Monday, August 8, 2011

2011 Countdown: #23 Jibreel Black

Jibreel Black combines with Jonas Mouton to tackle a Mississippi State Bulldog
Name: Jibreel Black
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 258 lbs.
High school: Wyoming High School in Cincinnati, OH
Position: Defensive end
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #55
Last year: I ranked Black #75 and said he would redshirt.  He was a backup DE all season and made 7 tackles.

Black had an up-and-down year in 2010.  He played in the opener and appeared in every contest afterward, but made very few plays throughout the season.  Even at defensive end, 7 tackles for a frequent contributor isn't anything stellar.  Then again, his doppelganger (you might have heard of him, a guy named Brandon Graham) only had 2 tackles and 1/2 a sack as a true freshman in 2006.  If Black is truly 3.5 times as good as Graham, who had 8.5 sacks as a sophomore, then expect 29.75 sacks from Black this season.

I really like Black.  I think he's going to develop into a very good player.  The only problem is that he plays the same position as Craig Roh, another kid whose maturity I'm awaiting with baited breath.  The two may split time in 2011 at the weakside end position, but Black also saw some time in the spring at the strongside (5-tech) end position.  The team is pretty thin at the end positions this year, going only two-deep before you get to true freshmen.  Michigan fans and opposing quarterbacks will probably see a heavy dose of Black on both ends of the line, supporting both Roh and starting 5-tech Ryan Van Bergen.  I think we'll start to see the light switch go on, especially in the second half of the season.

Prediction: Backup weakside and strongside end; 20 tackles, 4 sacks


  1. Magnus, do you think Black will come in for RVB in passing situations as well as spot duty? I think Van Bergen's a good player, but Black definitely generates a better pass rush.

  2. That's what I was thinking too, Black seems like a much better pass rusher but tends to not be as disciplined and leave his running lanes open on occasion.

  3. I really liked Black coming out of HS. He played DT/NT in the Ohio all star game and was completely unblockable. Black and Dileo are a couple nice gems that RR pulled out of his hat last year - wish there would have been more! From my estimation, Black was a bit undersized in 2010 and he compensated by adding some bad weight. Once he is in playing shape and turned loose a little in the scheme, I see him as a potential all-conference type. He may not beat out Roh, but I see Black as a more productive playmaker over the course of his career.

  4. I too am a huge fan of Jibreel Black. Hopefully we won't have to wait til Roh graduates to see more of him.

    Think we'll see a Roh/Black combo for passing downs?

  5. I think Black will come in for Campbell and RVB will shift inside. That's a pretty good 4 man rush.

  6. @ David 5:30 p.m.

    I can't really see Black and Roh being out there in every passing situation. It seems like a lot of people forget that Van Bergen leads the team in sacks over the past couple years - 4 last year, 5 two years ago. I do think Black will become a better pass rusher than Van Bergen, but that might not be the case on September 3 or even this year.

  7. @ Anonymous 7:42 a.m.

    I think we're more likely to see a 3-4 look on passing situations than to see a Black-Martin-Van Bergen-Roh front four.

  8. I don't see UM leaving RVB on the outside on passing downs. He has no speed rush to threaten an OT. If memory serves, his sacks have been more hustle plays or missed blocks than beating an OT one-on-one. On passing downs, I would use Black, Roh, Ryan, and maybe one of the freshmen (if ready) on the edge on passing downs.

  9. @ Painter Smurf 9:10 a.m.

    As far as I know, sacks due to hustle plays/missed blocks still go in the book as sacks. The three players you listed have combined for 2.5 sacks in their careers, all of which came from Roh.

  10. @Thunder 8:24

    Are you thinking a 3-4 with RVB-Martin-Roh on the line with Ryan-Demens-Cam-WLB/Th. Gordon behind?

    What do you see as the advantages to going 3-4 vs 4-2-5 in passing downs? More unpredictable? More speed on the field?

  11. @ Anonymous 11:08 a.m.

    Yes, that's the nickel package that I'm expected. You could also put in another nose tackle and move Martin around a little bit.

    In the 3-4, you automatically have 5 threats on the LOS who are able to rush the passer, plus the 2 inside linebackers and a defensive back who walks up (like a SS).

    In a 4-2-5, you only have 4 threats on the LOS. You do have some more threats at the second level, but I'd rather have 5 guys standing on the LOS and taking the OL's attention. Plus I think the angles are better for OLB's to get to the quarterback from a 3-4 than for DE's to get to the quarterback in a 4-front. The OLB's make offensive tackles turn their shoulders, get off balance, and do things they're not comfortable doing.