Name: Junior Colson
Weight: 247 lbs.
High school: Brentwood (TN) Ravenwood
Jersey number: #25
Last year: I ranked Colson #2 and said he would be the starting middle linebacker with 110 tackles and 4 sacks (LINK). He made 101 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 pass breakup, and 1 quarterback hurry.
TTB Rating: 89
Colson had a solid freshman campaign in 2021 followed up by a very good sophomore year. A player with sideline-to-sideline speed, he led the team in tackles with 101. He didn’t necessarily have the one huge “wow” play that might really cement him in Michigan fan’s memories – yet – but he was all over the field on a consistent basis, especially when he seemed to make every stop against Purdue. He ended up with 15 tackles against the Boilermakers alone.
Some people may quibble with my moving Colson down from #2 to #14 in this year’s countdown, but that points toward my having a little more confidence in this year’s linebacker group. Even though Nikhai Hill-Green transferred to Charlotte after sitting out 2022 due to injury, every other linebacker returns with an additional year of experience, plus Nebraska transfer Ernest Hausmann. Michigan really has three starting linebackers (Colson, Barrett, Hausmann) for two spots, not to mention Jimmy Rolder, who got quite a bit of experience last year. Throw in Micah Pollard and Jaydon Hood, who are both getting some practice buzz, and the Wolverines have a solid group.
Colson should once again be in the running for all-conference and will probably lead the team in tackles, but Michigan finally seems to have some quality depth rather than immediately having to dip into the true freshman – or even redshirt freshman – ranks if there’s an injury.
Prediction: Starting middle linebacker; 90 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception
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