Noah Furbush (#59, image via MGoBlue)
Name: Noah Furbush
Weight: 238 lbs.
High school: Kenton (OH) Kenton
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #59
Last year: I ranked Furbush #37 and said he would be a backup SAM/WDE and special teamer (LINK). He made 30 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass breakup, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception returned for 27 yards.
TTB Rating: 64
In the year 2018, Furbush seems like a very odd player. Why? Because he’s still at Michigan. He’s a part-time starter, but due to Michigan’s defensive personnel choices, he’s limited in how many snaps he sees per game. It seems to me that a lot of fifth year seniors around the country would grad transfer if they were in his situation and try to go somewhere to be a full-time starter. Defensive coordinator Don Brown figured out last season that he could move Furbush around to a bunch of different places and use him as a weakside end on passing downs, stand him up to use him as a blitzer, or even drop him back into coverage. Realistically, Furbush might be Michigan’s most versatile player, but he rarely gets discussed because of the star power of Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, Devin Bush, Jr., Khaleke Hudson, Lavert Hill, David Long, and others.
This year I expect more of the same from Furbush. He has developed into a very effective player and a key guy for Don Brown. Michigan lost weakside linebacker Mike McCray II to graduation, but Furbush has not been mentioned as potentially sliding over to WILL. He’s still a utility guy who will be deployed all over the field. It’s crazy that Michigan has three quasi-starter, fifth-year-seniors in Furbush, Brandon Watson, and Bryan Mone who will be coming off the bench but could start at Michigan, not to mention a bunch of other schools. There’s a glut of talent on the defensive side of the ball in Ann Arbor, and I expect Furbush to take another step forward this year. I could see him earning an NFL opportunity after this season, even though he’s not a full-time player for the Wolverines.
Prediction: Backup SAM, weakside end, special teamer