Durkin: U-M Building Depth on D-Line

Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin updates the depth concerns of the defensive front and more.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With the loss of Brian Mone to a suspected broken ankle, defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin had nothing but positive things to say about his fallen lineman.

However, the reality of the situation is Michigan has more depth on its defensive front this season, Durkin said, when asked about the situation by group of reporters on Tuesday.

“A great part of team as you go through camp is you’re building depth at all positions,” Durkin said. “That’s what this time of year is for, and find out where we our strongest at, where our depth is at. I think across the board, we’ve done a good job of that. We’ve developed some guys. We’ve got depth at all positions.”

One player who can help fill the void left by Mone, is redshirt sophomore Maurice Hurst Jr., says Durkin.

“Mo is definitely part of that depth up front,” Durkin said. “He can play all the spots, too. He can play inside, (and) he can play outside, he’s a guy we are counting on, he’ll play a lot for us.”

Adding: “Up front it’s been good bouncing guys around. Mentioned Mo Hurst, I think he can really help us inside. (Chris) Wormley is a guy both inside and outside. Mario (Ojemudia) is doing a great job on the edge for us. Al those guys right there, Willie Henry is another guy that can help us both inside and outside. I think we are versatile up front, I think we are deep up front. And that’s going to allow us to do some terrific things.”

Scrimmage Communication

On Saturday, U-M held a student only invite scrimmage at Michigan stadium. While it wasn’t a packed house, the atmosphere was enough for Durkin to observe how his players communicate in game action.

“I think it was good,” Durkin said of Saturday’s scrimmage. “Probably the biggest positive, that was the first time we were out with crowd noise. And it was good seeing them communicate on their own.”

“(Coaches are) yelling and kind of helping guys out, cause you’re into it,” Durkin said. “And we weren’t able to do that. So that was their first time out on the field on their own, no one helping out making checks, they communicated well and for the most part were assignment sound.”

Michigan plays it season opener at Utah on Sept. 3.

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