacing the space emperor.

In regards to DG I am just holding out hope that, he doesnt play and can save that redshirt. If we need him to win games though that's what's important.