Who might not return on defense in 2018?

Tag: Joshua Ross


11Dec 2017
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Who might not return on defense in 2018?

Bryan Mone and Chase Winovich (image via iSportsWeb)

I addressed potential offensive attrition last week (LINK), and here’s the defensive edition. As I mentioned in that previous post, this is about the depth chart and opportunity for playing time; these posts are not about rumors or talent judgments.

DEFENSIVE LINE: First of all, it’s important to note that there are few places in the country where defensive linemen get better coaching than Michigan. If you want to be good and have the ability, Michigan gives you as good of a chance as anyone. It’s not like Alabama or Clemson, where elite recruits simply continue to be elite. It’s a place where walk-ons (Ryan Glasgow) and lowly 3-stars (Frank Clark, Maurice Hurst) can be turned into high draft picks. But if you’re not on their level, you won’t get on the field. In that regard, there are a few guys who are buried on the depth chart. One is defensive end Reuben Jones (RS Jr.), who has been passed by younger guys, and another is Ron Johnson (RS So.), who has bounced between defensive end and defensive tackle. Both are finding it difficult to find the field. Meanwhile, interior players Lawrence Marshall (RS Sr.) and Bryan Mone (RS Sr.) have both been passed by younger guys, most notably Aubrey Solomon, a 2017 signee. Michigan rotates defensive linemen quite a bit, so there’s playing time available for both, but becoming a starter would be a tall order. Most importantly of all, there’s a chance that Chase Winovich (RS Sr.) might enter the NFL Draft.

Hit the jump for a discussion of the linebackers and defensive backs.

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3Jul 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #59 Joshua Ross

Joshua Ross (#5) with teammate and WMU signee Dwayne Chapman (image via Scout)

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Name: Joshua Ross
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 221 lbs.
High school: Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary’s
Position: Linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Ross was a senior in high school.
TTB Rating: 79

Ross, whose older brother James also played at Michigan, seemed like a lock to also be a Wolverine. And yet. He dragged his feet a little bit, flirting with the likes of Notre Dame and Oklahoma. It seemed late in the game when he finally committed to Michigan in late March of 2016, although in truth, that was still over 10 months away from National Signing Day. He earned some decent offers without reeling in many big-timers, and he ended up as the #9 inside linebacker and #214 overall in the 247 Composite.

Ross has a good chance to play this season, even if he is a bit undersized for a MIKE linebacker. Michigan plans to use him in the middle, and he’s not as athletic as Devin Bush, Jr., who played as a true freshman last season, mostly at WILL. The Wolverines had three guys in the spring that they seemed to trust in Bush, Mike McCray II, and Mike Wroblewski, but I think Wroblewski will get passed by someone, whether it’s Ross or another freshman. Both McCray and Wroblewski will graduate after this season, so Michigan needs to groom two or three guys who can start or be heavily rotated in 2018. I think Ross will play some, but there are other guys who should be able to fill in if needed, too.

Prediction: Backup middle linebacker

15Feb 2017
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2017 Recruiting Grades: Defense

Aubrey Solomon (image via Scout)

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I posted the 2017 offensive recruiting grades last week (LINK), so here are my thoughts on the defensive side of the ball. Click on the player names below for their commitment posts.

DEFENSIVE END: B+
Commits (4): Deron Irving-Bey, Donovan JeterCorey Malone-Hatcher, Kwity Paye, Luiji Vilain
Decommits (0): N/A
Why? Michigan went after some elite rush ends (Jaelan Phillips, K’Lavon Chaisson, etc.) in this cycle, but none showed much interest. Instead, Michigan got home-stater Malone-Hatcher, Boston College decommit Paye, and Canada native Vilain as weakside end types. I thought Vilain improved significantly over the last couple years since moving from Ontario to Virginia. On the strong side, Michigan got Irving-Bey and Jeter, both of whom could end up as a 3-technique tackles. I don’t see dominant players here, but it is a solid group and they’ll get high-quality coaching.

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18Jan 2017
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Final ESPN 300 for 2017 released

Kai-Leon Herbert

ESPN released its final top 300 for the class of 2017 (LINK). Here’s what it looked like in July of 2015 (LINK). Movement for Michigan commits since that first list:

  • Donovan Peoples-Jones dropped from #12 to #22
  • Kai-Leon Herbert jumped from #265 to #99
  • Dylan McCaffrey jumped from #186 to #117
  • Drew Singleton jumped from #201 to #153
  • Ja’Raymond Hall jumped from #229 to #169
  • Ambry Thomas dropped from #146 to #186
  • Tarik Black dropped from #102 to #225
  • Joshua Ross dropped from #153 to #236
  • Jaylen Kelly-Powell dropped from #243 to #262
  • Corey Malone-Hatcher dropped from #94 to #270

Hit the jump for the full list of targets.

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18Jan 2017
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Final Top 247 for 2017 released




Donovan Peoples-Jones

247 Sports released its final Top 247 for 2017 (LINK). Here’s what it looked like initially back in April of 2015 (LINK).

Movement for Michigan commits since then:

  • Donovan Peoples-Jones fell from #13 to #26
  • Jaylen Kelly-Powell jumped from #180 to #156
  • Josh Ross fell from #111 to #202
  • Dylan McCaffrey fell from #46 to #204
  • Ja’Raymond Hall fell from #81 to off the list
  • Corey Malone-Hatcher fell from #183 to off the list

Hit the jump for the remainder of the Michigan targets.

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