The start of Spring Practices over the weekend marked the beginning of a season that Michigan fans are very excited for. That excitement may have to be tempered a bit.
News broke today out of practice that last year’s leading tackler and star of the Michigan defense, redshirt junior Jake Ryan, suffered a torn ACL. His timetable for return is unknown at this point, but ACL injuries are typically anywhere from seven-to-twelve month healing process.
Last year’s leading tackler, Ryan is a playmaking linebacker for the Wolverines, and very much their “Clay Matthews” type of player. It is a huge loss for a much improved defense the last two seasons under Brady Hoke.
If there is a silver lining to this injury, it’s that it came early enough in spring to where guys will be able to compete for Ryan’s spot. Michigan’s linebacking corps headed into 2013 was likely Joe Bolden, Desmond Morgan, and Jake Ryan, but now guys like James Ross III, Cameron Gordon, or perhaps even an incoming freshman will have the chance to impress the coaches and fill in for Ryan.
We will have more information about how this affects the offseason and position battles as it becomes available to us. Keep it locked in here for more breaking news and notes out of Michigan football’s spring practices.