The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2019 THE WOLVERINE 25 ties, but the U-M offer was too big to turn down. "His player development is out- standing,"'s Riley Overend said. "Campanile coached up two NFL-caliber corners in 2017 [Isaac Yiadom was drafted in the third round, while Kamrin Moore was selected in the sixth], and then saw Hamp Cheev- ers tie for the nation's lead in intercep- tions this year. "Cheevers basically came out of no- where, even at 5-10, 170. Campanile re- ally coached him into a breakout year and now he's entering the draft early — it was a testament to [Campanile's] ability to develop talent." Finally, on Jan. 17, Harbaugh re- placed Mattison with Arizona State's Shaun Nua as his new defensive line coach. The 2018 campaign was Nua's lone season with the Sun Devils after he spent 2012-17 at Navy as the defen- sive line coach. Arizona State ranked 74th nationally against the run in 2018, yielding 170.5 yards per game. The unit fared much better racking up sacks and tackles for loss, however, checking in with 29 of the former (tied for 49th in the country) and 87 of the latter (36th). A native of Pago Pago, American Samoa, Nua played his collegiate ball at BYU from 2002-04, after transferring from Eastern Arizona Junior College, and then enjoyed a three-year NFL stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2005-07, where he helped them win Super Bowl XL.'s Hod Rabino pre- dicted Nua would become a fan favor- ite in Ann Arbor. "The Arizona State defense as a whole really improved from 2017, and it definitely wasn't a case where it im- proved despite the defensive line — they did their part, too," Rabino said. "It wasn't necessarily an outstanding unit though — when opponents aver- age 170.5 rushing yards against you, it's not an indication of a strong defen- sive line, but linebackers played a part in that, too. "The line did a better job against the pass than it did against the run. Over- all, it was an okay job in what was an average 7-6 year for Arizona State. Whether the defensive line's play should be attributed to Nua or the tal- ent — or lack thereof — probably goes both ways." While the Sun Devils' defensive front didn't necessarily perform at an elite level in 2018, Rabino still had nothing but good things to say about Nua, specifically his personality and attitude. "I can speak for myself and prob- ably my colleagues too on this one — he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet," he said. "He's someone who wakes up with a smile on his face and doesn't seem to have a bad bone in his body. He's so positive and upbeat in practice, and is a true teacher with a lot of meaningful X's and O's to adminis- ter to his players. "The way he carries himself both in practice and away from the field is so positive, and he is well liked by any- one he crosses paths with." Rabino said those aspects should help the coach get the most out of Michigan's current players, and also help with high school prospects and their families on the recruiting trail. "He could definitely be a great recruiter with his character and de- meanor, because parents and players find him easy to talk to," he said. "His positivity will resonate well with re- cruits. "He also has the ability to improve any defensive line he coaches, be- cause the players will take a liking to him pretty fast. Having a positive de- meanor isn't the end-all, be-all for a coach, but it's still an important com- ponent." With these hires, Harbaugh still has some tweaking to do. Passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton has been interviewing with teams, including Maryland and several NFL squads, and his future remained unknown as of Jan. 21. Ben McDaniels, meanwhile, was promoted from analyst to wide receivers coach for the Peach Bowl after Jim McElwain left to take the head coaching job at Central Michigan. While Harbaugh said he'd like to establish McDaniels in that role permanently, it had yet to be officially announced as of Jan. 21. The moves already announced, however, have made a splash, with the hope and expectation that they will also continue to improve the product on the field. ❏ Shaun Nua, who played at BYU from 2000-04 and then spent three years in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was Arizona State's defensive line coach in 2018 after spending the pre- vious six seasons at Navy. PHOTO COURTESY ARIZONA STATE The Shaun Nua File Hometown: Pago Pago, American Samoa College (Graduation): BYU (2005) Age: 37 (will turn 38 May 22) Year School Position 2009 BYU Intern (Defense) 2010-11 BYU Graduate Assistant (Defense) 2012-17 U.S. Naval Academy Defensive Line 2018 Arizona State Defensive Line

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