Michigan has been locked away in its submarine for fall training camp, providing the local media no access to the staff, players, or practices since camp began on August 7th. Until today, when coordinators Tim Drevno and D.J. Durkin emerged to meet with the media. We at Maize n Brew were unable to have our own reporter at the presser, but we gathered tweets from other reporters that were in attendance. Here is what Durkin had to say, and, like Drevno, it wasn't very much:
Coach Durkin has emerged from the sub. pic.twitter.com/aEbEbtWNo7— Brandon Brown (@BSB_Wolverine) August 24, 2015
For more than a week, it's been rumored that sophomore defensive tackle Bryan Mone has suffered a significant leg injury that will force him to miss the 2015 season. However, Michigan has yet to confirm or deny the rumors. That didn't change today:
Durkin wouldn't confirm Mone's injury. Not too surprising.— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) August 24, 2015
However, even with it all but confirmed that Mone will miss this season, there still is lots of optimism for the defensive line, particularly at defensive tackle. With Willie Henry, Ryan Glasgow, Maurice Hurst, Jr., and Matthew Godin, Michigan still have lots of options at defensive tackle and will be deep there all season. Durkin agreed with this:
Durkin agrees with everyone that UM deep up front.— angelique (@chengelis) August 24, 2015
In addition to depth, Durkin thinks that Michigan's defensive line is versatile:
Ojemudia, Wormley, Henry listed as guys who can play at tackle and end.— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) August 24, 2015
I don't believe that Mario Ojemudia, who is listed at 252 pounds, can slide inside to defensive tackle, but Henry and Chris Wormley can play tackle and strongside defensive end.
The versatility is not only on the defensive line, but also in the secondary. Durkin said that the staff is trying all of the defensive backs at different position to find the best fit:
Durkin said he's moved everyone in secondary around, not just Jeremy Clark.— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) August 24, 2015
Jourdan Lewis likely is set at field cornerback, as is Jarrod Wilson at free safety. Everyone else, though, including Jeremy Clark, Jabrill Peppers, Wayne Lyons, and Delano Hill, seem to be position-less for now. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.
Also, Durkin confirmed that Freddy Canteen is part of that defensive-back group now:
Durkin asked if Freddy Canteen is working exclusively on defense: Says multiple guys are working both ways— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) August 24, 2015
I draw two conclusion from Canteen's move to cornerback. First, the staff is concerned about its depth at cornerback. Second, freshman Grant Perry is a lock to start in the slot.
Speaking of defensive backs, Durkin spoke about Peppers, too. Like everyone else in the secondary, the staff still is trying to find out how to best use Peppers:
Durkin says there's an 'ongoing discussion' on staff about how to best use Jabrill Peppers— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) August 24, 2015
It will be best for Michigan if he is the strong safety that slides to nickelback. If he starts at corner, it means the staff is really concerned about its depth there.
Wherever Peppers plays, though, he will give it all of the effort and focus he has:
"Everything he's been asked to do, he's done it 100 miles an hour. No questions, he just does it." -Durkin on Jabrill Peppers— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) August 24, 2015
One Utah note: Michigan will begin its game week for Utah this Thursday:
Thursday will basically be a game week Monday for Michigan. Team travels to Utah on Tuesday.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) August 24, 2015
And that's it. No revelations. No set depth chart. As I included in the Drevno tweet-cap:
Pretty sure our availability with Drevno and Durkin was simply to allow us to confirm they exist. Lol.— angelique (@chengelis) August 24, 2015
Maybe the coordinators or Jim Harbaugh will reveal more at the next media availability, but, given the submarine mentality that has permeated the program, it's unlikely.
UPDATE: Matt Pargoff of MaizeandBlueNews.com posted video of Durkin's presser: