2008 Michigan Preview: Defensive Line

Projected Depth Chart

Graham (Jr) Johnson (rSr) Taylor (Sr) Jamison (rSr)
VanBergen (rFr) Kates (rSo)
Ferrara (rSo) Banks (rSo)
Criswell (rJr) Sagesse (So) Martin (Fr) Patterson (Jr)

Defensive Tackles

In the middle, Senior Terrance Taylor and 5th-year Will Johnson are the tackles. There is little depth among the backups, particularly with Marques Slocum leaving the team this summer. Redshirt sophomores Jason Kates and John Ferrara will be the backup tackles. Renaldo Sagesse has reportedly had a good summer and should challenge for playing time as well. Don’t be surprised to see true freshman Mike Martin in the rotation, either.


Michigan Defensive Tackles 2007
Name Tackle TFL Sacks
Terrance Taylor 55 8.5 3.5
Will Johnson 40 2.5 0.5
Marques Slocum 8 0.5 0
John Ferrara 2 1 0
Jason Kates 1 0 0

Taylor is a big run-stopper at defensive tackle, and has been a starter since his sophomore year. Johnson enters his second year as a starter, though I found him entirely uninspiring last year. The backups are far less touted and experienced than the starters across the line, but they will have to get the job done as well. While the starting DLine is probably the strength of the Michigan team, the lack of depth is one of the major weaknesses.

Defensive Ends
One the ends, Michigan returns another pair of starters. Junior Brandon Graham is a terror from the defensive end position, and 5th-year senior Tim Jamison mans the other side. Jamison is a more traditional speed rusher, but Graham has an element of quickness to his game as well. The backups are Ryan VanBergen, Adam Patterson, and Greg Banks. A man-sans-position thus far in his career, senior Andre Criswell will give end a shot this year.


Michigan Defensive Ends 2007
Name Tackle TFL Sacks
Tim Jamison 52 10 5.5
Brandon Graham 25 9.5 8.5
Greg Banks 7 0 0
Adam Patterson 4 1 1

Graham is a very athletic pass rusher on one side, but fans are still waiting for Tim Jamison to live up to his potential. Many are hoping that a good ass-kicking in the weight room under new strength coach Mike Barwis can unlock the thus-far dormant ability. The lack of depth at end is a major weaknesses. Few have gained significant playing time thus far, and there aren’t even that many bodies at the position. Until he showed up to camp ineligible, it was thought that Marcus Witherspoon might become a defensive end. A likely redshirt this year may be the perfect opportunity to switch positions.

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