Head football coach Jim Harbaugh made his first appearance on the first edition of the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show of the season on Monday night. He chatted with former Wolverine Jon Jansen about the current state of his team ahead of the first game against East Carolina this Saturday.
Here are a few of the things he had to say regarding his suspension, coaching plans for the first three games, and his roster.
- When asked how he is handling preparation for the first game, Harbaugh said, “I’m handling it like I would if I was going to be there.”
- On J.J. McCarthy’s preparation for the season: “He’s so terrific at so many things. It’s everything he wants to get better at.” He mentioned McCarthy is looking to improve in all facets of his game, including accuracy and decision-making. He also mentioned McCarthy’s leadership is, “Off the charts.”
- When asked about his offensive line, Harbaugh mentioned two players that have stuck out. “There have been days — weeks — where Karsen Barnhart has been the best (of the offensive tackles).” Additionally, Stanford transfer Myles Hinton has, “Come out like gangbusters,” according to Harbaugh.
- It’s no secret Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards top the depth chart at the running back position, but there’s been some question as to who’s behind them. Harbaugh said Kalel Mullings is “probably the third back right now,” and that true freshman Benjamin Hall is, “Right there with him.” He also mentioned the position as a whole showed itself to be a strength throughout fall camp.
- When asked about the defensive line, Harbaugh praised his group of edge rushers. He believes there are, “Four starting edges.” He listed Jaylen Harrell, Braiden McGregor, Josaiah Stewart and Derrick Moore as the four, and mentioned they all complement each other well and are interchangeable.
- Additionally, he mentioned Mike Barrett and Junior Colson are the starters at linebacker, but Ernest Hausmann and Jaydon Hood have impressed as well during fall camp. He also stated there is a, “Good amount of depth at the linebacker position.”
- When asked about cornerback Amorion Walker, Harbaugh said, “He’s been working through something all camp,” and also mentioned they were looking forward to getting him back to being healthy.
- Harbaugh also said, “(UMass cornerback transfer) Josh Wallace is a great addition to the team.” He specifically praised Wallace’s ability to get his hands on the football, saying, “It’s gonna show up in games.”
- At the safety position, Harbaugh mentioned the group had been banged up in camp, specifically Rod Moore and Makari Paige. However, he also said, “Keon Sabb has gone straight to the top — starter quality player, no question. So is Quinten Johnson.” Despite the injuries, it sure sounds like the depth has proven itself worthy of playing time.
- Of the special teams, he said, “(Louisville transfer) James Turner is gonna do the kicking,” in reference to taking over Jake Moody’s role as the placekicker. Additionally, “Tommy Doman is going to be the punter.”