After middle linebacker Ben Gedeon and Viper Jabrill Peppers went to the NFL after the 2016 season, no one was entirely sure what the Michigan Wolverines’ new linebackers would look like, but results showed in big ways.
Young studs like Devin Bush and Khaleke Hudson, as well as veteran leader Mike McCray, led the way for the group in 2017.
But McCray is now gone, so who will step up in his place at the weak side?
Just like with the offensive line depth chart last week, I will try and keep this as short as possible for you. Let’s jump right in.
MIKE: Devin Bush, JR
Case closed. He’s a beast.
Viper: Khaleke Hudson, JR
Case also closed. He’s also a beast. The Minnesota Gophers can tell you that.
WILL: Josh Ross, SO
This is where things get interesting. I am picking Ross solely because I love his potential. Devin Gil and Josh Uche will also have something to say about it, but Ross takes the crown here.
A 4-star guy out of Southfield, Ross appeared in all 13 games last season. He didn’t play any defensive snaps, but his presence on special teams was heard loud and clear.
This competition seems pretty fierce at this point, with Don Brown mentioning Ross, redshirt freshman Drew Singleton and redshirt sophomore Devin Gil, but I am pretty dead set on Ross being the guy once the smoke clears.
Backup MIKE: Ross
If Ross doesn’t win the WILL job, he will be the backup to Bush. Brown mentioned he is working at WILL and MIKE, as are some other guys, which is great for versatility. So in case Bush misses time, expect to see Ross on the field in his place. Other candidates here would be redshirt freshman Jordan Anthony, Singleton and true freshman Cameron McGrone.
Backup Viper: Jordan Glasgow, RS JR
Brown told the media recently Glasgow is right behind Hudson at the Viper spot. Behind Glasgow is true freshman Michael Barrett, a player I am incredibly excited to see.
This seems like a lock at this point until Barrett shows enough to push Glasgow for the backup job. But until that happens, the youngest Glasgow brother is the backup as of now.
Backup WILL: Devin Gil, RS SO
I really, really like Singleton’s potential, but I don’t think he beats out Gil just yet.
Gil played in every game last year to some capacity, whether on defense or special teams, and had five tackles and recovered a fumble on a punt block against Maryland.
He’s big — 6-foot-1 and 231 pounds — quick and has the instincts needed to play the position. If Ross doesn’t win the job, Gil will easily win it and be a dark horse for breakout player of the year on the team.
With Bush and Hudson still around, the unit looks bright yet again in 2018. If Ross is able to perform the way I think he can, the sky is the limit for the linebackers.
Other guys like Anthony, McGrone and Barrett will have their time to shine, but look for these main six guys to lead the position this season.