The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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32 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2019 MVP FIFTH-YEAR SENIOR DEFENSIVE END CHASE WINOVICH The fifth-year senior started hot — 10.5 of his team-leading 17 tackles for loss came in the first five games — but he was still the heart and soul of the defense, and nobody played with a higher motor. He tied for second on the team with five sacks, played through various inju- ries and also suited up in the Peach Bowl despite having more to lose than gain and needing a surgery. In short, he wasn't a captain, but he certainly was an example to fol- low the way he played, leaving it all on the field every time he pulled on the winged helmet. Winovich finished third on the team with 69 tackles and earned unanimous first-team All-Big Ten honors, as well as All- America laurels (second team from the American Football Coaches Association, third team from the AP). He also won the Bo Schembechler Award as the team's MVP and was awarded the 2018 Rich- ard Katcher Defensive Line- man of the Year honor at the annual awards banquet. OVERALL GRADE This group was hindered by injuries for much of the year, including signifi- cant ones to sophomore tackle Aubrey Solomon and junior defensive end Rashan Gary. Gary was a first-team All- Big Ten selection by the coaches and a second-team pick by the media, but he never matched the hype as a five- star recruit and the nation's No. 1 overall player. He missed four games and finished with 44 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and five quarterback hurries in his abbrevi- ated season. Winovich played through his injuries and led the team with seven quarterback hurries, while junior Carlo Kemp emerged as a solid interior lineman. He and redshirt sophomore Michael Dwumfour emerged as the two most consistent players inside, and both return next season. This group got handled at times at the end of the year, but the overall body of work was solid. NUMBERS TO KNOW After Gary and Winovich combined for 30 tackles for loss and 14 sacks in 2017, the duo's statistics took a slight dip this past year. They dropped to 24 stops behind the line of scrimmage and 8.5 quarterback takedowns, although it should be noted that Gary missed all three games in October due to an injury and then sat out the Peach Bowl. Defensive Line status Of schOLarship pLayers GRADUATED: DT Lawrence Marshall DT Bryan Mone DE Chase Winovich GOING PRO EARLY: DE Rashan Gary TRANSFERRED: DT Aubrey Solomon (Tennessee) ELIGIBILITY REMAINING (YEARS): DE Rueben Jones (1) DT Carlo Kemp (1) DT Michael Dwumfour (2) DE Ron Johnson (2) DE Kwity Paye (2) DE Aidan Hutchinson (3) DT Donovan Jeter (3) DE Luiji Vilain (3) DE Taylor Upshaw (4) DE Julius Welschof (4) B 2019 PLAYER TO WATCH AIDAN HUTCHINSON With both of Michigan's starting defensive ends departing — junior Rashan Gary to the NFL and fifth-year senior Chase Winovich to graduation — there should be plenty of opportunity for young players to grab a starting role in 2019. Hutchinson saw time in all 13 games as a fresh- man this past year, and recorded 15 tackles with 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. Look for him to take over Winovich's vacated defensive end spot next season. Chase Winovich PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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