Crable's Last Stand

U-M linebacker Shawn Crable is entering his fifth-year as a Wolverine. As the Wolverines most experienced defensive player, what are Crable's expectations going into his final season under the winged helmet? GBW caught up with Crable at Monday's media day to see where he see's himself fitting in on the 2007 defense.

As part of a recruiting class that consisted of LaMarr Woodley, Prescott Burgess, Leon Hall and Ryan Mundy, Shawn Crable came to Michigan in perhaps one of the most top heavy defensive classes in years. A slew of skilled athletes all over the field helped U-M climb to No. 8 in the recruiting rankings with six Top 100 players.

Now five years later, Crable, along with Brandent Englemon and Anton Campbell, is one of the few defensive players back under the winged helmet for their fifth-year.

"I don't look at it as pressure," Crable said to GBW. "I had a chance to play with those guys last year and we've been competing for years. A few of the guys got futher ahead than me, but I learned a lot from them and the way they lead. I don't consider it pressure. I'm a fifth-year guy now. If I just go out there and play, I don't really have to be vocal, I can lead by example."

With both David Harris and Prescott Burgess now in the NFL, Crable is expected to step into the strong side role in 2007. As such, the talented Ohio linebacker has taken the time to analyze how to best fill this role in his last go around in Ann Arbor.

"A lot of it is studying film and knowing your opponent, the ability to make changes and adjustments in the game. Seeing formations that you know got you in trouble and being prepared for them and what to do next, just subtle things like that," Crable went on.

"It's way easier," Crable continued. "Now it's a lot different. I can be out there and kind of watch just listen to the play call and know where I'm going."

Along with preparation, finishing, after the way the Wolverines dropped the final two games of the year, has become a second focus for the fifth-year player.

"I get it. I get it from every angle when I go home. Family members, distant relatives and everything, I get it from everybody, even friends. Every time I get a chance to go into Ohio or play against them, I just want to compete.

"I think our game plan will be the same this year. We don't have certain people that can doing things like last year, but once we get into the season and start seeing what everyone can do, that's when I think it'll start to sink in and we'll really get to see what we can do."

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