Michigan Football Preview 2015

2015 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2015 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 97 DEFENSIVE LINE could even go three-deep at some spots, but the other side of that is they might not have three, four, five elite guys that demand staying on the field for an entire drive." Ray likes redshirt junior Willie Henry and redshirt sophomore Maurice Hurst to, poten- tially, start at the two end positions, and then likes sophomore Bryan Mone at nose tackle. Hurst (6-2, 281 pounds) and Henry (6-3, 311) both have the size to play the 3-4 end position that requires enough bulk and strength to succeed even though outmanned by five of- fensive linemen, and both have the quick feet to make plays in the backfield. "Willie Henry should be the straw that stirs that drink up front," said Ray. "He plays with more speed and athleticism than someone his size normally does, and he could be inside or outside. As an outside end in a 3-4, I think he could be something. "Maurice Hurst had a great spring also, and the one thing he did with consistency was get penetration. You saw No. 73 in the backfield early and often, and I'm talking about on run- ning and passing downs. "He's versatile. He really came into his own in the spring, and I think he's been a forgot- ten man because of some of the other guys with more experience than him. If he's not the starter for the first game then he's 1B. He's coming on." The 6-4, 325-pound Mone seems destined to Dan Rumishek (1999-2002) looks for something very specific when he watches tape — hands. "You look at Ohio State's [All-American defensive end] Joey Bosa, and people talk about his explosion off the ball and his relentlessness. Those are important qualities, but I'd argue he's as successful as he is because he's very violent with his hands," said Rumishek, who recorded 11.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss in his U- M career. "He does a very good job of coming off the line, getting into the blocker's shoulder pads, extending his arms, and then getting his hands outside the offensive lineman's and pulling him down to knock him off-balance and create a gap in the line. "He's the kind of guy that doesn't give you an oppor- tunity to block him because he gets his hands on you immediately." There are high expectations for this year's Michigan de- fensive line and for its individual players, and in watching the Wolverines' spring game April 4, Rumishek walked away convinced redshirt junior end/tackle Chris Wormley and redshirt sophomore end/tackle Maurice Hurst have the best chance to execute at a high level in 2015. The 6-4, 300-pound Wormley is one of the most experi- enced linemen on the team, appearing in 25 games and starting six. "Immediately with his get-off at the snap, Wormley used his hands to disengage a blocker, and that comes with experience," Rumishek said. "He's learned how to get off the block in a very fast way. These big, 330-pound linemen are good at getting their hands into you and just holding on, and then leaning into you and wearing you down. If you're not creating separation off the snap then you're stuck." Hurst has yet to see meaningful snaps, appearing in seven games as a reserve defender in 2014, but the 6-2, 281-pounder was terrific in the Michigan spring game, penetrating the offensive backfield on seven snaps. "Hurst is a lot like Wormley. He has a body that can play inside or outside, and he's already using his hands at a young age," said Rumishek, who was a first-team all-con- ference pick in 2001. "I liked that in the spring game — and I assume this is the plan for the fall — they moved him around a lot so no one could figure out where he would line up. "When you're a three-technique inside and then you get pushed out to a 5- or a 7-technique where you're over the tight end … the guy just knows how to exploit the guy opposite him. "He has a motor, and if he can be destructive as a 3-tech- nique inside, you have to think Warren Sapp. He could be a first-round draft pick if he continues to develop." Redshirt sophomore Henry Poggi, 6-4, 273 pounds, is probably in that next level of players, a notch below Worm- ley and Hurst but rising quickly. "His biggest thing is he's still a little unsure of himself coming out of his stance," Rumishek said. "Once that be- comes second nature to him, he should be pretty good. He's a really strong kid, that's clear, and he plays with leverage." Sophomore nose tackle Bryan Mone, meanwhile, needs more seasoning, relying too much on his physical girth (6-4, 325), in Rumishek's opinion. "He's leaning on guys, using his helmet and his shoulders, and he's so big that he can get away with it," he said. "But when you play better offensive lines, like Ohio State, Michi- gan State, and you lean on their blockers, they will get the better of you consistently because they know technique, and how to neutralize size with their hands and feet. "He needs to get his hands out in front of him. He's so powerful that if he could develop a rip move where he gets his hands outside the blocker, he could just throw those guys out of his way and create a lot of chaos." Overall, Rumishek is excited to see what the defensive line can do, whether in a 3-4 or 4-3 look, knowing expecta- tions are high. "The last couple of years we've maybe been a little too excited about the defensive line because our offensive line was so bad," he said. "Part of me wants to be cautious, but when you look at their experience, their depth, and the coaching they're getting now with guys like [position coach] Greg Mattison and [grad-assistant] Will Carr, it's easy to think they're going to be really good." — Michael Spath Chris Wormley And Maurice Hurst Are Analyst's Picks To Break Out This Fall Redshirt junior Chris Wormley is one of the most experienced defensive linemen on the Wol- verines, having appeared in 25 games and started six. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL "I expect this line to be pretty solid, but are there enough guys good enough to defeat blocks one-on-one? To be difference-makers?" FORMER ALL-BIG TEN SAFETY AND CURRENT BIG TEN NETWORK ANALYST MARCUS RAY

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