2011 Countdown: #52 Josh Furman

2011 Countdown: #52 Josh Furman

July 10, 2011
Maybe it’s just me, but
Josh Furman looks
awesome with

Name: Josh Furman
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 207 lbs.
High school: Old Mill Senior High School in Annapolis, MD
Position: Safety
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #6
Last year: I ranked Furman #68 and said he would play on special teams.  He redshirted.

Furman is a bit of a question mark for me this year.  There’s no question that he’s an exceptional athlete with a laser-time 4.37 forty yard dash and a sprinter’s build.  He played outside linebacker and running back in high school, and last year played Spur in practice.  But he was pretty thin (right around 200 lbs.) and needed a little bit of seasoning.  Once Rich Rodriguez was fired and his poorly implemented 3-3-5 defense went with him, Furman became a safety to the new regime.

Beyond the aforementioned outstanding athleticism, I didn’t see much from Furman to get me excited about his future as a safety.  After playing close to the line in high school, he seems uncomfortable in open space.  He might get more accustomed to playing back off the line in the coming years, but as of now, I still think (as I said during his recruitment) that he would be a better fit as a linebacker.  Hopefully he proves me wrong in that regard, because Michigan does need to upgrade its talent level at the safety positions.  But for now Furman doesn’t look like he’s ready to see heavy minutes in the Big Ten.

Prediction: Backup safety and special teams contributor


  1. Comments: 21384
    Jul 10, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    If he is not a safety, and linebacker is going to be tough to find some minutes in the coming years… any other options? WR? RB? TE?

  2. Comments: 21384
    Jul 10, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    @ Aaron 10:53 a.m.

    I'm not sure how good his hands are. He was a very good running back in high school, and he's got the speed/size to do it in college. I wouldn't be opposed to him getting a shot there if the whole safety thing doesn't work out.

  3. Comments: 21384
    Jul 10, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    I loved Furman's size/athleticism combo out of high school. But with the switch in defensive philosophy, it seems like may become something of a positional vagabond. Hopefully the coaches can find a position for him somewhere and let him learn.

  4. Comments: 21384
    Jul 10, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Seems like a change to running back would bury him on the depth chart with all of the players stacked up there already.

  5. Comments: 21384
    Jul 10, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    I have had the pleasure of watching every snap from spring ball and I am telling you that this kid is the best kept secret that Michigan has in the defensive backfield. I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't your starting free safety by the time summer camp is over with. There are two "If" that will negate my prediction. !. IF the coaches don't play that publicity bs or 2. If the coaches don't use the safest approach that Carvin and Kovaks have had more playing experience. Then I believe Furman and Robinson will be your two deep tandem. This will no doubt be one of the most heated competitions of summer practices to keep an eye on.

  6. Comments: 21384
    Jul 10, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Wasn't he a stud running back? And didn't the schools recruiting him want him as an RB? I wonder why he was never in the conversation there with our sucky backfield.

  7. Comments: 21384
    Jul 10, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    I really hope he sees the field this year. If my hopes were put into a 2011 countdown, Furman would be closer to #30, and he would turn into a starting safety halfway through next season. He is far too athletic to not be on the field.

  8. Comments: 21384
    Jul 11, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    I haven't had the pleasure to see him play, however, I would imagine that with his speed, if he could play center field [safety], that he would be tough to beat out. You need someone who could erase those mistakes that get through into your backfield.

    My first impression was that if he is better on offense, that RB would be his best option, but I guess there must have been a reason why so many coaches saw him as a defensive player when he racked up all of those yards as a RB???

  9. Comments: 21384
    Jul 11, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    How did that fifth comment get approved? Misspelled names…randomly-capitalized letters…claims of insiderdom that put an established third-stringer ahead of a two-year starter. C'mon, Magnus!

  10. Comments: 21384
    Painter Smurf
    Jul 11, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    I have heard from several practice observers that he has not shown much natural instinct or comfort for safety. Not surprising, since he did not play it in high school and it is such a cerebral position. The coaches may need to keep him there for short-term depth this season, but if the light does not turn on soon, I can see him making a move next winter. DB depth should go from thin to thick over the 2011/12 classes. And I don't know if it will make sense to move him to LB with approximately eight solid prospects enrolling over the next two years.

    My preference would be for the coaches to at least try him some at WR. It sounds like he has the jets and size. From memory, his offensive tape from high school was excellent, though at RB. But the guy is certainly comfortable with the ball in his hands. I just don't want to see him languish on defense if he is not comfortable there. We should know pretty soon, because he will get PT in early season games.

  11. Comments: 21384
    Jul 11, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    @ Anonymous 3:06 p.m.

    Yes, Furman was a stud running back. He had 2,284 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior.

  12. Comments: 21384
    Jul 11, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    @ Anonymous 8:32 p.m.

    Furman's not an extremely natural, instinctive running back. He has great speed, but he's a little bit stiff. He didn't break a ton of tackles, and he's not extremely elusive. I wouldn't mind him getting a shot at running back if he's not going to contribute at safety, but I'm not necessarily begging for him to run the ball, either.

  13. Comments: 21384
    Jul 12, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    If he can't beat Kovacs, then there needs to be a position change. Ive never even thought of Furman at wide out, but his size, speed, and our depth are a perfect fit.

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