But, yeah, you noticed. I skipped the defensive line, where Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen, and Will Heineger have all graduated. Michigan has no obvious current replacements. While Hoke recruited defensive linemen extremely well, it is rare for a frosh to step in early and play at a high level, especially in the defensive line. So Mattison and his staff came up with an alternate theory: "Let's go real fast, even if we are real small." Mattison has moved rush end Craig Roh to the strong side and told him to get bigger. Roh will be, no doubt, a very fast guy for that position. Mattison then moved linebackers Brennan Beyer and Frank Clark (status uncertain) to the rush end, making the U-M DEs as fast as any in the college game. He then moved an undersized rush end (Jibreel Black) to the three-tech (tackle), making him the smallest and fastest guy to occupy the position since, well, I don't know. Speed kills, right? Let's hope so.
Will Campbell has lost a lot of weight; now six foot five and 308, he will anchor the nose. Campbell has, from all accounts, dedicated the off-season to a conditioning regimen that seeks to match his fitness with his athletic ability. He could be the ingredient that allows Mattison's theory to cook.
Is any of this plausible? Hey, it is Greg Mattison, fergodsakes. In the spring this group of defensive linemen looked like they could play. If they have help behind them, this defense could be the most mobile rock pile in many years.