Young Michigan football linebackers, linemen impressing the coaches

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — We already know who many of the main players for Michigan football will be in 2024, especially on defense. Up front, Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant are perhaps the best defensive tackle duo in the country, while linebackers Ernest Hausmann and Jaishawn Barham have been getting a lot of publicity this offseason.

But a team is only as good as its depth, one thing the Wolverines have had in spades the past three years.

So, with that in mind, what linebackers are standing out seven practices into spring practice? Position coach Brian Jean-Mary shed some light on the topic, noting some names that have been heard from the past few years, but haven’t necessarily put their stamp on the game as of yet.

“Some of the guys that I think are playing well are Jayden Hood — he’s been here for a while, very, very talented guy that says he’s been waiting for his opportunity. I think he’s taken advantage of it right now,” Jean-Mary said. “Micah Pollard I think fits in that category, too. An older guy, a talented guy who hasn’t played as much as he’d like to but is doing a solid job for us. You’ve got Christian Boivin who has been a great special teams player, he’s doing an excellent job for us there as one of the older guys.

“Some of the younger guys I feel like have an opportunity and we want to see more from and I think they’re gonna have a chance will be Jason Hewlett, Semaj Bridgeman, and Hayden Moore have done a good job for us but, obviously, this back half of spring as far as depth chart goes, we’re going to have to see which one of those guys are going to separate themselves.

“Obviously, the young kids, Cole Sullivan and Jeremiah Beasley — guys that should be in high school and they’re getting quality reps at spring practice — very, very excited about those two guys. I think they’re going to be two high-end guys that are going to continue the tradition that we’ve had here of solid linebackers that are very, very productive. Been very, very happy with those guys.”

What’s more, the linebackers are better when those in front of them are solid at their jobs. And Jean-Mary sees a lot of depth emerging there, as well.

Without wanting to step on the toes of new defensive line coach Lou Esposito, Jean-Mary is excited about one name that seems to keep emerging all spring, as well as another who has gotten a ton of mentions.

“I know guys that stood out so far in the front have been Enow Etta, has done a really, really good job,” Jean-Mary said. “TJ Guy has stepped up and done a really good job. Those are just two guys — like I said, I don’t want to steal the thunder from the D-line coach. As a linebacker coach and sitting back and listening to Coach Wink in the room, those are two guys who seem to be having a really, really good spring.”


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