The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2019 THE WOLVERINE 33 MVP SOPHOMORE DEVIN BUSH JR. Bush won the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year awarded by the Big Ten and also captured the league's Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year honor. He later earned consensus All- America honors, making him the fifth Wolverine to accomplish it in the last three years. Linebacker Jabrill Peppers (2016; unanimous), cornerback Jourdan Lewis (2016), tight end Jake Butt (2016) and defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (2017) were the others, putting Bush in great company. Bush finished the 2018 season with 80 tackles (9.5 for a loss) and five sacks, and he made his presence known in just about every game in which he played. T h e Wo l v e r i n e s c e r t a i n l y missed their junior captain in the last game of the year. He said he definitely planned to play in the Peach Bowl, but opted out to recover from a hip injury suffered against Ohio State and prepare for the NFL Draft, say- ing he hadn't been cleared to play. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL Linebackers OVERALL GRADE This crew was very good at times this year, due in large part to Bush. His Peach Bowl absence was very noticeable, with Florida taking advantage of the middle of the field on quarterback draws, etc., in a 41-15 win. Ohio State, too, benefited when he went out in the second half with a hip injury. Junior viper linebacker Khaleke Hud- son had a huge year last season, but his production dropped dramatically in 2018. He went from 83 tackles and 18.5 tackles for loss to 44 and 3.5, respec- tively, and from eight sacks to two. Sophomore Josh Ross was solid in his first taste of significant game action, recording 61 tackles and five tackles for loss, while redshirt sopho- more Devin Gil showed flashes in a 33-tackle season. But much more will be expected of this pair next year. NUMBERS TO KNOW Junior linebacker Josh Uche's seven sacks led the Wolverines in 2018, despite the fact he had tallied just one quarterback take- down during his first two years on campus. In fact, the junior compiled perhaps the strangest statistics on Michigan's whole roster in 2018 — he registered just 15 tackles (tied for 16th most among U-M's defensive players) for the year, but yet still managed to somehow rack up seven sacks and eight tackles for loss. He did all of this on just 148 defensive snaps and never more than 19 in a single game, ac- cording to Pro Football Focus. status Of schOLarship pLayers GRADUATED: Noah Furbush GOING PRO EARLY: Devin Bush Jr. TRANSFERRED: Drew Singleton (Rutgers) ELIGIBILITY REMAINING (YEARS): Khaleke Hudson (1) Jordan Glasgow (1) Josh Uche (1) Devin Gil (2) Josh Ross (2) Jordan Anthony (3) Hassan Haskins (4) Cameron McGrone (4) 2019 PLAYER TO WATCH JORDAN ANTHONY Junior viper Khaleke Hudson, redshirt sopho- more linebacker Devin Gil and sophomore line- backer Josh Ross all started Michigan's Peach Bowl loss to Florida and will likely be the starting trio in 2019, but new contributors will need to emerge behind them following the departures of fifth-year senior Noah Furbush and junior Devin Bush Jr. Jordan Anthony — who was rated as a five-star coming out of high school — played in seven con- tests this past season as a redshirt freshman and even recorded a sack, and will likely be relied upon in 2019 to back up Ross and Gil. B+ Devin Bush Jr.

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