Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 5/2/13
Michigan Football recently wrapped up their spring practice session. The worst news to come out of the spring was the injury to the Michigan’s best defensive player, Jake Ryan. He is expected to be out until at least October. The good news is, that in year three of the Brady Hoke era, the defense is now loaded with talent at all three levels. I already took a post-spring look at the offense, now it’s time to zero in on the defense. Defensive Line Mario Ojemudia Rush End: Junior Frank Clark had a great spring and should wreak havoc against opposing offenses this year. He is backed up by Mario Ojemudia and freshman/early enrollee Taco Charlton. Charlton is going to be star for the Wolverines. Defensive tackle: 5th year senior Quinton Washington is better than he generally gets credit for and will man one of the starting spots along the interior of the line. He will be backed up by sophomore Ondre Pipkins, who is an impact player. Starting at the three-technique will be senior Jibreel Black. There are a talented pair of redshirt freshman vying for playing time behind Black, Chris Wormley and Willie Henry. At strong-side defensive end there is an intense battle for playing time between Keith Heitzman (RS So), Matthew Godin (RS Fr) and Tom Strobel (RS Fr). No matter how the battles for playing time shake out, this is going to be Michigan’s best defensive line in a long time. There are several future NFL players in this position group. Linebackers Desmond Morgan SAM: This was the position to be manned by Jake Ryan, who led Michigan in tackles (88), tackles for loss (16), sacks (4.5) and forced fumbles (4) last season. He is a guy that opposing offenses had to account for on every snap and it’s a big blow for Michigan to lose his services for an extended period of time. Brennen Beyer has moved from defensive end to linebacker and will challenge 5th year senior Cam Gordon for playing time in Ryan’s absence. MIKE: After playing two seasons at outside linebacker, Desmond Morgan has moved back to his natural position, middle linebacker. He finished third on the team last year with 81 tackles and also notched 5.5 tackles for loss. Morgan will be pushed hard by sophomore Joe Bolden, who had 31 tackles and 4 TFLs last season. WILL: James Ross III figures to have the inside track here. He is fast, instinctive and has a nose for the football. Royce Jenkins-Stone is talented young player who will see increased playing time in this, his sophomore season. Defensive Backs Blake Countess (AnnArbor.com photo) Cornerback: Blake Countess returns from his season-ending knee injury suffered against Alabama last year and should be fantastic. Senior Courtney Avery, junior Delonte Hollowell and freshman/early enrollee Dymonte Thomas will also see the field. Corner: Raymon Taylor stepped up in Coutness’ absence last year and played well. Taylor was seventh on the team with 45 tackles and tied for the team-high with two interceptions. Freshman/early enrollee Ross Douglas had a strong spring. Strong safety: 5th year senior Thomas Gordon was tied for third last year with 81 tackles and has playmaking ability. Gordon has started 26 games in his career and has recorded four fumble recoveries and three interceptions. Free safety: Sophomore Jarrod Wilson is battling with senior Marvin Robinson for the starting job here. If you would like to receive an email notification each time a Michigan Football and/or Basketball story is posted you can fill out the Email Notification Form. You can follow me on twitter @isportsRob Related articles Michigan recruiting update: Jabrill Peppers Michigan Football and the NFL Draft Michigan Football’s all-time best defensive backs
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Over a dozen Steelers players dealing with the flu

Mike Mularkey: Marcus Mariota ‘should be ready’ for 2017 season

WATCH: Angry fan interrupts Chargers Los Angeles presser

Serena Williams forced a reporter to apologizing for saying she played poorly

Pablo Sandoval has 'reshaped himself' this offseason, John Farrell says

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Seahawks could lose second-rounder for not disclosing Sherman injury

Kemba Walker on if he should be an All-Star: ‘Not really,'

Arizona star guard Allonzo Trier suspended for PED use

Report: NFL admits refs made crucial mistake in Packers-Cowboys game

Woody Johnson named ambassador to UK, may give up control of Jets

Report: Marlins acquire Dan Straily from the Reds

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

Was Jack Capuano the right person to blame for Isles' woes?

Ten NBA players who need a change of scenery

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

QUIZ: Name every NCAA men's and women's basketball team with perfect regular seasons

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker