Michigan Football Tidbits: Position Group — Safeties — Part 2 of 3

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Michigan Football Tidbits: Position Group — Safeties — Part 2 of 3

Turner:

This is a stretch, and it is simply speculation, but one thing Turner can do is be effective in pass coverage. In addition, he has the size and speed to play either cornerback or safety.

Hypothetically, let us say S. Brown struggles again early next year. In addition, let us assume B. Smith is a starter. That leaves Michigan with a choice of either play Williams (which they probably will early on) or move Turner to safety.

Our overall depth is so much better at cornerback that it is possible Turner, because of his ability, is asked to fill in at safety. Of all the other possibilities, this makes the most sense to me. They like Turner a lot and want him on the field.

Bell:

While Bell played mostly linebacker in the all-star game, he thinks, at least early on, he is going to get a shot at safety. But between Jones and Bel,l right now Bell may be the Williams of a year ago and get some snaps at practice at outside linebacker.

He’s nother kid who is going to gain a lot of weight in the next couple of years, so his position is hard to project right now. Bell’s strength is his ability to play in pass coverage, so it’s possible the competition between Bell and Jones will determine who moves to linebacker.

Vlad:

He has made a good first impression and early analysis indicates he is a more athletic Mike Williams. He is a very smart kid, but the big question is, will his knee hold up or does he need more time? So far, he is going through most of the drills, so expectations are he will play.

Besides S. Brown at safety, Vlad is probably the player who shows the type of speed that classifies him as a “true safety”. He could probably play either position. Good pick-up by Michigan. Versatile kids like Vlad will probably see game time early on.

Jones:

He is going to start the spring at safety. A big kid who is more of a physical player, strong safety seems to be his position, as of now. This means he will compete directly against B. Smith. We sure need depth here, and we also need some of our safety prospects to contribute on special teams. Barwis, by the way, likes Jones’s size and athletic ability. He thinks Jones is going to develop into a very good athlete with the the big question being where he will eventually end up.

Jones may well end up at linebacker, but he was told he would also go through drills with the safeties in spring. However, if Vlad is healthy enough, and if they move Turner for next year to safety, and if Williams plays safety full time, and if it is decided Bell is a better safety prospect than Jones, then I think Jones moves.

Does it make sense to move both Bell and Jones? In either case, Jones, to me, seems like a redshirt candidate. That gives the staff a year to determine the best position for him.

Jones may be working with the linebacker group. Barwis puts kids in groups during workouts, but last summer B. Smith worked out with the linebacker group too.
We’re not saying he won’t play linebacker, we just think it will not be decided until spring or maybe after.

Note: Michigan has so many hybrid safety / linebacker type players (B. Smith, Jones, Bell, Williams, etc.) that some of them will have to stay at safety. Jones may be the one.

>>> (Tomorrow we will be talking about Position Group — Safeties — Part 3 of 3. Notes, questions and what will Coach Robinson do.)

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Written by MaizeMan, CoachBt and ErocWolverine