2019 Season Countdown: #23 Devin Gil

2019 Season Countdown: #23 Devin Gil

August 8, 2019
Devin Gil (#36, image via MLive)

Name: Devin Gil
236 lbs.
High school:
Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan
Redshirt junior
Jersey number:
Last year:
I ranked Gil #27 and said he would be the starting weakside linebacker (LINK). He started all thirteen games and made 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery.
TTB Rating:

The Devin Gil situation in 2018 was perhaps the most intriguing (head-scratching?) personnel situation of the whole season. Gil registered as the starter in all thirteen games. The other guy fighting for the job was Josh Ross, who started only one – and that was the bowl game that Devin Bush, Jr. missed.

Ross was Honorable Mention All-Big Ten with 61 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 2 pass breakups.

Gil made 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.

I don’t understand the playing time decisions made by Michigan at the weakside linebacker spot last year. It doesn’t make any sense.

Moving on to 2019, though, Ross appears to have the MIKE linebacker position locked up, and Gil is the clear front-runner at WILL. There are other capable players behind the two inside linebacker starters, such as Jordan Anthony and Cameron McGrone. Considering Gil held on to the “starting” job in 2018 when his play was less than stellar, I feel like the dropoff from starter to backup wouldn’t be that significant. That’s why Gil is ranked here. I thought Michigan had three good options for the two inside linebacker spots in 2018 (Bush, Ross, Gil), but this season, I see four (Ross, Gil, McGrone, Anthony).

Prediction: Starting weakside linebacker


  1. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 08, 2019 at 2:00 PM

    I think 2019 explains the 2018 rotation.

    I know many think Ross was the better player and should have started but there is value in avoiding a demotion for quality veteran. Especially one you know is being asked to start the following year. It may have not been totally optimal for 2018 but it is nice now to have 2 experienced players with egos in tact.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1364
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Aug 08, 2019 at 7:58 PM

      “Hey, Josh…I know you’re the better player, but Devin has kind of a fragile ego, and if I don’t start him, he’s gonna pout, and might even transfer, and as a coach, I just can’t deal with that, so would you mind coming off the bench for a couple years? Maybe when you’re a senior I can give you the starting spot you deserve, Ok?”

      Yep…that’s a winning recipe for coaching.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 400
        Joined: 12/24/2016
        Aug 09, 2019 at 9:54 AM

        I’ll always love good sarcasm and I generally disagree with the psych studies that refer to it as an expression of disappointment if not latent anger. I think generally its the language of the intelligent……..

        BUT! In this case to play devil’s advocate I’ll mention (I know different sport but still) John Havlicek & Kevin Mc Hale who didn’t start much, coming off the bench and both are in the HOF……..
        Coaches gunna coach.
        Jes sayin ………..intjohn

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 08, 2019 at 2:32 PM

    For the sake of discussion/argument, let’s compare RB and LB.

    Both need 3 guys.
    RB is 1 position with heavy rotation. LB is 2 with modest rotation. You want 2 starter-caliber players and a competent 3rd option to fill-in or even rotate regularly if he’s up to the job.

    The starting LBs are more proven and probably better.
    RB has a lower-talent proven senior and a 4-star sophomore at the top. LB has a lower-talent proven senior and a proven 4-star junior at the top. The LB starters have good experience (15 career starts). The RB “starters” were role players or fill-ins. Gil is more experienced than Wilson and Ross is a burgeoning star while Turner has been fighting injury.

    Backups are equally unproven at both.
    No one has played meaningful downs. RB has a 4-star freshman and a 3-star sophomore at the top. LB has a 4-star junior and 4-star sophomore at the top. Maybe we feel some kind of way about these guys but nobody has seen anything from Charbonnet, Jordan, Haskins, McGrone.

    Takeaways: there is a bigger gap at LB from starters to backups. It’s not even clear that there would be a loss going from starting RB to backup. On top of that – LB is two positions that are generally on the field for most plays in the game while RB is a rotation (generally by choice).

    For the above reasons I ranked both starting LBs well above the top RBs. Ross 9, Gil 16, Turner 26 and Wilson 31.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 182
    Joined: 9/15/2015
    Aug 08, 2019 at 4:00 PM

    that WLB decision definitely of the head scratching variety. reminds me of joe bolden continuing to play over superior talents, namely ben gedeon. i recall don brown interviews where he said he reviewed tape upon arrival and noticed gedeon on the practice field and wondered why he hadnt played much since brown thought he could really ball.

    coaching is a tough gig and fans will never know all that goes into certain decisions behind closed doors but ill never understand those decisions.
    sometimes coaches just reach a certain comfort level with some guys and cant quite exit that zone or struggle to adapt (and that includes scheme too, as weve seen with harbaugh).

    nice to see though that brown has a handful of LBs he trusts to execute his system – all the names mentioned above plus glasgow as i wouldnt be surprised if glasgow forces his way into the D scheme even more this year

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