|Mario Ojemudia (#53)|
Weight: 244 lbs.
High school: Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison
Position: Defensive end
Last year: I ranked Ojemudia #61 and said he would be a backup weakside end. He had 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery.
Ojemudia played immediately against Alabama in last season's opener, making 3 tackles and .5 tackles for loss. Not a bad start to a career. He showed some flashes of being a playmaker with a diving interception off a deflection against Nebraska and when he forced a fumble against South Carolina by spiking inside and surprising the Gamecocks running back. Despite making plays in limited time, he still found himself way behind starter Brennen Beyer, whose next big play will be his first, and a little behind Frank Clark.
This year Ojemudia has added about 20 lbs. and should be more physically ready to take on a bigger role. While neither Beyer or Clark graduated, the former has been bumped to SAM linebacker while Jake Ryan recovers form his torn ACL. That should move Ojemudia up to the backup role behind Clark, although freshman Taco Charlton will also press for playing time. Michigan is clearly stockpiling some talent at the weakside end spot, because they have three long and athletic guys to throw out there even though the starter switched to another position. Michigan should finally get some consistent, quality production and explosiveness from the WDE spot.
Prediction: Backup weakside end