Weight: 176 lbs.
High school: Matthews (NC) Butler
Jersey number: #8
Last year: I ranked Stribling #83 and said he would redshirt. He made 16 tackles and 1 forced fumbles.
I believed Stribling would redshirt in 2013 with the likes of Blake Countess, Raymon Taylor, and Courtney Avery returning, all of whom had starting experience going into the year. Avery hurt his knee in pre-season practice and split his time between corner and safety, which exacerbated the need for other corners. So freshmen Stribling and Jourdan Lewis stepped on the field. Stribling's size seemed to lure defensive coordinator Greg Mattison into playing him, and he even said that Stribling made a lot of plays in practice. Unfortunately, that didn't translate to the field a great deal, a problem that was made abundantly clear when he was beaten twice at critical moments against Penn State. That, of course, wasn't his fault - the coaches made the decision to put a somewhat unheralded true freshman on the field in crunch time. Regardless, he mistimed a couple of passes, which were completed on the Nittany Lions' way to a frustrating defeat for the Wolverines.
I thought Stribling looked overmatched as a freshman, but I am not without hope for his future. The problem for him is that Michigan has two established starters (Countess and Taylor), a classmate who has created quite a bit of buzz (Lewis), and an incoming freshman who is Michigan's most hyped recruit in the Rivals/Scout era (Jabrill Peppers), which dates back to 2002. This does not mean that his path to playing time is blocked, but it may be a winding road; he may be a backup until both Countess and Taylor are gone, he may move to safety at some point, or he may remain the third corner after Lewis/Peppers. I hesitate to underestimate Stribling for a second year in a row, partly because the coaches seem to be high on him. But I can't really see a situation where he's called upon to contribute heavily this season unless injuries occur.
Prediction: Backup cornerback