|Craig Roh (#88)
Name: Craig Roh
Weight: 269 lbs.
High school: Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, AZ
Position: Weakside end
Jersey number: #88
Last year: I ranked Roh #8 and said he would have 45 tackles and 7 sacks. He started at OLB and DE at various times, finishing with 43 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1/2 a sack, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 pass breakup.
Well, I overshot on Roh’s sack total by about 6.5 sacks. Like everything that’s happened over the last three seasons, I blame the coaches. Roh played outside linebacker for the first eight weeks of the season in a 3-3-5 defense, one in which he rarely rushed the passer and often found himself in coverage. Who takes a 6’5″, high school superstar of a pass rusher and turns him into an outside linebacker in a 3-3-5? Anyone besides Rich Rodriguez and Greg Robinson? Probably not. Things got so bad in 2010 that Roh and his father reportedly threatened to transfer schools if the coaches didn’t put him back at his natural defensive end position. Whether that story is true or not, Roh was at defensive end by the Illinois game on November 6. Roh showed plenty of promise as a freshman, when he had 2 sacks among 37 tackles and looked like a future star at the defensive end position; now he returns to that weakside end spot with about 35 more pounds on his frame than he had as a freshman in 2009.
Roh was being pushed by sophomore defensive end Jibreel Black in the spring, but recent comments by the coaches suggest that Black didn’t come back in August as advanced as they had hoped. It seems that the weakside end position is Roh’s to lose now, whereas there were some questions back in April. I have always thought highly of Roh, going back to the 2009 recruiting cycle, when I said he would be the best overall recruit in his class. Now that he has a coaching staff who presumably know how to use a defensive end, we should see Roh take a leap forward after his sophomore slump. In the 4-3 Under defense, he should see plenty of one-on-one matchups with opposing offensive tackles or even the occasional running back. And instead of seeing meager sack totals from Michigan’s defensive ends (1/2 for Roh last season, 4 for Van Bergen), we ought to see them notch about 10 total between the two end spots.
Prediction: Starting weakside end; 50 tackles, 6 sacks
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