Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/6/14
Michigan Football lost their best defensive player, Jake Ryan, to a likely season ending knee injury. Last year, Ryan, who was injured early in spring practice, led Michigan in tackles (88), tackles for loss (16), sacks (4.5) and forced fumbles (4). Where do things stand in the wake of this most unfortunate injury? The good news is, that linebacker is one of the deepest position groups on the team. Here is a look at each of the linebacker positions and who will compete for playing time. SAM: This is the spot that would have been occupied by Jake Ryan. Now Cam Gordon and converted rush end Brennen Beyer will compete for the starting assignment. Gordon is a 5th year senior, who has impressed Greg Mattison. “I made the comment to some of the coaches that maybe I got him out too fast sometimes,” Mattison explained. ” As we watch the film when you’re sitting in your chair, you keep saying, ‘he did pretty good job on that play. He continuously gets better.” Beyer is a talented player that the coaching staff is also high on. He started 8 games last year at defensive end and racked up 18 tackles and 1 forced fumble. MIKE: Desmond Morgan has been moved from the weak side spot, where he started 11 games last season. He finished third on the team with 78 tackles. He will compete with Joe Bolden. A sophomore, Bolden showed flashes of great potential last year. James Ross III WILL: Sophomores James Ross III and Royce Jenkins-Stone will battle for the starting position. Ross III started two games last season and displayed good speed and instincts as he totaled 34 tackles. Jenkins-Stone played primarily on special teams last year, but is a very talented player. Greg Mattison likes what he has seen from James Ross. “He’s a very instinctive, smart football player that can run and is not afraid to hit,” he said. “You’ve hit three pretty good components for a linebacker and he gets better and better every day, too. Joe Bolden, Royce Jenkins-Stone, too. What we need now is for them to keeping coming on to add depth.” No matter how you slice it, losing Ryan will hurt. However, Michigan does have a talented group of linebackers and the competition for playing time will be fierce, which is good. The Wolverines have two freshman linebackers coming in for fall camp; Ben Gedeon and Mike McCray II. Freshmen linebackers have received a lot of playing time in the first two years of the Hoke regime, so don’t be surprised if you see Gedeon or McCray in the mix during fall camp. 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 Michigan Football’s all-time best linebackers Michigan Football spring preview: running backs Michigan Football spring preview: wide receivers
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Wrigley Field renovation causing massive rat problem

Rex Ryan praises Patriots, calls Deflategate 'unfortunate'

Brady hopes Peyton Manning comes back next season

Report: Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls 'beyond repair'

Joe Montana pins blame for Deflategate on Tom Brady

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFLPA boss: No Deflategate interviews until after SB

Blandino: Deflategate no sting; PSI in footballs not logged in

Aaron Hernandez’s DNA found on bullet casing, joint near body

Thomas upset he was tested for PEDs over health statement

Marshawn’s press conference to end all press conferences

NFL to assist Seahawks in ID'ing Pats' ineligible receiver sets

Five potential heroes of Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Timberwolves throw shade at Kevin Love in promo

Tom Izzo: 'The Twitter' may have affected team's confidence

Measles outbreak hits Arizona days before Super Bowl

Proposed pace-of-play rule changes, by the numbers

Super Bowl XLIX should smash TV viewership record yet again

NFL, officials, Carroll disagree on ineligible player rules

Seattle business rolling 12,000 joints for Super Bowl

How Yardbarker got Marshawn Lynch to open up back in 2008

Super Bowl records that won't fall anytime soon

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting baby any day

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

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

Five potential Super Bowl XLIX heroes

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Brady hopes Manning comes back

The worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Teammate: Manziel not a joke

Ten most underrated SB performances

Knicks ‘in play’ for Kevin Durant?

Ex-QB: Everyone deflates footballs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.