Chris Partridge is back with the Michigan Wolverines coaching staff, leading the way for the linebackers. He has premier talent at the top of the unit that is going to see a bulk of the playing time. However, there are some promising young guys who might see the field in 2023 as well, with one of them being sophomore Micah Pollard.
The story so far
Pollard comes from a football family. His father, Marcus, played 14 seasons in the NFL and is now the Director of Player Development for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Somehow even more notably, his uncle is Michigan legend Braylon Edwards.
He was a three-star prospect coming out of high school, but immediately contributed for the Wolverines on the special teams unit. He made five tackles on kickoff coverage throughout the course of the year and impressed the coaches with his performance. He participated on special teams in 12 games, burning his redshirt.
Originally, Pollard was thought of as an edge. However, it appears he is destined for more of a traditional linebacker role. Over the offseason, Pollard added 15 pounds and now weighs 221 pounds, filling his 6-foot-2 frame well.
Outlook for 2023
With Nikhai Hill-Green jetting to Charlotte to join former Michigan assistant Biff Poggi, the Wolverines' depth at linebacker took a bit of a hit. The fourth and fifth linebacker spots on are going to be filled by either Pollard, junior Jaydon Hood or sophomore Jimmy Rolder.
Defensive coordinator Jesse Minter commented on this in April before Hill-Green departed, saying. “Jimmy Rolder, Micah Pollard, Jaydon Hood, those guys are all developing, progressing, trying to get to that, OK, who is trying to be the fifth guy? Who are we giving snaps to? Tremendous competition.”
Minter was concerned about the health of the linebackers at the end of last season, so it’s likely one or two of these guys play considerably more this season. Can Pollard be one of them? Based on how he played special teams last year, I think he has a shot to see the field quite a bit more in 2023, especially early in the season.