The Spring Revelations (Defense)

Submitted by MGoShoe on April 29th, 2010 at 9:44 AM provides their take on the standout defensive performers of spring practice. This article is not behind their paywall.

  • Most Improved: JT Floyd and Will Campbell
  • Breakout Starter in 2010: Greg Banks and Cam Gordon
  • Could Be Starting By Oct. 1: Kenny Demens
  • Freshmen Expected To Contribute In 2010: Cullen Christian and Josh Furman
  • MVPs: Jonas Mouton and Craig Roh

Click on the link for the full ananlysis, but here are my thoughts:

  • Their evaluation of JT Floyd is the most encouraging word I've heard about his spring performance and provides some measure of reassurance about the state of the cornerbacks.
  • Greg Banks apparently has a compelling story that they will roll out in their Football Preview. Could be another reason to get it if you don't already buy everything Michigan Football related.
  • They buy into the Kenny Demens love and the Obi Ezeh skepticism.
  • Amidst all the Dorsey obsession, their focus on Cullen Christian and particularly Josh Furman is interersting. Of course until these guys get on campus for summer conditioning and camp, who knows if they'll really be instant contributors, but the idea of "Furman [who] is a bit of a freak, boasting a 4.3 40-yard dash with the strength and power to play linebacker" competing for playing time at Spur is exciting.
  • More Roh man love and admit it, you're smitten too: "The 6-5, 249-pounder, already showing the leadership skills of a future captain, should emerge one of the Big Ten's best pass rushers and one of the league's most versatile defenders. One astute observer noted: 'I don't think we've seen any Michigan defender, as close to the line of scrimmage as he plays, like him in 20 years.'"



April 29th, 2010 at 10:06 AM ^

How can Greg Banks start if the D-line already has Van Bergen, Martin, and Campbell?  Or is Campbell going to back up Martin for another more year?


April 29th, 2010 at 11:22 AM ^

You realize that makes him about dead even with DWarren, right?  And wherever Christian ran a 4.68, it was probably a year before he'll arrive on campus.  Give him another year of normal development and a few months with Barwis and I wouldn't be surprised if he shaves a legit tenth off.


April 29th, 2010 at 10:26 AM ^

but I thought that was just precautionary.

"With the continued news that four-star defensive back talent Demar Dorsey won't likely qualify academically this fall..."

This is the first time I've heard such a negative slant on Dorsey's chances. Did I miss any new developments?

West Texas Blue

April 29th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

I've been saying that JT Floyd is going to surprise people this year, and now everyone is starting to notice his play.  Floyid and Woolfolk will make a good CB tandem.  The bigger problem is depth, as there isn't any.  I'm praying every day that Dorsey qualifies and gets in.  Cullen should be able to effectively contribute, but I have reservations about Talbott and Avery contributing this year just as Rivals article does.  The secondary is going to make or break this season. 

steve sharik

April 29th, 2010 at 11:55 AM ^

...Roundtree separate from Emilien on the 97-yarder in the spring game, I don't see what Emilien brings that Kovacs doesn't.

I think the best options might be to play:

  • one of the frosh. at corner, move Woolfolk to free and Cam to bandit
  • JT Turner to free and Cam to bandit


April 29th, 2010 at 12:06 PM ^

Keep in mind that Emilien missed a majority of spring practice due to a knee injury.  He had just been cleared to have full contact a couple days prior to the spring game.  That may have had something to do with it, although I don't think he's a true burner even when healthy.


April 29th, 2010 at 12:03 PM ^

Instincts/intelligence are much more important at free safety than pure speed.  In the NFL, you see aging (aka slower) corners move to free safety all the time.  Brandent Englemon was a pretty good FS, and he wasn't fast at all.  This is especially true if we're going to run a lot of Cover 3, as opposed to Cover 1 or Cover 2, since the FS will have less ground to cover when he only has a deep third.

It would have been nice to see Emilien track down Roundtree on that play, but if he makes the proper read, that doesn't happen in the first place.


April 29th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

even worse by the fact that Vlad lacks the instincts/intelligence AND speed to play deep safety. IIRC, last year during the spring game or an early scrimmage, he took a poor angle and got torched by Minor or Brown I believe. Hopefully I'm wrong here.


April 29th, 2010 at 12:17 PM ^

No offense, but you are wrong.  That was Leach's fault, and Emilien didn't have any shot at catching Brown on that play.  On top of that, Emilien was basically a high school senior at that point trying to catch a junior in Carlos Brown.  You can't glean too much from that play, other than "Carlos Brown is faster than Vladimir Emilien," which...well...Brown is faster than most of the Big Ten.


April 29th, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

to only use instincts?  For the purposes here they mean basically the same thing. I hope I'm not offending anyone questioning their 'intelligence'. Does it sound better to say football intelligence? Means the same thing in my book, and I hope no one thinks I am actually questioning a recruits 'non-football' intelligence.