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Michigan Football 2015 Depth Chart Preview: Linebackers

The Wolverines have quite a few options at linebacker going into this season. We take a stab at how they'll line-up on the depth chart.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, we laid out the names that fill out the roster at linebacker for the Wolverines. Now it's time to predict how they will stack up on the depth chart.

Inside Linebacker-Middle: Desmond Morgan

It's hard to imagine the emotional pain Morgan suffered through the entire 2014 season when forced to miss 11 games due to an injured hand. He was eventually granted a medical redshirt, but frustration over not contributing to the effort last season will translate to motivation come week one against Utah.

The Wolverines' home opener against Appalachian State provided fans a glimpse of Morgan's daunting abilities at linebacker, as he tied for the team lead in tackles. In this first three years at Michigan, Morgan also combined for 223 total tackles, including 81 his sophomore campaign.

Morgan is also on pace to earn his third Academic All-Big Ten award, a sign that football isn't the only thing important to the redshirt senior.

Backup: Ben Gedeon - Has appeared in 24 games in two seasons at Michigan. Set single game career-highs in tackles (six) and TFLs (1.0) against Ohio State in 2013.

Inside Linebacker-Weak Side: Joe Bolden

Regardless of the intention of the tent stake or why it was brought out on the field in the first place, the pregame incident before Michigan's annual battle with Michigan State in East Lansing will be the dark cloud hanging above Joe Bolden's productive junior campaign.

Call it fair or not, but when the opposing team doesn't take too kind to the gesture and purposefully runs up the score in the final quarter in response to the stake, it's something that can't just be forgotten.

However, that's not to take away the on-the-field production Bolden experienced in his third season at Michigan, racking up almost twice as many tackles (102) from his sophomore season (54).

If the 6-foot-3, 232 pounder wasn't already a fan favorite, he certainly is a celebrity in the locker room, as teammates told that Bolden was the glue guy who united the team during periods of sorrow, creating room for hope and comfort, including the replacement of Brady Hoke with Jim Harbaugh in the offseason.

Backup: Ben Gedeon - Received the Michigan Athletic Achievement award as a freshman back in 2013.

Strong-Side Linebacker: James Ross III

Ross completes the trio of seniors who are slated to be the opening week starters when Michigan travels to Salt Lake City on Sept. 3. But to say that his impact in 2014 was severely dismaying in comparison to his sophomore year is an understatement.

The Orchard Lake St. Mary's product started in nine games in 2013, totaling 85 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. A year later, his tackles dropped to 32, including just 19 solo.

Ross has the required speed and agility to play on the outside in a 4-3 scheme, but with a backup that has the hunger to become a full-time starter, it's imperative that his junior slump doesn't roll over in the upcoming season.

Backup: Royce Jenkins-Stone - Spent three seasons as a key special teams contributor before making his first start at linebacker against Miami (OH). Has appeared in 36 games, but only 15 were spent playing the position he excelled in at Detroit Cass Tech as a four-star recruit.