Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poll Results: Who will be Michigan's starting nose tackle against Alabama?

William Campbell (#73) is the frontrunner for the nose tackle position in 2012
William Campbell: 73%
Believe it or not, Campbell is now a senior.  The former 5-star recruit has spent the last three seasons as a backup defensive tackle and offensive guard.  He should have redshirted in 2009 and, in an ideal world, would have two seasons of eligibility left.  Unfortunately, this will be his last hurrah.  Campbell is 6'5" and around 320 lbs., and when he fires off low, not many offensive linemen stand a chance; however, that's about a 50/50 proposition.  Last season he made 14 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery as Mike Martin's primary backup.  He'll probably get the first crack at taking Martin's starting spot

Ondre Pipkins: 17%
Pipkins is a 6'3", 330 lb. incoming freshman who won't hit campus until June.  It's notoriously difficult for true freshmen to play on either side of the line, so he would normally be a huge long shot . . . but the lack of productive depth at the position suggests Pipkins will be in the running for playing time.

Quinton Washington: 5%
The 6'4", 302 lb. made a bit of a sacrifice a couple seasons ago when he switched positions from offensive guard to defensive tackle.  When I watch him play defense, I see an offensive guard playing defense.  He's a very strong, stout player, but he's not athletic enough to be a real playmaker.  I think he lacks the qualities that the coaches are looking for in a starter, but he's a decent sub and goal line player.

Richard Ash: 2%
Ash will be a redshirt sophomore this fall and has yet to see significant playing time in college.  He did play in three games in 2011, but did not accrue any statistics.  As the voting indicates, I think Ash is the biggest long shot to start at the position.

Other: 0% (3 votes)
I'm not sure who was earning votes here.


  1. In the universe where "Q" never switched to the D-line, where do you think he'd be in the pecking order on the O-line?

  2. Not sure who others earning votes are? Have you seen Drew Dileo?

    DL and OL scare me equally most next year.

  3. I'd have to put Peewee in the rotation too like you said, just because injuries happen and Mattison likes to cycle a bunch of guys in. Imagine where we'd be if Campbell gets dinged up, and Pipkins is definitely missing a redshirt year. I like how Greg uses the players we've got though. What's not to like? Black and Roh are bigger and stronger, and are likely the fastest guys on the line too, but now inside using their speed to get off blocks instead of out in space. Very disruptive. Even though we've lost a lot in the the trenches I still expect us to dominate and make mismatches down the middle come game time.

  4. @Michael

    I'm not sure how much of a dropoff it would be if Campbell is temporarily hurt. Campbell hasn't been good enough to get consistent playing time. Maybe that's Martin/Van Bergen, but he was also beaten out by Heininger. Obviously Pipkins is an unknown and Ash/Washington have been even less productive, but it's not like we're talking about Mike Martin.

    The question about Black and Roh is - can the former WDE hold up against the run inside? Hopefully they can be PLAYMAKERS in there, but can they consistently hold up when they ARE blocked?

    The whole DL is filled with uncertainty and doubt. I'd like to say that someone will step up, with all the options, but that's the same thing I thought about RB in '10 and WLB in '11 - it doesn't always happen that you get anything better than 'serviceable'.

    One thing is for sure - it's better than being forced to throw unprepared freshman or walk-ons out there like the '10 secondary did. Only TE is looking like it's susceptible to that situation this year.

  5. My guess is that Campbell starts early, but Pipkins earns a lot of rotation time, maybe passing him later in the year. Assuming Pipkins is a more natural NT than Campbell (which I think will be evident right away), the coaches may still stick with Campbell starting. It's unlikely Pipkins will be in good enough shape to play a ton of snaps. I also have a feeling that Ash will see more minutes than QWash.

  6. With you guys on lower expectations on QWash. Seems like purely a run-stopping situational guy.

    Ash seems like someone who could figure it out. Hopefully he can help out - if not this year then next.

    I expect WAY more rotating on the DL this year. I think Black will play more than anyone on the inside, but, as a lighter guy for the position, he won't hold up playing the kind of snaps that RVB and Martin did. Campbell doesn't seem like an every-down player. Pipkins doesn't either.

    I'm also half-way expecting one of the 'other' freshman to help out too - Strobel, Wormley, Godin, Ojemudia.