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Daily Brews: Inside Michigan’s defensive coordinator hiring process

The Athletic provides some insights.

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Michigan Spring Game Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images

Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines hired Jesse Minter out of Vanderbilt for their defensive coordinator job. As a man who was not on many radars, Minter came as a surprise to a lot of the maize and blue faithful. However, the former Boyles Award nominee worked with former Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald previously in Baltimore.

However, that is not all that led Harbaugh to offer the job to Minter. According to Bruce Feldman at The Athletic, Harbaugh asked prospects to come prepared with ways to stop their two biggest rivals.

“In addition to getting to know each coach, Harbaugh wanted the candidates to have a big-picture plan readied for the Wolverines’ defensive personnel in 2022, specifically for Michigan State on first and second downs and Ohio State on third downs.”

Feldman continued providing details of an interview with another candidate for the job:

Wisconsin linebackers coach Bobby April III, was flying down to Orlando, Fla., for a family trip to Disney World when Michigan called him about the vacancy. That meant pulling an all-nighter, doing a deep dive into Michigan’s returning personnel and what they did under Macdonald to be ready for the Zoom with Harbaugh and the Wolverines defensive staff. Harbaugh’s dad, Jack, a former college coach, would also be on the call the following Monday at 9 a.m.

The process seemed much more thorough than in the past, and I think it shows growth from Harbaugh as a head coach. When he came in, off a Super Bowl run and rather significant success with the 49ers, it felt like Michigan’s top dog had it all figured out. But after a few years of humbling losses in their most important games, the Wolverines finally had some success in 2021 thanks to the help of some top-notch assistant coaches.

Michigan transfer named to list of “college players who could headline the 2023 NFL Draft

The Michigan offensive line is coming off a stellar season where they were named the toughest group in the country, winning the Joe Moore Award. A couple key players from that group have moved on to the next level, but some major news outlets believe the Wolverines will be even better with the services of Virginia transfer center Olu Oluwatimi.

The latest of the accolades comes from The Athletic, which named Oluwatimi to their list of “college players who could headline the 2023 NFL Draft”:

A Rimington Trophy finalist last year at Virginia, Oluwatimi (6-3, 310) transferred to Michigan for the spring semester as a graduate student and will anchor the Wolverines’ run-heavy offensive line. Oluwatimi boasted the third-highest run grade by Pro Football Focus last year and steps into a unit that won the Joe Moore Award as the nation’s best O-line.

This should be music to every Michigan fan's ears as an Andrew Vastardis-sized hole is to be filled by a player who could be even better. With a keen focus on the run game, Oluwatimi could be a major factor to a squad that faces some of the toughest defensive lines in the country. If he can adjust, expect Oluwatimi to have his name called early in 2023.

State of Michigan Sports

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