Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2014 Season Countdown: #74 Chase Winovich

Chase Winovich
Name: Chase Winovich
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225 lbs.
High school: Clairton (PA) Thomas Jefferson
Position: Linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Winovich was a senior in high school. He was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #24 outside linebacker, and #287 overall.
Final TTB Rating: 79

Winovich committed in June of 2013 over the likes of Florida State and Ohio State. A somewhat rare combination of quarterback and linebacker, he made 85 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 907 yards on the ground, and 11 touchdowns. Winovich is a long kid with good straight-line speed that seemed molded to play SAM linebacker until the coaches switched from the 4-3 Under to the 4-3 Over defense.

I don't think Winovich will be needed on defense this year with all but Cameron Gordon returning at linebacker. Michigan did well enough at the position that a freshman probably isn't going to work his way past the experienced guys. Furthermore, Winovich looks more like an underweight MIKE linebacker in the 4-3 Over, and Michigan is pretty set at that spot with fifth year senior Jake Ryan and sophomore Ben Gedeon. A place Winovich might be able to help is on special teams, where it seems like at least one linebacker or safety burns a redshirt every year. He has the speed to help out on kickoff coverage, so it wouldn't surprise me to see him out there this year, but it makes more sense to redshirt him.

Prediction: Redshirt


  1. I'm not a big red-shirt advocate compared to some other fans, but I agree in this case that the coaches should try to red-shirt Winovich. This season, I don't see Ryan leaving the field much and they have 5 or 6 other LB's who are good enough to be in the rotation. Also expecting Gedeon to emerge as stud LB #2 this fall. '15 may be a more logical season for Winovich to get his feet wet, in preparation for the '16 season LB competition.

    During the recruiting cycle, it seemed like Winovich was a plan B guy for UM behind Kyle Berger (OSU). The coaches may have lucked out because Winovich looks like he may be the more dynamic player of the two in college. Winovich moves unusually well for a taller guy.

  2. Seems a little high. Yes, Michigan likes to use LBs for special teams, but there's a lot of bodies at LB now. McCray, RJS, Gedeon, Bolden, Gant are all slated to be backups.

    Winovich may have a higher ceiling than Wangler or Furbush, so I'd prefer he is red-shirted before them. Agree with the prediction but I'd put him a little lower on the list, just because he's so replaceable at a position of depth. I also happen to think he's a little overrated by some fans given that the coaches offered a bunch of other guys first, but if his offer list is real that is damn impressive...

    1. OSU made a big, sincere push for Winovich just before he committed to UM. And they already had commitments or heavy leads for several big name LB's. He became a pretty hot commodity prior to dropping for UM.

    2. You know, normally I would think what I'm about to say sounds unreasonable, but I think Urban Meyer might have done that in large part to spite Michigan.

      OSU had already beaten Michigan for both schools top choices (Hubbard and Berger) and then they landed Booker. They didn't need another LB - it was more of a luxury. OSU did offer Winovich first, but like you said, the push from them seemed to come later. In the end, I think they are happy with what they got instead (5 star LB McMillan).

    3. I think Winovich is a better candidate for kickoff coverage than most of those guys. The coaches certainly could value redshirting him over putting him out there for special teams, but if you give me those guys and ask me which one I want screaming downfield on a mission to slice through blockers and get to the ball carrier, I'm picking Winovich over McCray, Gant, etc.

    4. You could be right. The coaches seem more willing to 'burn' red-shirts for special teams roles than fans. I hope they red-shirt him though. Just depends how much they value the red-shirt vs the marginal improvement from another LB.

      I would guess Gant would be better at that role, but I only say that because he started as a DB.