It's no secret that Michigan lost more than a handful of players with valuable playing experience after last season concluded.
While the loss of experienced players affects many positions on the Wolverines team, one side of the ball will have to undergo a bit of a facelift during the offseason.
And that's the defense.
With U-M losing players on the defensive line, linebackers and most of the secondary, the coaching staff has some work to do. With the day of spring ball kicked off for the Wolverines, defensive coordinator Don Brown is seeing first hand at what he has to work with on defense. Unprompted, Brown mentioned the youth on defense blended with the remaining experienced players creates an interesting mix.
A mix he can't wait to concoct.
"The youth on our team, you can look at and think we've got a long way to go, which we do, but it's such an energizing feeling when you go out there and you're walking off the field going, 'damn we function pretty well today,'" Brown said. "I'm excited about it, it's a good group. It's kind of an interesting blend. There are enough guys that have been around that will demand execution, demand effort, and energy that I feel like we'll be in great shape."
No position on the team was hit harder by departing talent than the secondary. Replacing an All-American like Jourdan Lewis and mainstays like Channing Stribling and Delano Hill will be no easy task. However, the coaching staff was able to fill the gaps by addressing needs in recruiting. Fortunately, U-M didn't have to wait very long to get the recruits on campus as there was an emphasis on defensive backs enrolling early this offseason.
Again, like the mad scientist he is, Brown can't wait to mix his ingredients together with the young and old to see what happens.
He's no Nutty Professor, but he makes it work.
"That young secondary [of] Lavert Hill, David Long, Josh Metellus, Tyree Kinnel; Tyree Kinnel has quietly done a nice job, so, we'll see," Brown said. "There's some youth there [Benjamin} St. Juste, he'll be an interesting guy as we move forward. Ambry Thomas, again, another interesting guy. J'Marick Woods and Jaylen Kelly-Powell, all of those guys are good players. The nice thing is that I don't think there's a lot of guys that are misplaced, they're in the right place in terms of the level of competition."