Defensive Tackle Depth Concerns

Submitted by jbibiza on September 28th, 2010 at 6:55 AM

With all of the hand wringing about the need to improve our defense I have not felt enough urgency in the recruitment of defensive tackles.  We are very young at DE with RVB backed up by three freshmen: Black, Wilkins and Paskorz, but at least we have numbers there and I believe Zettel wiil come in at that position.  At NT we have MM the Beast and then a great void as Big Will is not ready for prime time.  Even should Campbell develop as we all hope that would still leave only Richard Ash as depth and he seems to be workout-challenged given the huge amount of weight that he gained in the past year.  The only quality NT recruit that we have a good shot at is Darian Cooper, and I think he is a good one, but if he does not see the Blue Light we will be very thin at NT in the post-Martin world (make that 2012 MM... please!!).

At the 3 Tech we are also extremely thin with undersized freshman Terry Talbott and injured walk-on Heninger as the likely replacements for the meh duo of Banks and Sagesse.  I believe that Chris Rock is slated for that spot as well, but it seems imperative that we recruit one more big body in this class -  Branden Jackson's team mate Delvon Simmons would fit the bill.




September 28th, 2010 at 7:17 AM ^

You're right! We are lacking depth at various positions on different sides of the ball, DT being one of them! Better let the coaches and recruiting coordinators know right away!


September 28th, 2010 at 7:21 AM ^

What you described above is pretty much the case for every position on the defensive side of the ball.  And that's where the recruiting emphasis in general needs to be this year.  We need bodies at the safety position.  We have some freshmen (and incoming freshmen) at corner, and probably Woolfolk back next year to replace Rogers, so hopefully will be okay there.  Losing a lot of seniors at linebacker with largely untested backups.  

The original poster is perhaps a tad pessimistic of the future development of the defensive tackles, but I agree that in the unlikely event that Mike Martin went down tomorrow for the season it would be a big loss.

There's still a lot of time before signing day, and I think we'll pick up another 10 commits, with many of them addressing depth on the defensive side of the ball.



September 28th, 2010 at 8:32 AM ^

My focus in the OP was on DT and NT as that is where I see the least depth in the coming years, but Free Safety is just about as precarious.  Cam is just not fast enough and will do better at spur or bandit.  Vinopal looks to be competent but after that.....?  I suggest that Woolfolk will return as FS backed up by Vinopal and perhaps Carvin (of heat-seeking missile fame).  On the Free Safety recruiting front we look very strong with Avery Walls who is a keeper and I expect that Greg Brown, who is playing safety his senior year, will remain at that spot when he comes to Ann Arbor.   

The rest of the defensive position groups are less of a concern.  Spur and bandit have good depth (particularly if/when Cam moves down there) and there are numerous bodies to fill the two inside linebacker spots next year: Fitz, Demens, Jones, Bell, and Ryan.  Kellen Jones and Kris Frost will add nicely to that list.  At the Roh-Hybrid we have Herron back and Beyer coming in, plus Fitz can play there in a pinch.  Corner will be adequately manned as we will have three Sophomores with game experience to go along with JT, and they will be backed up by Hollowell and at least one more freshman (I'm looking at you Dallas Crawford).  A third corner recruit would be OK (or even better would be the return of Demar Dorsey after a year at JC - can't hurt to dream).


September 28th, 2010 at 8:38 AM ^

I only comment on people who play for MICHIGAN (or those we are recruiting).......

BUT, hell yes, those two  last minute defections are at the root of this problem - particularly DeQuinta who waited until signing day to defect and started as a freshman at Arkansas...AAARRRGGHH   But hey, they're just kids so que sera, sera.... onward and upward.  


September 28th, 2010 at 8:23 AM ^

What's more, Mike Martin would be even more of a beast if he were playing a true DT, rather than NT. The real problem, more than anything, is that Will Campbell has not yet developed into an every-down starter. He has the right size to play NT, but not yet the technique or conditioning.

Ideally, then, you'd have Campbell at NT, bracketed by Martin and RVB, without having to play Banks or Sagesse, both of whom are comparatively ineffective.


September 28th, 2010 at 8:58 AM ^

I've seen far worse over the last few weeks, but what's with the high volume of MLive-ish postings here?  Two major groups are the "Master of the Obvious" postings (like this one) and the "Here's What *I* Think" entries (see yesterday's "THE reason the D has struggled").

Truly original content or links to interesting articles seem more appropriate for the board.


September 28th, 2010 at 10:54 AM ^

I suppose if you consider the position Greg Banks is playing as a DE then we only need one NT/DT, but Banks is listed as a DT and seems to be playing a 3 tech most of the time.  Based on that we appear to have a DT and a NT in our 3-3-5 thus needing two of those big bodies just as in a 4-3.   However I defer to your greater expertise as I am only a fan not a coach.


September 28th, 2010 at 1:10 PM ^

It seems to me that he's playing more of a 4i or a 4-tech.  Most 3-3-5 teams don't use a 3-tech because it's too easy to block down on that guy and run off tackle if everyone's bunched in the middle.

Regardless, the defense seems to be balanced, so we either have two 3-techs (Banks, Van Bergen) or we have two guys playing something else (4i, 4-tech, 5, etc.).