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

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

WATCH: Ben Revere gifted Matt Wieters a home run

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Redskins skip Robert Griffin III in jersey countdown

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

Playoffs or not, Bryce Harper is the NL MVP

Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly seeking alimony

Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler: A love/hate relationship

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

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

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