2024 Spring Football Preview: Linebacker

Tag: Hayden Moore

23Mar 2024
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2024 Spring Football Preview: Linebacker

Jaishawn Barham

2023 Starters: MLB Junior Colson, WLB Michael Barrett
Losses: Colson (NFL), Barrett (NFL)
Returning players: Jaydon Hood (RS Jr.), Ernest Hausmann (Jr.), Micah Pollard (Jr.), Jimmy Rolder (RS So.), Semaj Bridgeman (RS Fr.), Jason Hewlett (RS Fr.), Hayden Moore (RS Fr.)
Newcomers: Jaishawn Barham (Jr.), Jeremiah Beasley (Fr.), Cole Sullivan (Fr.)
Projected starters: MLB Barham, WLB Hausmann

With the prevalence of the nickel position, linebacker has been somewhat de-emphasized in recent years. A position group that used to play three guys is now primarily whittled down to two. Michigan had a very good two in 2023 in Junior Colson and Michael Barrett, but both are off to the NFL. Both have had very different paths, with Colson playing three years – two as a starter – and Barrett bouncing around between running back, slot receiver, Viper, and weakside linebacker.

Michigan will have two new starting faces at linebacker in 2024, and both of them are transfers who previously wore red. Barham is a two-year starter at Maryland whom the Wolverines poached this off-season. Hausmann started as a freshman at Nebraska in 2022 before joining the Wolverines in 2023, rotating heavily with Colson and Barrett as basically a third starter. So while both will be new starters at Michigan, they have three combined years of starting and another year of heavily involvement out of four college seasons. That’s a ton of experience for two “new” starters and should help Michigan’s defense succeed in 2024.

The backup situation is a little murkier, especially with a new defensive coordinator (Wink Martindale) and a new linebackers coach (Brian Jean-Mary). Jimmy Rolder got a lot of experience in 2022 before playing sparingly in 2023 in the hopes of preserving his redshirt, which was a successful endeavor. Rolder seems like the most likely guy to emerge as a rotational guy or primary backup in 2024. Meanwhile, Jaydon Hood is a fourth-year player who was recruited by Jean-Mary to Michigan out of high school; some suspected Hood would have left by now with no clear path to playing time, but he’s still wearing a winged helmet.

Junior Micah Pollard has played a ton of special teams and some in a backup role, but the rest of the guys are total unknowns on the college level. Semaj Bridgeman, Jason Hewlett, and Hayden Moore all redshirted in 2023, and Michigan gets two early enrollees involved this spring with in-state product Jeremiah Beasley and Pennsylvanian Cole Sullivan. There are way too many players (10) in the linebacker room to support just two starting spots, so this is a position group that will certainly be thinned out by transfers within the next couple years. But for now, it will be interesting to see who could eventually step in, because both Barham and Hausmann could conceivably jump to the NFL with solid seasons in 2024.

19Jun 2023
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2023 Season Countdown: #100 Hayden Moore

Hayden Moore (image via On3)

Name: Hayden Moore
205 lbs.
High school: 
Parker (CO) Regis Jesuit
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
Moore was a senior in high school. He made 197 tackles, 7 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble.
TTB Rating:

Moore was committed to Nebraska for several months in the 2023 cycle, pledging in June of 2022 and then staying committed until mid-December. However, an offer came from Michigan and an official visit in December sealed the deal, resulting in a pledge to the Wolverines and signing in December. It was a bit of a head-scratcher for Michigan, coming off of a Big Ten championship and “reaching” for the #1164 overall player in the country, according to the 247 Composite.

That being said, Moore is a good athlete who seems undervalued at that ranking. While I do not see him as a high-level athlete, I wouldn’t bat an eyelash if he was ranked in the 500s or 600s. He has good size, decent speed, and a reputation as a tackling machine – his 197 tackles led the state of Colorado in 2022. I’m not quite sure where he fits at Michigan. I don’t think he has the bend – he plays a little high – to be an edge rusher, and I don’t see the athleticism to run sideline-to-sideline as an inside linebacker. In other words, I don’t see him being a major factor on a team with the ability to recruit elite athletes, but he could be a guy who goes somewhere like Boston College or, ahem, Nebraska, and finds a good amount of success. He can play in the Big Ten. Can he play at Michigan? Time will tell.

As for the 2023 season, Moore is a little light and needs some development, coming from playing the SAM linebacker spot in a 3-3 stack defense. I think he’s likely to redshirt, but special teams play could be in consideration, and even some late-season developmental time might be in order.

Prediction: Redshirt

7Mar 2023
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Visitors: March 10-12, 2023

Olney (MD) Good Counsel linebacker Aaron Chiles (image via Twitter)


Hayden Moore – LB – Aurora (CO) Regis Jesuit: Moore signed with Michigan in December and will enroll this summer.


Max Anderson – OT – Frisco (TX) Reedy: Anderson is a 6’5″, 300 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Miami, and Tennessee, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #10 offensive tackle, and #184 overall. He will be in town on March 14-15.

Aaron Chiles – LB – Olney (MD) Good Counsel: Chiles is a 6’3″, 220-pounder with offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, and Ohio State, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #7 linebacker, and #88 overall. There are some who believe Michigan leads for Chiles.

Hit the jump for more.

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13Dec 2022
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Visitors: December 16-18, 2022

A.J. Barner (image via Twitter)


A.J. Barner – TE – Indiana: Barner is a 6’6″, 250 lb. starting tight end and captain from the Hoosiers. After spending three seasons in Bloomington, he has two seasons of eligibility left. This season he caught 28 passes for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns. Barner was a 3-star, the #51 tight end, and #1147 overall in the class of 2020. With Michigan losing Erick All (Iowa), Luke Schoonmaker (NFL), Louis Hansen (transfer), Carter Selzer (graduation), and Joel Honigford (graduation), they need some reinforcements at the tight end position.

Josaiah Stewart – OLB – Coastal Carolina: Stewart is a 6’2″, 230 lb. outside linebacker whom Michigan offered when he came out of high school in 2021. He went to Coastal Carolina and had an outstanding freshman season followed up by a pretty solid sophomore year. Now that he’s in the transfer portal, he has two years of eligibility remaining and appears to be choosing between Michigan and USC.

Hit the jump for more.

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