The Michigan Wolverines defense needs a bonafide leader in 2019, and they may have one in VIPER Khaleke Hudson.
There was a small level of uncertainty about whether Hudson would return for his senior season, but Hudson released a statement on Twitter on Friday saying that he’s coming back and that the best is yet to come.
“I am thankful for my friends, family, teammates and most importantly, God. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had and for what God has in store for me in the future. Michigan football has unfinished business. While we had some great moments this past season, we’re just scratching the surface. We want more. I have unfinished business. On and off the field. I want to continue to be a leader and example for my teammates. I want to improve my game. I want to work toward my degree. I want to play again for Wolverine fans across the country. I’m excited to return for my senior season at Michigan.”
Hudson has had a solid career to this point, but his most impressive numbers came as a sophomore where he notched 82 tackles and 8 sacks. In 2018 Hudson recorded 44 tackles and two sacks.
With the return of Hudson Michigan’s defense has a vocal leader who will show fire when the team has its back against the wall.
Tell 'em how you feel, Khaleke Hudson. pic.twitter.com/90y5th3vfq— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 29, 2018
Michigan linebackers Josh Ross, Devin Gil, along with newcomers Cameron McGrone and Jordan Anthony will be leaning on Hudson for guidance and help in improving their craft, and Hudson’s veteran presence could help shape the inexperienced linebackers in a positive manner.
A degree of continuity was necessary on defense after Michigan lost Chase Winovich, David Long, Devin Bush, Rashan Gary, and Tyree Kinnel, and Michigan will receive some stability with both Hudson and Lavert Hill returning for 2019.
Although Hudson should be penciled in to return at VIPER, Don Brown could decide to put Hudson is Devin Bush’s old spot at linebacker, making Hudson the field-general of the defense, the man responsible for making sure everyone is in the proper position and dialing up the proper checks to combat whatever audible/formation he sees from the offense.
Expect a good season from Hudson, his draft stock is on the line, he’s experienced painful ends to seasons, and those two facts should be all the motivation he needs to go out and perform at a high level and level he is capable of playing.
What is most interesting to see, in my view, is if Hudson is named a team captain, and what kind of captain would he be.
Hudson returning may not be a surprise, but it’s certainly good news for the Michigan football team nonetheless.