Players that come to mind when thinking of guys that could see time on both offense and defense for Michigan football this season start with Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis, but Jim Harbaugh said he has his eyes on a few others.
He would not elaborate during his media day press conference, but one of the players that would be interested in playing both ways if called upon is senior cornerback Channing Stribling.
Maize n Brew caught up with the defensive back during media day.
“My first love was wide receiver,” he said. “I never wanted to play defense in high school. They always wanted me to play defense and I said ‘I can’t do it.’ But once I got to this side of the ball I saw the competitiveness a defensive back has to have and the confidence. I like that. That’s what drives me every day. I like for the game to be on me.
“On offense, you drop a ball and the quarterback could have made a better pass or whatever. Defense is like…no, you’ve got to play good defense or it’s on you. I like that. That’s what helped me be a better football player. Everyone loves to play offense. They get all the love. If they ask me to play, of course I will.”
Stribling is part of a defensive back corps that features Lewis, Peppers (at times), Jeremy Clark, Delano Hill, Dymonte Thomas and others and he says they are ready to leave it all on the field in 2016.
“All of us have been here for awhile,” he said. “We’ve been here for so long and we hang out with each other a lot, so it’s a really close tight-knit group. We know what we need to do. So we’re just making sure we bring it all to the table.”
With all the hype surrounding the program with Harbaugh as the head coach, the recent switch to Nike and the expectations heading into the season, Stribling says the team is not feeling the pressure, but the seniors definitely want to go out with a bang.
“It’s not a really a pressure,” he said. “I know Harbaugh said we’ve got to strike while the iron is hot and I believe that too. We have a lot of guys who have been here a long time and a lot of guys who are experienced so, you know…this is the last go-round, so that would be the greatest going-out party. A national championship. At least a Big Ten championship.”
Stribling played in nine games last season starting opposite Lewis and had two interceptions on the year.