2006 Season Preview: The DBs
Leon Hall (Senior) - 2 year returning starter and one of the premiere CBs in the nation. He's got the ideal size and speed for the position and is plenty fast to run with the burners. I'll take him as Michigan's best CB since Charles Woodson because his cover skills are ahead of Marlin Jackson.
Ryan Mundy (RS Junior) - missed virtually all of last year after starting the entire 2004 season at FS. He's a good QB of the defense and excels in coverage. You may have last seen him taking horrible angles in the 2005 Rose Bowl against Vince Young.
Willis Barringer (RS Senior) - filled in for Mundy at FS last year and played pretty well. Not great in any one area, but a solid player all around.
Brandon Harrison (Sophomore) - recruited as a CB, he played his way into the starting SS spot for a few games last year. He's small, but has good speed and isn't afraid to hit anybody. Given the depth returning at safety this year, it's likely that he'll shift back to CB to battle for the #2 spot opposite Leon Hall.
Jamar Adams (Junior) - a big hard hitter at SS, he ended up the starter by the end of the year. Probably the most physically gifted safety on the roster, big things are expected this year.
Morgan Trent (RS Sophomore) - a track star at CB that was the nickel back for most of last season. He's got good instincts and blazing speed and will certainly see PT at CB this year.
Johnny Sears (RS Freshman) - recruited as a raw but talented cover corner out of California, he spent last year learning how to play the position in college. If he puts it together, he might be the most talented CB on the team. He's big and fast and should be a star someday.
Charles Stewart (RS Sophomore) - a big, physical corner that excels supporting the run and jamming receivers at the line. Not the fastest and he can struggle downfield at times.
Chris Richards (RS Freshman) - see Johnny Sears. A big, fast, raw CB from California that spent last year on the bench.
What to expect?
Leon Hall is the only lock for a starter spot. He's a legit player for the Thorpe Award this year and he'll get a chance to show off against elite QBs like Brady Quinn, Drew Stanton, and Troy Smith. The other corner spot is still up in the air. You have to figure that Morgan Trent, Charles Stewart, and Brandon Harrison have the edge, but don't completely count out Johnny Sears or Chris Richards. Suffice to say, there is plenty of talent here so whoever earns the other spot will have to earn it.
At Safety, Mundy is the big question mark. Is he fully back physically? If so, he has the most experience at FS and could be a big help in organizing the new defensive schemes this year. Jamar Adams will probably get the first shot at starting at SS. Willis Barringer can play either spot and will step in if anybody falters. Freshman Jonas Mouton and Steve Brown are very talented, but will be hard pressed to see a ton of PT in 2006 with the depth ahead of them.
Labels: Michigan Football