The Michigan Wolverines continue to take shape as the 2021 offseason rolls along, especially in the wake of a reboot on the defensive side of the ball. According to a report from MLive’s Aaron McMann, Michigan will have veteran reinforcements returning on defense to boost the depth in the new system.
Defensive tackle Donovan Jeter and linebacker Josh Ross are the names discussed, as they will both be taking the NCAA up on its offer to extend the extra year of eligibility to players due to the pandemic.
The NCAA paused eligibility this fall with the pandemic’s effect on college sports in mind. Given that Jeter and Ross have not publicly commented on their status, have not transferred or declared for the NFL Draft points to a return to the roster.
Ross’ return would be the bigger of the two given the questions the linebackers room faces with Cam McGrone off to the NFL. Ross started games there this past season and was named a team captain. Given the youth behind him on the depth chart, that leadership may be leaned upon for one additional season.
Jeter has been a late bloomer for the Wolverines, but came on a bit last year and made four starts. The most notable moment of his Michigan career to this point was the fumble returned for a touchdown in the opener at Minnesota.
Michigan’s defense could schematically look different moving forward, but has a handful of veteran players set to return for 2021. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and safety Brad Hawkins announced their return earlier in the offseason, while former five-star recruits in safety Daxton Hill and defensive tackle Christopher Hinton will also be back for the campaign.