Redshirt freshman Carlo Kemp finding comfort zone on defensive line

Michigan redshirt freshman Carlo Kemp discusses his transition to the defensive line.

While Carlo Kemp was originally recruited as a BUCK linebacker at Michigan under then defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin's defensive system, things have changed for the redshirt freshman since Durkin's departure.

With a new defensive system installed under defensive coordinator Don Brown, the emphasis of Kemp being a linebacker has now shifted towards him becoming a defensive lineman. More specifically, he will feature prominently at the anchor position on the line. The transition didn't come without issues, however. As the fluctuation of playing weight between linebacker and defensive line is vastly different.

"When I first came in I came in at 260," Kemp said. "Then they said to get to linebacker weight, so I dropped back to 250 in one week. The following week I got back up to 265 and to where the season came I was up to 275. Definitely had to put on some weight for the anchor position. Right now, I'm at 265. Hanging in right there."

Fortunately for Kemp, the transition from linebacker to defensive line wasn't completely new to him. He had the familiarity of the defensive line during his high school playing days. Of course, the collegiate level is a completely different beast.

"In high school I played a lot of defensive end," Kemp said. "Being able to go back to that now at this level has really helped my comfort zone. I think initially [playing at linebacker] they wanted to see if I could do it, see if I could play there and help out the linebacker position when I first came in. It was a little rough at the beginning and then I made the switch to the anchor position."

Now, Kemp is focused on trying to see the field this season. In a sense, he views the upcoming spring game as an audition of sorts. As it will be the last type of game action the coaching staff will see until the team reconvenes in the fall.

"I think that all just comes with comfort and each day coming out and getting ready to practice," Kemp said. "Just seeing if we can grow from there. I'm definitely looking to make strides in this spring ball game, I think that's definitely how I'll base if I'm ready to heading into this season and see what I need to work on this summer heading into fall camp."

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