Michigan fans might not want to give former head coach Brady Hoke a semblance of credit for anything. But one thing Hoke left behind as a parting gift was an immensely talented defensive line.
The defensive line could be Michigan’s greatest strength on a defense loaded with talent all over the field. It’s so nasty that Fox Sports analyst Bruce Feldman rated it as the best defensive line in the country.
Michigan’s defensive line busted out last season under new head coach Jim Harbaugh and returns an abundance of experienced talent from last year’s group. Senior Chris Wormley is the headliner of the bunch. Wormley racked up 43 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks a season ago.
Seniors Taco Charlton and Maurice Hurst combined for eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss last season last season and should be poised for even better seasons. The Wolverines will also return a healthy Ryan Glasgow, after the 300-pound tackle missed the final month of the season with a shoulder injury. Glasgow’s absence was partially to blame for Michigan’s struggles against the run toward the end of the 2015 season. The Wolverines allowed 5.22 yards per carry with Glasgow out of the lineup.
The unit is also fairly deep. Sophomore Bryan Mone is back and healthy after missing all of last season with a broken leg. Of course, Michigan also adds the No. 1 recruit in the country, defensive tackle Rashan Gary, who will surely be in the mix thanks to his versatility and natural ability.
Michigan’s defensive line will be versatile, with enough sheer power and finesse to give opponents fits this season. New defensive coordinator Don Brown will have plenty to work with and his incredibly unique schemes should create plenty of havoc up front for opponents.
Michigan’s defensive line might be destined for greatness this season and could carry the Wolverines to a Big Ten title.