Durkin Talks BUCK LB, Candidates For the Role

Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin discusses the BUCK linebacker position and who might see playing time at the position.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin is bringing a new defensive scheme with him to Michigan.

Typically, in a Durkin defense, there is one position in particular that is always a signature, if you will, to him and his coaching philosophies.

That position is the BUCK linebacker.

Essentially a hybrid position between a linebacker and defensive end, it is considered one if, if not the most, important positions in Durkin’s 3-4, 4-3 defenses that he plans to install on the field.

During U-M’s Media Day, Durkin spoke about the position and ways to be versatile without always utilizing the BUCK.

““It’s not the only one (versatility in the defense),” Durkin said. “You look at what we’ve been able to do on defense every year where I’ve been. It is probably a little different in the amount we’ve called and what we’ve done and it is based on our personnel. That’s it. It comes down to that. The same call on defense can look really good with really good players and can look not so good with not so good players. It’s about playing to the strengths of your players.”

With only about 15 days of being with the team before fall camp was underway, one could get the sense that the coaching staff didn’t quite know what it had fully until it get could some time together.

Durkin did manage to single out some players whole maintaining the idea that the formula for success has not been reached yet.

“There are several guys (who stand out),” Durkin said. “We moved a bunch of guys around in the spring from BUCK to end. If you look at all the places that I’ve been, I’ve multiple trained guys in the front two and used them. Obviously Mario (Ojemudia) is going to start out there. He had limited steps in the spring, but he did well with the ones he had and we expect big things for that. There is a whole crew, Royce Jenkins-Stone is a guy that can play linebacker, SAM, MIKE or BUCK. He will be playing some out there. Lawrence Marshall is another guy that did really well in the spring, but he grew and he did a great job. We have those two freshman, Sheldon and Reuben.

“It’ll be a mix of guys and just kind of figure out what our best formula is.”

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