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2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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140 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW DL 18 tackles in six games at the Sam position, Beyer moved again, to strongside end. It is there that he finished his junior year, there where he spent five weeks of spring ball, and there where he will line up this fall. "He's another young man, like Frank Clark, that is going to have his best year because that is the expectation for a senior," Smith said. "He's extremely intelligent, committed, strong, physical, tough, smart. All those things go into why Brennen Beyer is a good football player. He's not a 'wow' athlete, but he understands how to play the position and is extremely active with his hands. "He's a kid that does everything on and off the field the way you want, and he's someone we trust to get the job done." Charlton does feature the ideal build and athleticism for the strong- side, standing in at 6-6, 275 pounds. He appeared in eight games defensively a year ago, recording two tackles. Now a sophomore, he is slated to contribute more significantly. "Taco's strength is now matching up with his natural size," Smith said. "He was always a big person but didn't play strong. Now, with his weight-room numbers, you're seeing him starting to get it done on the field. "He's still working on being consistent. We see flashes of good on the practice field, and then there's something missing. But I don't think there is any doubt with his body, he's exactly what you're looking for at that position. And mentally he's figuring out this is a tough-man's game, and he has to play tough. And he's getting there." A four-star recruit in the 2013 class, Poggi could eventually move inside like redshirt sophomores Chris Wormley and Matthew Godin both did this spring, but for now, he will start out on the strongside. The 6-4, 271-pounder might have played a year ago if not for a few off-field ailments that prevented him from practicing steadily. "Henry had a lot of issues when he got here, being sick with mono, and then he had a scooter accident where he was banged up for awhile. He never had a chance to progress much in the fall," Smith said. "He missed a lot of practice time, but now he's healthy. He did a good job with offseason weights and in spring ball, and he's shown definite signs that he's going to be a good player for us. "He comes from a football family. His dad is a head coach at Gil- man Prep, and both his brothers were college football players. Henry understands football. He's tough. A lot of his best football is in front of him. He will be someone that will definitely help us in the future." Wormley and Godin were both strongside ends in 2013, but the classmates transitioned to the 3-technique defensive tackle in the spring and are poised to lend uncanny quickness to an interior post without sacrificing size and power — Wormley is 6-4, 292 and Godin is 6-6, 283 pounds. "Part of the reason we moved them is they keep getting bigger and bigger so you have to keep moving them closer to the ball. A lot of it is based on the fact that they are big enough and strong enough to play there, and then you want to have athletic ability inside," Smith said. "You throw [redshirt sophomore] Tom Strobel in that boat, and [redshirt sophomore] Willie Henry is playing the 3-technique also, and we have four very capable players at that position." There is no need to fret that U-M is building a monster at the 3-tech and sacrificing nose tackle. Michigan is four-deep there also, with junior Ondre Pipkins, redshirt sophomore Ryan Glasgow, redshirt freshman Maurice Hurst and early-enrollee freshman Bryan Mone. "The competition is fierce," Smith said. "Who is going to play and who is going to start? That's what makes us a better football team than we've been in the past — we have great competition not only up front but at a lot of positions on this team where guys know they have to compete daily to win a job or keep a job. "The bottom line is the best players are always going to play the most plays. Now in order to be the best player the entire game, I don't think you can go 60-70 plays. We will substitute in and we will rotate, but now it may not be as frequently as in the past. "A lot of it depends on the stamina of who those people are, or maybe it's the style of offense you're facing. When you're facing these high-tempo teams it may be a rotation where you keep fresh legs coming in there. Other games, we may go a little longer before we rotate guys in. If you're trying to get a guy through an entire sea- son, let alone a fourth quarter, it's imperative you give him some rest. "It also helps guys practice when they know they're going to get a chance to play, whether it's 10 plays or 40 plays, but we're not going to give everyone 10 plays just to keep them happy. They're going to earn their snaps, and they're smart enough to look around the room and realize how much depth and talent we have." Players such as Godin and Glasgow may not have been celebrated a year ago, but both made dramatic gains in the offseason and started the spring game at the two interior tackle spots. What I Would Be Doing If I Wasn't Coaching A 1979 graduate of Purdue, Mark Smith took a job as a wide receivers and secondary coach at Defiance High School in Ohio three months af- ter he left West Lafayette. He had his first college coaching job in 1982, and has spent the past 33 years in the collegiate ranks with Bowling Green, Rose Hulman (Division III), Indiana State, Ball State, San Diego State and the past four years with Michigan. If he never pursued coaching, he would probably be … coaching. "If you go through a bad season or you feel like you're getting beat up out there, you ask, 'What can I do to get out of this?' but I don't know what I would do," Smith said. "It's all I've ever done — coached. "Even when I was an undergrad student, I would go home in the summers and coach Little League or high school baseball. I coached my kids a little bit when they were growing up. "I don't know what I would do, but it would probably be in a sports- related field. Maybe equipment sales. Maybe pro scouting. I just don't know that I could remove myself from the game. I don't think I could go sell insurance or something like that — I'd hate it. "I tell you this, if I did do something else I would do volunteer coach- ing in my spare time." — Michael Spath Mark Smith loves coaching so much that if he was in a different profession, he would find time to be a volunteer coach. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN 137-143.DLs.indd 140 6/19/14 1:15 PM

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