Interview by Sam Webb
Story by Josh Newkirk
While Michigan isn’t retuning a single starter from its secondary, a plethora of talent still remains.
That explains why Michigan secondary coach Michael Zordich smiling these days.
“I’ll say this, we feel really good about the secondary, even though they are extremely young, but they are very talented kids, really talented,” Zordich told The Michigan Insider's Sam Webb.
“These kids have stepped on the field,” Zordich continued. “It is not as though they haven't been in a game. Do they have a lot of game experience? No, but they know what it is like and this spring, to get this spring under their belt, another spring under their belt will be very beneficial for them.”
With both safety positions up for grabs, Zordich says sophomore Khaleke Hudson will have ample opportunity to fill one of those voids.
“We’re going to move him around,” Zordich said of Hudson. “We’ve got to have depth at both spots. So were going to move him in and out of there. There is that possibility (at viper), but he is going to start out as a safety.”
Junior Tyree Kinnel is the most experienced safety on U-M’s squad, playing key minutes for Michigan in 2016. This season will begin his tenure as the quarterback of the secondary.
“He really did a good job mentality handling what we asked him to do,” said Zordich. “He made some really good plays. He was in all of our sub packages. So he was really like a starter because we move so much with the packages in and out and he played quite a bit. His experience from last year is going to be very beneficial for him and for us just to have that older guy if you will on the field, even though he is only going to be a junior. He did really well and he has been working his rear end off. You watch him in these winter workouts competing and his quickness has gotten better. It has all been a plus for him.”
Plus, Zordich was quick to point out the talented freshmen U-M already has on campus in J’Marick Woods and Benjamin St. Juste.
“(Woods) and Ben St-Juste are very much similar -- love the length,” Zordich said of his 6-foot-3 freshman. “Certainly Ben at corner is a different deal, but J’Marick at safety with his length and his quickness, his ability, his (loose hips)... those are all positive things."Stay tuned to The Michigan Insider for more on the progress made by Ambry Thomas, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, Brandon Watson's significant improvement, and more. In the meantime, for more from Mike Zordich press play below.