How Michigan football linebackers are ‘trying to get to that level’ of last year

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Michigan football had seemingly every necessary ingredient last season en route to a 15-0 record and a national championship.

A quarterback who may go in the top five later this month in the NFL draft was key. A running back who rewrote the program record book didn’t hurt either. Of course, those records were all set largely because of an award-winning offensive line that had more NFL combine invites last month than available starting sports in the fall.

That’s not to mention the No. 1 defense in the nation, led by an All-American on the line (Kris Jenkins) and in the secondary (Mike Sainristil).

However, for “new” linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary — a familiar name as he coached the same unit in Ann Arbor during a trying 2020 season — he believes he has as much to replace in his room as any unit on the field.

Speaking Monday for the first time since he was added to first-year head coach Sherrone Moore’s coaching staff, Jean-Mary explained that’s not a slight at anybody who will suit up for the maize and blue this season, but rather a compliment to projected draft picks in Junior Colson and Michael Barrett, who patrolled those spots for the better part of the past three seasons.

Michigan linebacker Junior Colson talks with reporters about the Fiesta Bowl against TCU on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“The challenge before we started practice was we lost two big-time linebackers, two of the better linebackers to come out of Michigan in the last two decades,” Jean-Mary said to a group of reporters inside Al Glick Fieldhouse. “Having a personal relationship with both, I thought they played at as high of a level as linebackers as any group in the country. So we know the bar was set high and that was the challenge coming in.

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/michigan-football-linebackers-trying-level-101130111.html

Author : Detroit Free Press

Publish date : 2024-04-02 10:11:30

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