Three Impact Freshmen: Defense

Every year around the Big Ten there are freshman who exceed expectations and become difference makers for their team on the field. This year will be no different. Read about three potential impact defensive freshmen from around the Big Ten.

Although Penn State has a group of talented upperclassmen in line for the linebacker positions, 6-foot-2, 221-pound Khairi Fortt from Stamford, CT may be too good to keep off the field.

The number 11th ranked outside linebacker on Scout.com enrolled early at Penn State and took part in spring practices which should make his transition to Big Ten football easier. Fortt is fast, fluid, and already possesses the physical maturity and strength to handle college football.

If Fortt can grasp the defensive scheme quickly enough he should push into the two-deep this fall and be battling for playing time at either outside linebacker position. At worst, Fortt will use his aggressiveness and talent to wreak havoc on special teams.

Michigan is in need of playmakers at the safety position and they hope 6-foot-1, 204-pound Marvin Robinson can fill that void.

Robinson, who arrived to Ann Arbor in late May, got an earlier start preparing for college football than the majority of his classmates. Working under the tutelage of strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis for an entire summer, Robinson should be prepared for the physical demands of college football.

Robinson will battle for playing time at both safety positions, but his size and hard-hitting mentality make him an ideal strong safety. He will see the field for the Wolverines this fall.

Ra'shede Hageman spent last season redshirting and was switched from tight end to defensive end.

The position is still new to Hageman, but once he gets comfortable with the defensive end scheme and technique the massive 6-foot-6, 294-pounder will be a tough battle for any offensive tackle.

Expect Hageman's physical ability to get him on the field often for the Golden Gophers and he will push for a starting position throughout fall camp and into the season.

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