Jim Harbaugh is known to give little nuggets here and there on his podcast, Attack Each Day: The Harbaughs’ Podcast.
Well, he just gave another one on this week’s show. Jim Harbaugh and J.T. Rogan were talking with Michigan fullback Ben Mason, Michigan’s equipment manager Gary Hazelitt and former Stanford player Owen Marecic, when Harbaugh dropped this nugget about Mason and Michigan player Jared Wangler:
“This year we are gonna play (Ben Mason) at fullback and also start playing him at linebacker,” Harbaugh said. “Really excited. Jared Wangler is gonna move from linebacker to fullback, I think he’s gonna do an excellent job at fullback, as well. We recruited a player out of Bay City, Michigan, Ben VanSumeren, I’ve got a really good feeling about Ben. Both Ben’s.”
It’s unclear if VanSumeren will play both offense and defense, but it is really interesting to hear that Mason will play on both offense and defense in 2018. He will also likely remain a special teams player, too, which is something he excelled at in 2017.
Mason even won Michigan’s Toughest Player Award after the 2017 season, which “speaks volumes” to Harbaugh on how tough of a guy and how hard of a worker Mason is. He played in all 13 games at fullback and special teams, so the experience from his freshman season will most certainly transition to his new role in 2018.
According to Jared Wangler’s bio on MGoBlue, he officially switched to fullback last season. He was mainly a special teams player, too, so he didn’t see the time at fullback that Mason did, but he should see more playing time at the position with Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi both graduating.
The depth at linebacker is unreal now with Mason transitioning to defense. With Mike McCray gone, Michigan’s linebackers include Mason, Devin Bush, Khaleke Hudson, Michael Wroblewski, Noah Furbush, Drew Singleton, Josh Ross, Jordan Anthony, Josh Uche and Devin Gil. And we can’t forget Cameron McGrone, who is coming in as a true freshman and one of Michigan’s highest ranked players in the 2018 class.
The linebacker position was very good last year, but it has a chance to be really special this upcoming season.