The Michigan Insider highlights some of the standout performances on defense during Michigan's spring practice at Ford Field.

After a practice visit Saturday to the Wolverines’ special session in Detroit The Michigan Insider looks back at the performances turned in by Taco Charlton, Chase Winovich, Ben Gedeon, Devin Bush Jr. and more.

Sam Webb’s Take

Taco Charlton – He has goal to be a double digit sack man in his final year donning the winged helmet, and if he performs next fall like he did Saturday he will have a good shot at it. He won with both speed off the edge and power (he had a bull rush that leveled Grant Newsome, also stood Erik Magnuson and led defensive charge into the backfield that resulted in a TFL on one memorable run play), but the most noteworthy aspect of his performance was his consistent motor.  He was a factor from the beginning of practice to the end… a very encouraging sign.

Chase Winovich – The similarities to Jake Ryan are being noticed by those that played with both.  Chris Wormley made reference to Winovich’s non-stop motor being so maddening to offensive lineman the newly transitioned defensive end has been in numerous fights this spring.  There were no fisticuffs Saturday, but Winovich’s speed off the edge again led to a number of disruptions in the backfield. That said, he didn’t have as dominant a turn during this practice as he did in those we witnessed a few weeks back.  His back & forth with Grant Newsome was more even this time around.  There were times where the size disadvantage did him in, particularly in the run game.  One memorable instance had Newsome kicking him out to spring a big gainer for Drake Johnson.  Depth at defensive end will be his friend though. Because of it the odds of him getting worn down in an actual game are fairly low.

Ben Gedeon – It was a good day for the senior linebacker in coverage.  We saw him go toe to toe with Jake Butt on a pivot route before making a play on the ball as the All American tight end tried to wall him off.  More impressive though was his ability to run step for step with Zach Gentry on a post route to take him the big pass-catcher away as an option.

Devin Bush Jr. – The young linebacker continues to impress.  He clearly caught his coach’s eye. Very quickly he has earned a reputation for being fierce in the box against the run.  He is also good in pursuit showed hi motor and tenacity when running back Joe Hewlett bounced a third-and-long play outside for what looked to be a sure first down. Bush turned on the speed and chased him down from the backside.

Tyree Kinnel – The sophomore safety jumped a pass in the flat from O’Korn for a pick six.  We saw the same anticipatory skills on a similar play down in Florida. He looks ready to be a rotation player.

Channing Stribling – we’re a broken record with this kid.  He almost added another interception to a spring tally that has been growing seemingly witch every practice. In match-up with his spring nemesis Amara Darboh (the same can probably be said for all the corners), Stribling jumped in front of an out cut and got two hands on the football to break it up. Had he caught it, it would have been six for the defense.

Michael McCray – Three weeks in and Big Mike is still a physical presence in the middle of the Wolverines’ defense. And while this was a day where his big hits weren’t necessarily on the ball carrier, you still felt him. Several times he blew up blockers so his teammates could make a plays. He again looked comfortable in pass drops. His most memorable play came when he drifted into the path of Amara Darboh running a slant. Wilton Speight tried to squeeze a pass in… a decision that would have gotten Darboh destroyed in a game. As it stands McCray delivered a stern shot to Darboh while fellow defender Jeremy Clark jumped in front to knock the ball away.

Jourdan Lewis – I can only remember him getting beaten by Darboh. Once on a big play. Not much more needs to be said about the Wolverines’ soon-to-be two-time All American.

Chris Wormley – He lined up at three-tech for the entire practice, demonstrating his outstanding versatility. Now tipping the scales at 310 lbs., has played both inside and outside this spring and expects to do the same in fall. He’s both bigger and stronger and hasn’t lost anything in the way of quickness or speed.

Josh Newkirk’s Take

Taco Charlton – Charlton was having his way with whomever he matched up against Saturday. He just looks physically stronger and faster than his opponent. One of his many highlights came when he bull rushed and threw Grant Newsome on his back. He also would have logged multiple sacks in the 11-on-11 portion of the scrimmage. Charlton had a great day.

Jourdan Lewis – He wasn’t tested much. He locks down his opponents. Every time you look his way it looks like he deflecting a pass in a drill. He looks faster. His technique, as always, is airtight.

Jabrill Peppers – He lined up in linebacker drills. He looks the part. Peppers speed off the edge is elite. He was causing havoc in the passing lanes. No notable plays, but other than a touchdown surrenderd to Grant Perry... didn’t make any notable mistakes either. 

Chris Wormley – Looks and plays a like a dominant lineman. Defensive line dominated all day. He basically set up camp in the backfield.

Devin Bush Jr. – Bush Jr. flies around to the football. His speed is apparent. He doesn’t do everything perfect, but his skill and athleticism is there. He just looks like a contributor already.

Ben Gedeon – Gedeon had a very strong day at Ford Field. He’s Michigan’s best linebacker. He proved he could be a three down backer with nice drop backs in pass coverage. And when he’s around the line of scrimmage, well, he knows how to finish the play.


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