2010 Countdown: #10 Jonas Mouton

2010 Countdown: #10 Jonas Mouton

August 24, 2010

Name: Jonas Mouton
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 240 lbs.
High school: Venice High School in Los Angeles, CA
Position: Weakside linebacker
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #8
Last year: I ranked Mouton #24 and said he had the ability to be an all-conference player. He had 66 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and 4 pass breakups.

Mouton was a safety early in his career, but most educated observers assumed he would quickly outgrow the position. That happened almost immediately, as Mouton became a weakside linebacker during his true freshman season. He played sparingly as a redshirt freshman in 2007 and then exploded in 2008, when he was the second-leading tackler (76) on the team. However, he took a step backward in 2009. He’s one of those players who always seems to have a nagging injury, and a hand injury hampered him as a redshirt junior. That shouldn’t have affected his ability to diagnose plays, though, which has been a problem at times. Mouton frustrated Michigan fans repeatedly last season, along with his fellow inside linebacker Obi Ezeh.

In more positive news, old linebackers coach Jay Hopson has departed (now the Memphis Tigers defensive coordinator), perhaps after being urged by head coach Rich Rodriguez. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the only coach to depart happened to head up the most disappointing unit in 2009. Coaching the position now is none other than defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who made a perennial goat, safety-turned-linebacker Steve Brown, into the team’s leading tackler and a 7th round draft pick; Robinson also coached freshman DE/OLB Craig Roh into a solid true freshman season, accruing 37 tackles and 2 sacks. Michigan fans are hoping that Robinson can work his magic on the inside linebackers this year, turning an underperforming unit into the solid crew that two fifth-year seniors with 53 combined starts should provide. I’m optimistic about what he can do with the entire unit, but Mouton is especially important because the depth behind him is skimpy.

Prediction for 2010: 90 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions

Ryan Van Bergen was the leading vote-getter for the #10 slot with 32% of the vote. Mouton was second with 23%.


  1. Comments: 21379
    Aug 24, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    "linebackers coach Jay Hopson has departed (now the Memphis Tigers defensive coordinator), perhaps after being urged by head coach Rich Rodriguez. I don't think it's a coincidence that the only coach to depart happened to head up the most disappointing unit in 2009"

    It's no coincidence that despite the horrible recruiting, development, retention, and performance of our defense, front to back, for two years, the only heads to roll are the guys who aren't Rodriguez' boys (Hopaon and Shafer).

    The other outsider, Greg Robinson, has his authority undermined (play the formation his underlings prefer, 3-3-5; the boss adjusts to his underlings terminology (are these guys professionals? can they learn some new vocabulary?). Even when he took the job, Robinson said in interviews that he understood that he was really there to coordinate what everyone else was already doing, and not to be the boss.

    How is it possible that after two years of the worst mental (not athletic) problems I've seen — missed tackles, being out of position, and just plain giving up — not to mention the recruting, retention, and development, how is it that the coaches are all still there? The only ones to go are the new guys? If ths happened under previous coaches, do you think we'd see the same staff in place?

    RR seems too loyal to his buddies (on offense too). He's the boss and this is as top program. If they're not delivering top performance, it's time to find someone else.

  2. Comments: 21379
    Aug 24, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    @ Anonymous 10:04 a.m.

    I don't blame Rodriguez for that. He knows "his guys" can coach, because he's worked with them in the past.

    The 3-3-5 isn't the 3-3-5 that you saw at WVU. You're getting caught up in the terminology. This defense is going to be almost exactly the same as it was last year.

    The retention of Rodriguez is the smart thing to do. I've made this argument so many times that it will pain me too much to type out again, and you don't seem like a person who's willing to change his mind, anyway.

    You don't fire a coach after two years. Period. Not when he took over a program that was sort of in shambles, had to change the philosophy, and hasn't started a season with a QB who's thrown a pass before. Firing him prior to this season would set the program back even further.

  3. Comments: 21379
    Aug 26, 2010 at 4:05 AM

    Mouton is absolutely critical to this season. I'd have ranked him even higher.

    As one of the few defenders that has elite talent paired with plenty of experience, he really has to step up to his potential and become an impact player. He needs to make big plays to keep the defense out of trouble.

    Mouton seems the most likely of the seniors to make a Stevie Brown like leap. With all the youth at the other defensive positions, I'm really putting my hopes onto JM stepping up to mitigate some of the secondary deficiencies.

  4. Comments: 21379
    Sep 19, 2010 at 4:10 AM

    Jonas is a hottie 😀

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