The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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10 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2017   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS and make a comment, he's giving me the [funny look] … it's like whoa, what's not right. He kind of knows what we're doing now. "If you're a linebacker and you're not watching that guy? You've got rocks in your head." Scouts will be watching all of the Wolverines closely, and not only in the Senior Bowl. The East-West Shrine Game will be played Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Seven Wolverines have accepted invites to that one, four on defense and three on offense. Offensive linemen Kyle Kalis and Erik Magnuson, run- ning back De'Veon Smith, cornerback Channing Stribling, defensive lineman Matt Godin, and safeties Delano Hill and Dymonte Thomas were all on the East-West roster at press time. Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown recently received a new five- year deal to stay in charge of the Wol- verine defense for the next five years. He talks about the future in this Q&A: The Wolverine: You guys will have to replace a lot of starters on defense next year. How much do you think about that? Brown: "It's a balancing act, but that's what we get paid to do. That's what coaching is. You're multitasking all the time. Eye on the [bowl] game — but you've got to have an eye on the future as well. You're going to wake up on Saturday morning, and guess what? It's next season. You've got to be ready to go. "I think there's no fear in our younger guys. It's like, 'Okay, it's my turn and I've got to be ready to do my job.' You can see it at practice. If you watch the tape after, some of these young guys — I've been really pleased with them. Now, they haven't been hit in the face yet, so they'll have to understand that deal." The Wolverine: You'll need some depth at the strongside linebacker/Vi- per position Jabrill Peppers played so well — who are some guys you could see playing there? Brown: "[Walk-on redshirt freshman] Jordan Glasgow … I think we found this guy a home. We've kind of fooled with him in it. We're going to be dif- ferent at the safety position. I don't know if I want to take [freshman] Josh [Metellus] and pull him out of there full time, and turn him into the Viper, but wouldn't it be wonderful if this guy just continues to mature? "He's a different guy, but he has those qualities. The beauty is, we still have Noah [Furbush, a redshirt sopho- more], who has really practiced ex- tremely well over the last six, seven weeks. And we'll have that Viper guy who can help him out." The Wolverine: Metellus has shown signs of being a player. What's his fu- ture? Brown: "We're really excited about him. He can play safety, and he can be the poor man's Jabrill Peppers. We've got to get him a little bigger, but he can do a lot of the things we ask Jabrill to do. I'm not saying he's Jabrill Peppers; I'm saying he's the poor man's Jabrill Peppers. We're excited about him. "He can play either safety position and is a really intelligent, understands concepts guy." The Wolverine: You've got two other kids from Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Flana- gan High School in freshman lineback- ers Devin Gil and Devin Bush Jr. What are your thoughts on those guys? Brown: "Unbelievable … I'm really happy. Devin Bush has been a solid No. 2 guy from the day he got on campus. I threw him in there. Unfortunately, he's behind [redshirt junior] Mike McCray, and Mike has played all year, with the exception of maybe 20-25 snaps. He's in a position where this spring, he'll be in a starting role and he's off and running. "Devin Gil — we've found out who he is. He'll have a chance to be in the two-deep as well, moving forward this spring." — Chris Balas Brown's defense led the nation in several categories, including third-down defense (21.0 percent conversion rate), first downs allowed (186), passing yards allowed (142.5 per game) and total defense (261.8 yards given up per game). PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL Sitting Down With Michigan Defensive Coordinator Don Brown

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