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26 Days Until Michigan Football

Less than one month until kickoff.

USA TODAY Sports

Junior Joe Bolden, Linebacker

Number: 35

Hometown: Colerain HS; Cincinnati, OH

Height/Weight: 6'3 231 lbs

Three Things To Know About Joe

1. Joe was an early commitment to Michigan, and his experience with Michigan's rivals during the recruiting process was a factor in that decision.

"Being told I am too small," Bolden admitted, "when I have never heard that before, it was an eye opener. Notre Dame told me they wanted a 6-foot-4 linebacker and that I am 'not their guy.' I'm not upset if I don't fit your profile, I was just surprised it was about height, because I have always believed that it's not the size of the dog, but it's the dogs bite."

Bolden was also only lightly recruited by Ohio State.  Michigan made Bolden one of its top priorities, and the linebacker returned the senitiment with a commitment to Michigan, and to beat its two rivals.

2. Joe could be in line to make moves in an already deep and established linebacking corp.  Bolden was named the 2014 Meyer Morton Award Winner, which goes to the Michigan player who, during spring practice, "shows the greatest development and most promise".  The last two winners were James Ross III and Brennan Beyer — good company to be in.

This will be Bolden's third year in a college defense and he has enough experience at this point that the hesitancy that existed early in his career should begin to disappear (if it ever will, that is).  With the shakeup of positions and Jake Ryan moving into the middle, competition for one of the linebacker spots on the inside will be stiff.  Ryan and Desmond Morgan are long established starters, so neither will be easy to push out of the starting lineup.  If things look shaky with the Ryan to MLB move, Bolden's development could be a factor on how quickly the coaches try something new with Ryan.

If Bolden's impressive spring is followed up by more progress this summer, the coaches could have quite the embarrassment of riches at linebacker this year.  Maybe they should have went to a 3-4?

3.

I'm trying to remember if I ever saw pencil sharpeners around UM.  Maybe in the fishbowl, but that's all I can remember.

Continue to raise awareness, Joe.