Michigan football has a new defensive lineman as Reece Atteberry has made a position switch from the offensive line. He’s also moving up the depth chart.
Jim Harbaugh has always been a fan of letting guys compete and that has to be part of the motivation behind moving Reece Atteberry from the offensive line to the defensive line.
Atteberry has played in 12 games for Michigan football over the past three seasons and hasn’t really seen significant playing time. He probably won’t this season either on the offensive line just because it’s so deep.
Even Jeff Persi, who started a game last season and held up pretty well, isn’t among the top four offensive tackles right now with Karsen Barnhart, Trente Jones, Myles Hinton, and LaDarius Henderson all playing well.
Jim Harbaugh even hinted that those guys could alternate starts to open the season. Guard isn’t much better because Zak Zinter and Trevor Keegan are both locks to start and be All-Big Ten selections.
Giovanni El-Hadi, Greg Crippen, Raheem Anderson, and others like Hinton, Jones, and Barnhart could bump down to guard if needed.
It makes it difficult to crack the depth chart and that’s why I think the move of Atteberry to defense makes sense. I have no idea who initiated it, but you can always use more 300-pounders on the defensive side of the ball and he could maybe be a nose with some added weight.
At the very least, he can play defensive tackle for the Wolverines and so far, according to Kenneth Grant, he’s been moving up the depth chart.
"“He came in the room, what? Like a week ago? He’s doing really good,” Kenneth Grant said on Monday. “I think he said he played D-line in high school, but he’s already moving up on the depth chart. He’s doing really, really good. Just learning — he’s very smart in the meeting room. He knows the concept of the defense and how to run the defense, he just has to work on just the little things, technique-wise.”"
Harbaugh and company moved Mike Sainristil from offense to defense and it turned out to be a genius maneuver. Maybe this will too.