Jake Ryan Comfortable, Ready for Big Year

Linebacker Jake Ryan had a breakout redshirt freshman season and is back for an encore as he looks to lead the Wolverines to a Big Ten title.

After a redshirt season, Jake Ryan made a big impact for Michigan last year, recording 11 tackles for loss, three sacks, and a number of big plays which helped the Wolverines to an 11-2 mark.

With that campaign under his belt, Ryan and the rest of the linebacker corps, considered green at the start of last season, are now an experienced bunch.

"I think we're a lot more comfortable with where we are from last year," he said. "We're definiltey moving and competing every day."

Ryan moved around from linebacker to defensive end last season, and although players like Brennen Beyer and Frank Clark are emerging at that spot, he is still ready to step up there when needed.

"I played it last year, so I'm comfortable with it. I'm still playing the same position and still doing the same thing. We haven't changed anything."

The position may be the same, but the player may be a little different. Ryan made offseason strides in the weight room and that is not a great sign for opposing offenses.

"I think just strength and I've gained some weight. I feel like that's been good for me and also, knowing the defense, being more comfortable and studying the playbook. I definitely feel a lot more comfortable and I'm getting the defense down. That was the biggest thing transitioning from last year to this year. Now I'm just trying to build my strength up."

From the first game against Alabama to road trips to Notre Dame and Ohio State and a big rivalry game with Michigan State, the Wolverines will have a tough road to the Big Ten Championship game, but with returning playmakers and leaders like Ryan, the team feels confident in their abilities.

"Yeah, we have a tough schedule this year, but every single day of camp, everyone's competing and working hard to get better and we'll go from there."

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