Michigan's spring game was a chance to see where the team stands before it ends its spring schedule in Rome and the last chance to gauge where the team stands before they hit the field again in the fall. Though the team was drafted in to two separate sides, the game gave some clues as to what the defensive unit would look like in the fall.
The thing that stood out first was the speed and quickness of the defensive lines. The prospective starting unit for the fall started for the Maize unit and created trouble for the Blue quarterbacks from the get go. The unit consists of fifth-year senior Maurice Hurst, senior Bryan Mone, senior Chase Winovich and sophomore Rashan Gary.
Gary looked good, notching four tackles and a sack in the first half and Hurst made a couple pass breakups for the defense.
The defensive line players were used on both the Maize and Blue squads and sophomore defensive end Carlo Kemp was another player who showed signs of an increased role this season.
The Maize unit used sophomore linebacker/safety Khaleke Hudson in the VIPER position while fellow sophomore safety Josh Metellus saw time at both safety and VIPER for the Blue squad. Junior Jordan Glasgow has also practiced at VIPER this spring, though he stayed mainly at safety during the game.
Glasgow showed off his athletic abilities with a pick of senior quarterback Wilton Speight in the end zone that he returned the other way for a touchdown in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Sophomore linebacker Devin Bush looked strong in the first half of the game, causing a lot of problems for the offensive line with his speed coming up the middle. Bush had two sacks of the quarterback in the first half, though defenders could not bring the quarterback to the ground.
Fifth year senior linebacker Mike Wroblewski was another linebacker who made his mark in the spring game after not seeing much action last season. Wroblewski had four tackles in the first half and saw quite a bit of action all day.
Some of the veteran players on the defense did not play in the second half to limit the chance of injury.
Some early enrollees looked like they will be in the two-deep heading into the fall, including cornerback Ambry Thomas and safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell. Cornerback Benjamin St-Juste also made a big play early in the second quarter with a interception of Speight. St-Juste matched up some with fellow early enrollees Tarik Black and Donovan Peoples-Jones, and though St-Juste had good moments, Black did beat him for a touchdown half way through the fourth quarter.
Senior cornerback Brandon Watson showed his experience in the game, picking off a pass from sophomore quarterback Brandon Peters and taking it back for a touchdown.
Though there is a lot of time between now and the start of fall camp — and much will change with the roster— the spring game showed that despite the youth on the team, the Wolverines are in position to once again be a formidable unit.