TUES: FB Recruiting and Position Needs: Defense

With the Feb. '06 Signing Day just around the corner now and U-M's recruiting class nearly set, how does the class fit into the overall team needs picture?<br><br> First, the defense and the incoming '05 defensive recruits.<br>

(Eligibility is as of fall '05)

Interior Defensive Line

Leaving: Alex Ofili, Larry Harrison, Chris Rogers

'01 Rec. Class: Patrick Massey (5th)
'02 Rec. Class: Gabriel Watson (Sr.), Rondell Biggs (RS Jr.)
'03 Rec. Class: Will Paul (RS So.)
'04 Rec. Class: Alan Branch (So.), Will Johnson (RS Fr.), Marques Walton (RS Fr.)

Incoming Freshman: Terrance Taylor, Marques Slocum, hopefully James McKinney

Comments: with starters Massey and Watson leaving after '05, it's a great time for a fairly large (assuming McKinney joins) group of interior DL's to come in to join the '04 class' group (especially with Will Johnson's knee still uncertain). This position group should be set for the future.

Defensive ends/Outside Linebackers

Leaving: Roy Manning

'01 Rec. Class: Pierre Woods (5th)
'02 Rec. Class: Jeremy VanAlstyne (RS Jr.)
'03 Rec. Class: Lamarr Woodley (Jr.), Shawn Crable (RS So.)
'04 Rec. Class: Tim Jamison (So. or RS Fr.)

Incoming Freshman: Chris McLaurin

Comments: if VanAlstyne comes back healthy and Crable steps up, then the decision to bring in one OLB in the '05 class makes sense; look for 2 or more in the '06 class.

Inside Linebackers

Leaving: possibly Lawrence Reid and Joe Sarantos

'01 Rec. Class: Scott McClintock (5th)
'02 Rec. Class: David Harris (RS Jr.)
'03 Rec. Class: Prescott Burgess (Jr.)
'04 Rec. Class: Chris Graham (So.), John Thompson (RS Fr.)

Incoming Freshman: Brandon Logan

Comments: Especially assuming U-M goes back to the 4-3, this position group is thin; look for 2-3 ILB's in the '06 class.


Leaving: Marlin Jackson, Markus Curry

'01 Rec. Class: none, but transfer Grant Mason has Sr. eligibility
'02 Rec. Class: Darnell Hood (RS Jr.)
'03 Rec. Class: Leon Hall (Jr.)
'04 Rec. Class: Charles Stewart (RS Fr.)

Incoming Freshman: Brandon Harrison, Johnny Sears

Comments: U-M needs Harrison or Sears to come in and be ready to challenge for the 2-deep for this position group to be solid; with Chris Richards in the '06 class look for U-M to take 1-2 more CB's in '06.


Leaving: Ernest Shazor

'02 Rec. Class: Willis Barringer (RS Jr.), Jacob Stewart (RS Jr.)
'03 Rec. Class: Ryan Mundy (Jr.), B. Englemon (RS So.)
'04 Rec. Class: Jamar Adams, Keston Cheathem (RS Fr.)

Incoming Freshman: Hopefully, Nic Harris

Comments: the 4th year guys in the group are not potential starters, so it's up the the youngsters to come through; the numbers are sufficient if they do.

Punting: Adam Finley leaving, Zoltan Mesko coming in as a freshman.
Place Kicking: Returning is Garrett Rivas (PK, Jr.); will Matt Waldron walk on in the fall?

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