The Wolverine

March 2013 - Signing Day Edition

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 13 of 257

Wolverine WATCH ������ john borton B Building A Beast On The Front Lines rady Hoke won���t say it publicly, but his jaw must have dropped when he arrived in town and saw the roster paucity of offensive linemen. He might have been tempted to ask for an immediate contract extension. Hoke inherited eight scholarship offensive linemen, less than he���s put on the roster the last two years alone. This season���s crop of six makes it 10, translating to 2,930 pounds of insurance against getting caught short in the Big Uglies Department. Add in���s No. 1 running back in the country, 5-11, 220-pound Derrick Green, and another big (5-11, 218) back who rushed for 6,750 yards in high school in De���Veon Smith, and the Plan To Pound On The Ground couldn���t be more clear. The Wolverines still can and will throw the ball, but they also appear ready to transition back to an Anthony Thomas to Chris Perry to Mike Hart handoff at tailback. Most of that went away when Michigan���s quarterback became its primary runner, with the thrills and pitfalls that entailed. Hoke inherited a mess on defense, and with the help of defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, he quickly turned dreadful to dreaded. Elite defenses require elite components, Since arriving in Ann Arbor in January 2011, head coach Brady Hoke has made a concerted effort to beef up U-M���s offensive (10 signed the past two years) and defensive lines (nine signed in 2012-13). photo by per kjeldsen and defensive recruiting ramped up considerably as well. Mattison covets big, tough, mobile defensive linemen and insists the nine-man haul over the past two recruiting classes fills the bill nicely. He���s ready to generate heat on quarterbacks without having to dial up blitzes all the time. ���We always want to be a pressure team, but we want to pressure more when we want to, not because we have to,��� Mattison said. ���These last two years, we pressured a lot of times because we had to. I want to get to the point where you can make

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