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2016 ILB Targets

Note: With a little bit of uncertainty about the new defense I thought it would be easiest to break these positions up as ILB and OLB. From watching the spring game and reading recruiting interviews it sounds like we will be running a hybrid defense that can look like a 3-4 but is ran with 4-3 principles. From a recruiting standpoint, it sounds like MIKE/WILL are similar positions therefore having the same targets. I have labeled this ILB. This post will be followed by an OLB target post that will include the SAM position (traditional OLB) and the BUCK position (hybrid spot, stand up defensive end). Hope this makes the target board more clear.
 
Top Targets:
1. Jonathon Jones ([link=http://www.hudl.com/athlete/3355984/highlights/182737376/v2)-]http://www.hudl.com/athle...hlights/182737376/v2)-[/link] Jones is an "old school" ILB that reads and reacts quickly. While he is a bit undersized (6' 205), his instincts and quickness prevent him from getting swallowed up by the trash inside. He is a striker in both tackling and taking on blockers rarely allowing them to get to his chest. While his overall speed may not be top end, he is explosive and a very good tackler in space. Has very little film getting coverage drops so its hard to evaluate that. Claimed over and over that Michigan is the leader and visits mid June. Would not be surprised if he committed while visiting. 
Strengths: instincts, tackling ability, explosiveness
Weaknesses: size, pass drops (experience), pass rushing technique (not necessary for ILB, but at his size will need to develop a few moves when blitzing)
 
2. Devin Bush, Jr. ([link=http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2327504/highlights/171415380/v2)-]http://www.hudl.com/athle...hlights/171415380/v2)-[/link] Bush is a rare speedy linebacker on the inside. He is an exceptional athlete that works through or around blocks inside the box and is great at taking the right angle and finding the crease to tackle in space. He is definiteiy a big hitter and sometimes realizes too much on the big hit. Little coverage experience but his athleticism should make him pretty good against the pass. His father is one of the hosts for Michigan's camp in Miami, and Bush has already made it to campus unofficially and will return in mid June with his teammate and Miami commit Devin Gil. FSU legacy but Michigan has a real shot here.
Strenths: speed, athleticism, striking
Weaknesses: technique, discipline, height
 
3. Dontavious Jackson ([link=http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2596862/highlights/184186395/v2)-]http://www.hudl.com/athle...hlights/184186395/v2)-[/link] The biggest ILB on the board that is a traditional MIKE. An absolute force in the run game, when Jackson hits his opponents they usually stop dead in their tracks. Is pretty good in coverage for his size and plays very well in space. Will be a battle with the Texas powers along with some other blueblood programs. He and his safety teammate Chris Brown have already made it to campus unofficially and Michigan is right in the thick of the race.
Strengths: Size, hit power, coverage
Weaknesses: technique, play diagnosing (hops too much)
 
4. COMMIT Dele Harding (film is private)- Harding is from the same school as Brandon Watson and Freddy Canteen. Committed to the Hoke staff but have not heard from him much since Harbaugh's staff took over. At this point he is part of the class, and visited for the spring game, but I don't know if the coaches are pursuing him still and it remains to be seen whether he will be part of the picture moving forward. Will update when his film becomes available. 

Comments

  • Note: With a little bit of uncertainty about the new defense I thought it would be easiest to break these positions up as ILB and OLB. From watching the spring game and reading recruiting interviews it sounds like we will be running a hybrid defense that can look like a 3-4 but is ran with 4-3 principles. From a recruiting standpoint, it sounds like MIKE/WILL are similar positions therefore having the same targets. I have labeled this ILB. This post will be followed by an OLB target post that will include the SAM position (traditional OLB) and the BUCK position (hybrid spot, stand up defensive end). Hope this makes the target board more clear.
     
    Top Targets:
    1. Jonathon Jones ([link=http://www.hudl.com/athlete/3355984/highlights/182737376/v2)-]http://www.hudl.com/athle...hlights/182737376/v2)-[/link] Jones is an "old school" ILB that reads and reacts quickly. While he is a bit undersized (6' 205), his instincts and quickness prevent him from getting swallowed up by the trash inside. He is a striker in both tackling and taking on blockers rarely allowing them to get to his chest. While his overall speed may not be top end, he is explosive and a very good tackler in space. Has very little film getting coverage drops so its hard to evaluate that. Claimed over and over that Michigan is the leader and visits mid June. Would not be surprised if he committed while visiting. 
    Strengths: instincts, tackling ability, explosiveness
    Weaknesses: size, pass drops (experience), pass rushing technique (not necessary for ILB, but at his size will need to develop a few moves when blitzing)
     
    2. Devin Bush, Jr. ([link=http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2327504/highlights/171415380/v2)-]http://www.hudl.com/athle...hlights/171415380/v2)-[/link] Bush is a rare speedy linebacker on the inside. He is an exceptional athlete that works through or around blocks inside the box and is great at taking the right angle and finding the crease to tackle in space. He is definiteiy a big hitter and sometimes realizes too much on the big hit. Little coverage experience but his athleticism should make him pretty good against the pass. His father is one of the hosts for Michigan's camp in Miami, and Bush has already made it to campus unofficially and will return in mid June with his teammate and Miami commit Devin Gil. FSU legacy but Michigan has a real shot here.
    Strenths: speed, athleticism, striking
    Weaknesses: technique, discipline, height
     
    3. Dontavious Jackson ([link=http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2596862/highlights/184186395/v2)-]http://www.hudl.com/athle...hlights/184186395/v2)-[/link] The biggest ILB on the board that is a traditional MIKE. An absolute force in the run game, when Jackson hits his opponents they usually stop dead in their tracks. Is pretty good in coverage for his size and plays very well in space. Will be a battle with the Texas powers along with some other blueblood programs. He and his safety teammate Chris Brown have already made it to campus unofficially and Michigan is right in the thick of the race.
    Strengths: Size, hit power, coverage
    Weaknesses: technique, play diagnosing (hops too much)
     
    4. COMMIT Dele Harding (film is private)- Harding is from the same school as Brandon Watson and Freddy Canteen. Committed to the Hoke staff but have not heard from him much since Harbaugh's staff took over. At this point he is part of the class, and visited for the spring game, but I don't know if the coaches are pursuing him still and it remains to be seen whether he will be part of the picture moving forward. Will update when his film becomes available. 
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