2017 Season Countdown: #57 Reuben Jones

2017 Season Countdown: #57 Reuben Jones

July 4, 2017

Reuben Jones (#4, image via MGoBlog)

Name: Reuben Jones
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 222 lbs.
High school: Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson
Position: Defensive end
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #4
Last year: I ranked Jones #53 and said he would be a backup weakside end. He made 2 tackles.
TTB Rating: 67

It’s hard to pin down this Jones kid. He came in as a weakside end, but he played middle linebacker a little bit for his first two years on campus. Even in year two, he was listed at 6’4″ and 222 lbs., which means he’s thin even for a linebacker. Due to that alone, it’s not surprising that he hasn’t earned a ton of playing time. What he has done, however, is win Scout Team Player of the Week, and he finished as Michigan’s fifth-best Scout Team Player of the Year at the annual football bust (LINK). Is that good or not? I don’t know. On the one hand, hooray for a guy who busts his butt on the scout team. On the other hand, the other guys in that top five were all walk-ons.

Michigan needs someone to step up at weakside end to back up Chase Winovich. There’s an opportunity for Jones to take that #2 spot, but competition exists in a couple other forms. I think he’ll have a battle on his hands from some freshmen, especially Luiji Vilain. Jones won’t win the gig if he stays at 222 lbs., but the spirit that helped him earn STPOTW might get him some opportunities on the kickoff, kickoff return, punt, and punt return teams.

Prediction: Backup defensive end


  1. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Jul 04, 2017 at 11:11 PM

    Jones has no chance for real PT. He is a “team guy” who is likely to roll on the scout team for the third year. Also, he is nowhere near his listed 6’4″.

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jul 05, 2017 at 1:29 PM

    I’m in agreement with PS here. Johnson (#71 in the countdown) seems more likely to emerge, given the praise he’s gotten from teammates. I’d have them flipped. I know Johnson played tackle in the spring but I think we don’t have to read too much into that.

    Furbush at WDE is the idea that I’d still like to see come to fruition before forcing somebody like Jones in.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 06, 2017 at 8:27 AM

      I think if Michigan had Johnson pegged ahead of Jones at defensive end, then they wouldn’t have “wasted” reps at tackle in the spring for Johnson.

      I said when Furbush committed that I thought he would be a weakside end, so I would be in favor of that move. I don’t see him doing anything significant at SAM linebacker.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1357
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Jul 06, 2017 at 9:40 AM

        I dunno, I can see some value in letting a young DE get beat up some by the likes of Onwenu and Bredenson for a month in the spring. I think you can benefit some from a bit of pounding. Guys like Cole and Runyon might not seem so tough after getting doubled and mauled inside. Might make him bit more serious about getting out quick and low.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 6285
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Jul 06, 2017 at 12:34 PM

          Particularly if they’re looking for a run-stopper to complement Winovich (even though he graded out well last year in this he was clearly used on a higher percentage of passing downs).

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Jul 06, 2017 at 12:33 PM

        I get your point, but disagree. I think Harbaugh in particular sees playing other positions as useful. An opportunity to get better. Mattison likes his guys versatile too. Playing inside a bit can be a way to work on certain weaknesses, and those skills can translate back outside.

        If the experiment continues in August I’ll agree with you. For now, it seems like a function of the temporary lack of depth in the spring.

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