Nate Johnson now at CB

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on August 25th, 2017 at 3:43 PM

Nate Johnson is now at CB per Sam Webb. 

Pretty sure it was mentioned on WTKA this morning. 

He has switched from #25 to #17. 

There are now FIVE FOUR players donning the #17.




August 25th, 2017 at 3:49 PM ^

It was just a question of who was it going to be. The logjam at receiver, especially slot, means either position switches or transfers. He's an explosive athlete-- as good a choice as any to try the flip. Much better than losing him.

Watching From Afar

August 25th, 2017 at 3:52 PM ^

Does it make anyone else quite uneasy when underclassmen move around? I know it's necessary with Washingotn's departure, but moving WRs to CBs and DL to OL makes me think the worst. That they're throwing things at the wall and hoping something sticks out of necessity.

Watching From Afar

August 25th, 2017 at 4:15 PM ^

Played football all throughout high school, was a college athlete (not fooball) and coached a lot of different sports as well.

Johnson was being talked about as a factor in the slot race a few weeks ago. And by "throwing stuff at the wall" that doesn't mean blindly. Obviously they're not going to go and grab Collins and see if he can play CB. But Johnson hasn't been brought up before in the CB conversation. So either he is so far down on the WR depth chart that they're moving him over (which doesn't instill confidence in me that he'll turn into much) or they are concerned with depth and production so they're taking a middle of the depth chart guy and hoping he works at some point.

Mr Miggle

August 25th, 2017 at 4:36 PM ^

in the mix for much playing time in the slot. A lot has changed in the last few weeks. Perry is back on the team and Martin has arrived and looks very good. Aside from those two, McDoom and Schoenle were already supposed to be ahead of Nate on the depth chart. There's even been chatter about using DPJ there to get him on the field more.

Given those numbers it seems like an obvious move, even if he won't contribute at CB this season. 


August 25th, 2017 at 5:20 PM ^

We are soooo loaded at WR.

Consider: If we didn't have these freshmen coming in, we'd be looking at Crawford and McDoom with Perry as the "old man" and we'd feel pretty good about the future of our WRs. Crawford looks like a guy who can be a #1 or #2 receiver and make big contributions for three years. If there were one hot freshman competing for serious time, we'd be over the moon.

We don't have one hot freshman. We have FOUR. Our receivers are going to be ridiculously good. 

AA Forever

August 26th, 2017 at 8:39 AM ^

in practice does not quite equate to "loaded", I'm afraid. It may very well be a good group, but it's pretty much certain that they will not do as well when they start playing against defenses that they don't know and that aren't composed of their friends and teammates, and when their QB has to start worrying about his own skin in addition to getting the ball to them.

Watching From Afar

August 25th, 2017 at 5:03 PM ^

You can have your opinion on what I said, but I clarified it for you. I didn't mean blindly throwing stuff at a wall. I would have said "blindly" if I did. But whatever.

And right back at ya. I don't know what's going on behind the scenes, as does pretty much no one on this board outside of the known insiders. I just read reports and conclusions drawn by others. What behind the scene knowledge do you, in your ever so amazing wisdom, have?

I wasn't even being a huge debbie downer or shitposter, but since you're a little jackass I'll jjust assume you are just some old guy who was a 3rd string LB on his 2-7 high school team that is mad he wasn't starting RB. Grow up and learn not to jump down people's throat asshole.

Watching From Afar

August 25th, 2017 at 5:37 PM ^

Hurts being "called out" by you? If I were concerned with the opinions of lesser men, then I'd have bigger problems. Never even tried to imply I knew what was going on in practice, but again, whatever. Have a good season buddy. Don't burn down the trailer park.


August 25th, 2017 at 5:08 PM ^

THIS ^^^^^

I'll make the same comment for Hudson moving over to OT.  There's so much depth coming up on the DL, that they can take a plus athlete that was widely known to have upside on offense, and move him to a position of dire need on the OL.  If Hudson, and Johnson, are good with these moves, then yay for everyone!


August 25th, 2017 at 4:04 PM ^

I look at it like this. We all know we have pletny of skill on the two deep. In days past we were swtiching to find a warm body for a back up position or worse. With this I feel players that are 4th at a position are moving to another postion to move up one spot. Possibly showing a coach they are good enough for a backup spot. I dont see to many issues with it. If they were 4th at DE or 3rd at OL and end up transferring at least they gave it a shot. If they succeed and make the two deep then its a sure win/win.


August 25th, 2017 at 4:07 PM ^

[FYI, I voted you down, but then judged myself poorly and flipped it the other way. It should have been a no-vote]

As far as actually engaging with your comment, I think you are badly misinterpreting this situation. Michigan has a first-world-problems-to-the-upmost thing happening at receiver. The odds are quite good that if a guy like Nate weren't to switch to corner, he'd be unlikely to find double digit snaps in garbage time (across his career!) and would be highly probable to transfer.

If a guy wants to steal snaps from Kekoa, Tarik, Donovan, Oliver, and Grant, he might have to be a generational athlete. And the leftovers aren't that. I mean, look at McDoom's future. Even he looks to be intensely marginalized, and he's the one who instantly beat out Nate.

So Nate's move doesn't have to say anything about cornerback depth. The fact that he might actually be useful there as a third stringer is just a secondary benefit. Just something that's mutually nice for him and team.

Watching From Afar

August 25th, 2017 at 4:13 PM ^

Sure, that makes sense. Thanks for reevaluating your downvote rather than being a smartass like some people and assuming I don't know anything.

Guys switching positions don't often work out. Cam Gordon took forever and jumped from spot to spot and couldn't crack the starting lineup until his senior year. Canteen played DB some in camp because he couldn't get on the field at WR, only to never come close at DB. Guys like that are all I think of when I hear players switching position. Not a coaching issue so much as a player isn't good enough, let's see if he can play anywhere, issue.


August 25th, 2017 at 5:22 PM ^

I hear you. At the same time, of course, examples from 2008-2014 were always unlikely to excite us.

There's a big difference between switching positions because one is forced out by too much talent (at his original spot) versus switching positions because one is sucked out by a talent vacuum (at his second spot). 

I think this means that the WR depth chart is a hurricane. Not that CB is a vacuum. That could be slightly optimistic, of course, because the CBs aren't very deep. So maybe the 3rd string (and beyond) is a vacuum. But I still speculate that's secondary.

I also speculate this has nothing to do with the starter talent (not that you ever specified otherwise). I don't know how those two will do across the first half of 2017 but I still have (deservedly? blindly?) high expectations for LeVert's and David's M careers.

Watching From Afar

August 25th, 2017 at 4:31 PM ^

Winovich was a OLB who dropped down to DE. Not the same jump from WR to DB. And Funchess went from TE (who didn't really block all that well) to WR (who didn't really block all that well).

Neither of those guys were changing sides of the ball and in both cases it really came down to aging and adding weight/filling out.