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Defensive takeaways from Michigan’s Spring Game

There are positive things on defense to talk about.

NCAA Football: Michigan Spring Game Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Spring Game featured high wind, high effort, some hard-hitting from Michigan’s defense, and more than a few turnovers.

Here’s a look at defensive takeaways from Michigan’s spring game. (For offensive takeaways, Click Here)

Transfer players shine

Nebraska transfer linebacker Ernest Hausmann seemed like the real deal and had an impressive showing with 8 tackles and a forced fumble. Hausmann looks like he doesn’t miss a single day or minute in the weight room and is already one of the strongest players on the team. Hausmann is still just 19 and will continue to get stronger and fine-tune his technique but his presence is a welcome addition to a linebacker room that has more depth than last season.

Coastal Carolina edge rusher Josiah Stewart was as explosive as advertised. Stewart wins with a blend of speed and power and his spring game featured both to the tune of 5 tackles (2 for loss) and a sack. Stewart will be a valuable part of Michigan’s rotation at edge-rusher.

Who created turnovers

The defense got their licks in during the spring game. Three of the four quarterbacks threw interceptions, and there were two forced fumbles as well. Here’s a breakdown of how the turnovers unfolded.

  • J.J. McCarthy threw an intermediate pass that sailed above and beyond his intended target into the hands of Quentin Johnson.
  • Kody Jones was able to force a fumble on Leon Franklin with Amorion Walker recovering it.
  • Kechaun Bennett’s pass rush caused Jack Tuttle to whip an errant pass for an interception by Zeke Berry.
  • Jack Tuttle tried scrambling to the right in the third quarter to evade pressure but Ernest Hausmann forced a fumble.
  • On the very next play, Davis Warren threw a pass on a line right to a waiting Micah Pollard for an interception — Pollard also netted a 26-yard interception return.

Other notable tidbits

  • Kenneth Grant was the No. 1 overall pick in the spring game and had three tackles
  • Edge-rusher Derrick Moore will have an increased role this season and he had the most solo tackles with six (7 in all, 2 for loss)
  • Amorion Walker is getting a long look at cornerback after practicing primarily at wideout last season. Walker let some receptions drop in on him but fared well other times. Walker had 4 solo tackles.
  • Linebacker Jaydon Hood led the blue team with 7 tackles (4 solo).
  • Defensive back Jyaire Hill played with some pop and appears to be a hard hitter.
  • Defensive lineman Rayshaun Benny had a steady day with 6 tackles (2 for loss).
  • Jaylen Harrell had a good hit on Jack Tuttle.

Final thoughts

The spring game gave us our first glimpse of some of the depth Michigan’s going to have on both sides of the ball. Overall, Michigan seems to have a lot of talent beyond their first-string players — the spring game made that clear. Some of the names in this article we are just getting to know, but by the time the 2023 season is over these same names could do major things to help Michigan win championships.