Michigan Defensive Line Preview

You wouldn’t hear the coaches talk openly about concerns up front last year, but there’s a growing sense that Michigan could have a much more disruptive defensive line this fall.

Former all-Big Ten defensive end Aidan Hutchinson will be the guy who garners the most attention, for both his abilities and an intriguing transition to a stand-up edge-rushing role. How often he’s utilized on the outside remains to be seen, but Macdonald has said that his new defense will provide opponents a variety looks. That means Michigan could line up in three-man fronts with a pair of traditional ends in outside linebacker/edge rusher roles.

Expected to join Hutchinson in the transition is redshirt junior Taylor Upshaw, who told reporters in April that Michigan’s edge rushers call themselves “the reapers.” Redshirt-sophomore linebacker David Ojabo is also in the playing rotation mix as well, Harbaugh said.

Junior Chris Hinton, with five starts under his belt, is expected to line up in the middle despite a slow introduction to the new defense.

“Front is coming together, and (we’re) feeling better — and actually good — about it,” Harbaugh said.

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