The old saying is football games are won in the trenches, and Michigan has had its fair share of great players on both sides of the ball over the years.
The offensive line has been pretty great over the last few years under Ed Warinner, and hopefully that continues under Sherrone Moore. But the issue in the trenches is on the other side of the ball — at defensive tackle. The Wolverines have some young guys coming in, but they likely won’t be ready for quite some time.
So until they develop and hopefully change the narrative at the position, let’s take a look back at the better defensive tackles who have been coached under Jim Harbaugh during his time at Michigan.
9. Aubrey Solomon (2017-18)
Five-star recruit — No. 23 overall, No. 2 DT in 2017 class
Solomon was the top defensive player in Michigan’s 2017 class, and he showed flashes of that his true freshman season in mop-up duty. He only appeared in five games in 2018 due to injury and then transferred to Tennessee after that. He remains a Volunteer to this day. If he had stayed in Ann Arbor, I assure you he’d be much higher on this list.
8. Matt Godin (2012-16)
Four-star recruit — No. 375 overall, No. 22 SDE in 2012 class
Godin didn’t compile crazy stats, but he put his head down and got the dirty work done. He had 17 tackles, one for loss and half a sack in 2015, and 26 tackles, two for loss and one sack a year later. He went undrafted to Houston and was cut by them a year later in 2018.
7. Donovan Jeter (2017-present)
Four-star recruit — No. 289 overall, No. 12 SDE in 2017 class
The lone current player on the team, Jeter has a chance to breakout in 2021. He was well on his way to that in 2020, but a COVID-shortened season kind of killed any chance of that from happening. Last season, he had 11 tackles, one pass deflection, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown against Minnesota.
6. Michael Dwumfour (2016-19)
Three-star recruit — No. 947 overall, No. 58 DT in 2016 class
Another player who could have been much higher on the list had he stuck around a bit longer. It took until his junior year in 2018 to break out, with 21 tackles, four for loss, three sacks and an interception. His play went down in 2019 due to lingering injuries, and then transferred to Rutgers this past season. He will play for the Scarlet Knights to wrap up his college career in 2021.
5. Bryan Mone (2014-18)
Four-star recruit — No. 118 overall, No. 8 DT in 2014 class
Mone never flashed on the box score, but he plugged and filled gaps quite well during his time in Ann Arbor. He was a mainstay along the interior defensive line from 2016-18, and compiled 43 tackles, five tackles for loss, two passes broken up and two fumble recoveries throughout his career. He was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2019, and signed an exclusive-rights free agent tender with them back in April.
4. Willie Henry (2012-15)
Three-star recruit — No. 966 overall, No. 66 DT in 2012 class
Even though he only played for Harbaugh one season, I consider it safe to say Henry is one of the better defensive tackles Michigan has had in a little while. In his lone season under Harbaugh, he compiled 34 tackles, 10 for loss, 6.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries. He was drafted by Baltimore and now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.
3. Carlo Kemp (2016-20)
Four-star recruit — No. 310 overall, No. 15 SDE in 2016 class
One of the consistent presences along the defensive line under coach Harbaugh was Kemp, who moved around a bit on defense at first but finally found a home at defensive tackle in 2018. He was a team captain and well-respected by his coaches, teammates and media. He was never a star player by any means, but ended his college career with a respectable 81 tackles, 10 for loss and 4.5 sacks. He was signed by the Packers as an undrafted free agent.
2. Ryan Glasgow (2013-16)
Unranked recruit in 2013 class
The Glasgow brothers are some of my favorite Michigan players ever. The fact every single one of them walked on at one point, all were awarded scholarships and all made it to the NFL is just awesome. Ryan, the middle brother of the three, really picked up his play when Harbaugh got to town. He had five tackles for loss and a sack in 2015, and 10 tackles for loss and four sacks his final season in 2016. He was drafted by Cincinnati in 2017 and now plays for New Orleans.
1. Maurice Hurst (2013-17)
Four-star recruit — No. 266 overall, No. 21 DT in 2013 class
This is a no-brainer at the No. 1 spot. Big Mo’s combination of strength, speed and initial get-off at the line of scrimmage is unmatched by any other defensive tackle to play in Ann Arbor during the Harbaugh era. He racked up 61 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and five sacks his final year in Ann Arbor in 2017. Thanks to that stellar play, he was named a consensus All-American and First-Team All Big Ten. He was taken by the Raiders in the 2018 draft and now plays in San Francisco. His signature belly rub sack celebration is certainly missed.