Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/26/13
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

49ers OC: Kaepernick didn’t regress as much as believed

John Calipari may coach Kentucky until he is 73

Eric Berry cleared to practice with Chiefs

WATCH: Pedro Martinez's number retired in ceremony

Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia suspended 162 games for PEDs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brady told staff to hand copy of game ball rules to officials

Phillies agree to send Jonathan Papelbon to Nationals

Report: Russell Wilson to end contract negotiations Friday

Report: Brady authorizes NFLPA to appeal his case in court

NFL, NFLPA reduce Le'Veon Bell suspension

Tim Brown: Cardinals new coach Jen Welter is 'tough as nails'

Luther Campbell jabs FSU coach over decommitment

WATCH: Royals infielders combine for incredible play

Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey to hold out of training camp

Terry Bollea's self-destruction: Hulkamania as social construct

Lou Holtz: ND has 'legitimate chance' to make playoff

Golfer Billy Hurley III asks for help finding missing father

Dismissed Clemson DE tweets he hates cops after arrest

Smith to report to camp, no charges filed for child abuse

Angels stockpile outfielders, acquire Murphy and DeJesus

Penguins trade Brandon Sutter to the Canucks

Ronda Rousey willing to fight Miesha Tate a third time

Mexico fires coach for alleged brawl after Gold Cup win

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

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

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