Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/27/13
Once a weakness, the defensive line is now a position of strength for Michigan Football. Thanks to a recruiting emphasis on defensive linemen, the Wolverines have a deep and talented group of players competing for starting assignments. There are so many promising players that there are numerous potential combinations for how the starting unit could shake out. Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery left the staff for a job at Oklahoma. Now Brady Hoke will coach the tackles, Greg Mattison the ends and Roy Manning was added to the staff, he will coach the SAM linebackers. Here are the 4 positions and who is competing for playing time at each spot DE: Last year as a true freshman, Chris Wormley was very impressive in camp and was on track to play before his season was prematurely ended by injury. Wormley is still impressing and figures to see a lot of action this year. Fellow redshirt freshmen Matt Godin and Tom Strobel are also talented players who will compete for playing time. Redshirt sophomore Keith Heitzman is also in the mix and has some playing experience under his belt. Ondre Pipkins DT: Quinton Washington started 10 games last year and was one of Michigan’s best defenders. He is a load at 6-foot-4, 305 pounds and should create havoc on the interior for the Wolverines. Ondre Pipkins played as a true freshman last year and is only going to get better. He will push Washington and should see plenty of reps. DT: Jibreel Black has appeared in 39 games throughout his career and should start next to Washington on the inside of the line. 6-foot-2, 306 pound redshirt freshman Willie Henry is yet another talented young player on this defense. He should see playing time this fall. DE: Now is the time for junior Frank Clark to shine. He has beefed up to 277 pounds and is a tremendous athlete. Last year, Clark was second on the team with 9 tackles for loss. Mario Ojemudia received a lot of playing time last season as a true freshman and looks like a future star. Freshman Taco Charlton is an early enrollee and by all accounts a freak athlete. Don’t be surprised if he forces his way into the rotation this fall. This group of defensive linemen is very deep and loaded with talent. The competition for playing time will be intense and that will bring out the best in these players. Games are won and lost in the trenches and this is particularly true in the Big Ten. Michigan is now in a position where they will have a dominant defensive line. Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo observed a recent Michigan practice and came away impressed with the defensive line. BTN Spring Tour Stop 6 #WolverinesWatched one of the best and toughest defensive line pass rush drills ever. — Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) March 27, 2013 BTN Spring Tour Stop 6 #Wolverines Best competition between offensive & defensive lines we’ve seen this spring They were smashing each other — Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) March 27, 2013 In addition to Charlton, Michigan has two more freshman defensive linemen set to join the team this summer, Maurice Hurst Jr and Henry Poggi. If you would like to receive an email notification each time a new Michigan Football article is posted you can fill out our Email Notification Form. You can follow me on Twitter @isportsRob Related articles The aftermath of the Jake Ryan injury Michigan Football’s all-time best defensive linemen
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report suggests C.J. Wilson’s teammates not happy he’s seeking season ending surgery

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

Report: L.A.-area venues wary of temporarily hosting NFL teams

Jimmy Graham to block for Marshawn 75 percent of time

Kobe Bryant not sure if 2015-16 is his final NBA season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Arian Foster could be headed to injured reserve

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

RG3 on team's expectatons: Not asking me to be Superman

Bills' Kromer issues suspension statement without apology

Report: Patriots restructure Rob Gronkowski's contract

Agent: Rory McIlroy not booked for PGA Championship practice

NHL and MLB Advanced Media announce $1.2 billion deal

Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn’t very enthused about team’s chances next season

Dave Dombrowski is out as Tigers GM

Bubba Watson’s caddie: Bubba has a ‘fear of crowds’

Melvin Gordon’s mom won’t wear his jersey this year

Waiver wire deals to keep an eye on following trade deadline

Chip Kelly: No regrets keeping Riley Cooper on team after rant

Houston Astros have altered their fate

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

Gronk, Big Papi go 'country' in latest Dunkin Donuts video

Phillies showing signs of future success

Mortensen on false Deflategate report: Still figuring Twitter out

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

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

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