Recruiting and a Hoke/Mattison vision of what a Michigan defense is

Submitted by Blue boy johnson on October 12th, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Mattison talks incessantly about a "Michigan Defense". What exactly is it's makeup? Can we catch a glimpse of it in Hoke's defensive recruiting so far?

Much like Alabama kicked our ass, we seem intent on kicking ass in the future. We might lose some games to teams with superior skill and speed in the future but opponents are going to take a physical pounding along the way.

I think we have a good idea what type of offense M is going to run in the coming seasons with big physical OL/TE , big receivers, and big RB's getting recruited en masse, but what about the defense?

Absent from recruiting on the defensive side of the ball is players with great speed. This doesn't seem to concern Hoke and Mattison at all. Hoke wasn't BS'ing when he talked about being physical at the point of attack and seems to be a primary focus of defensive recruiting

Linebackers is where Hoke's vision for M's defense is most evident. Looking at the recruits here now and coming in the future, they are all physical kids but not freak athletes

Linebackers recruiting:

Desmond Morgan LB SO 6-1/227
Antonio Poole LB RS FR 6-2/224
Royce Jenkins-Stone LB FR 6-2/213
Kaleb Ringer LB FR 6-1 231
Joe Bolden LB FR 6-3/223
James Ross III LB FR 6-0/225
Ben Gedeon LB HS 6-3/215
Mike McCray LB HS 6-4/230
Michae Ferns LB HS JR 6-3/235

Defensive Tackles are big uglies by trade so no surprise here

Defensive Tackle recruiting:

Willie Henry DT FR 6-2/314
Ondre Pipkins DT FR 6-3/340
Maurice Hurst Jr. DT HS 6-2/305
Henry Poggi DT HS 6-4/260

Defensive Ends, there appears to be a speed rusher on the way in Taco Charlton, but nobody on the roster at this point, though Frank Clark and Mario Ojemudia show promise. A couple of the D Ends seemed destined for the interior, though I know not who.

Defensive End recruiting:

Brennen Beyer DE SO 6-3/252
Frank Clark DE SO 6-2/262
Keith Heitzman DE RS FR 6-3/270
Matthew Godin DE FR 6-6/277
Mario Ojemudia DE FR 6-3/231
Tom Strobel DE FR 6-6/252
Chris Wormley DE FR 6-4/279
Taco Charlton DE HS 6-6/249

DB's: I am lumping Safety's and Corners together. A bigger more physical brand of safety is certainly on the way. Corner are coming in two kinds: Boundary and Field is how they are referred to, but again no speed burners in the group.

Delonte Hollowell DB SO 5-9/176
Blake Countess DB SO 5-10/180
Raymon Taylor DB SO 5-10/182
Jeremy Clark DB FR 6-4/200
Jarrod Wilson S FR 6-2 194
Terry Richardson DB FR 5-9/162
Allen Gant DB FR 6-2/199
Gareon Conley DB HS 6-2/165
Ross Douglas DB HS 5-10/180
Jourdan Lewis DB HS 5-10/159
Channing Stribling DB HS 6-2/170
Dymonte Thomas DB HS 6-2/192




October 12th, 2012 at 2:28 PM ^

Not to go all track coach on you, but you do realize all the cass DB's can fly right? We are talking 10.7-8 speed from all of them. They have speed.

Conley has nearly unstopable at WR for Massilon Washington. I have yet to hear anyone say speed is an issue for him. Blake is a good athlete all-around. Speed and athleticism don't seem to be a problem at corner.


Not really sure what your point in all of this is?


October 12th, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

The corners are broken down into 3 groups. Field, boundary, and slot corners. You keep saying we don't have breakout speed in our recruits (which isn't true) like it's a bad thing (which it also necessarily isn't.) If you look at our DB's you'll see 9 of them have sub 4.5 40 times reported. Jourdan Lewis is listed at 4.40 flat, Ross Douglass at 4.41, Raymon Taylor at 4.43, Jeremy Clark at 4.47, Blake Countess at 4.47, Dymonte Thomas at 4.48, ect. I know all 40 times are suspect, but I don't know where you're getting that they are lacking in speed. Mario Ojemudia, Taco Charleton, Maurice Hurst, Ben Gedeon, and others are extremely fast and freaky athletic for their position, too.


October 12th, 2012 at 4:47 PM ^

while Hoke/Mattison may not be explicitly stating that they're seeking speed, they're getting elite players that have it. The pretty obvious upgrade in talent that's in the pipeline will trump any (at this point unverifiable) decline in team speed.

Blue boy johnson

October 12th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

I am not saying there is a decline in team speed. I find it interesting this staff doesn't prioritize speed in and of itself as a virtue like many seem to do. For example, I will use somebody no longer on the team, DJ Williamson, he was mostly recruited because he was a track star and could run real fast. This staff never seems to go down that road, offensively or defensively.

For the record, I love what Hoke is doing with defensive recruiting, and think in two years time, M will regularly field a NC contending caliber defense on a regular basis.


October 12th, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

Terry Richardson is certainly a very fast player and so is Dymonte from everything I've read! I would say the DB speed will be fine!

Seattle Maize

October 12th, 2012 at 6:08 PM ^

DBs and LBs are plenty fast. Where I am most excited is that the front 5 (nt, 3tech, 5tech, wde and Sam) all appear to be both big and fast. This is where the SEC has separated themselves lately and we appear to be catching up in terms of our recruiting up there. Guys like Ondre Pipkens, Willie Henry, Tom Stroble, Maurice Hurst, Poggi etc. will be hard for offenses to stop.


October 12th, 2012 at 5:16 PM ^

Strong front four that generates plenty of pass rush.  One guy spends most of the game in the opponent's backfield.  Opponents struggle to break 3 YPC.

Linebackers that react quickly, fill the holes, swarm, and hit hard.  When they blitz, they drive it home.  LBs lead the team in tackles.

Defensive backs that can handle man and zone coverage.  Strong safety that hits with authority.

Defense gets offended when the opponent scores.  Points against per game < 10.

Smart and disciplined.  Make the right read and get to the ball quickly.  Need for speed isn't critical if you are headed in the right direction at the snap.

Big plays don't happen.

At least 8 guys on ball every play.


Don't care what the guys look like, but those are the attributes.  Refer to 1976 (5 shutouts) and 1997 defenses as examples.

magnus_caerulus (not verified)

October 12th, 2012 at 11:49 PM ^

I read this post and instantly recalled the debate scene in Billy Madison. Or maybe you would prefer the student assembly trial in animal house. Pick your poison