The Michigan football team has remained confidence in its defense thanks to Don Brown's leadership.

This is, after all, how just about everybody inside these halls feels about Brown. And it’s why — after losing eight defensive starters from a year ago — Michigan has no shortage of confidence in its defense.

“When you look at coach Brown’s track record, I would argue he’s the best defensive coordinator in the country,” said offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. “He’s constantly produced top defenses year in and year out, no matter where he’s been.”

Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis called Michigan's spring game without a script.

After 15 practices, about 90 percent of Gattis’ offense has been installed, he said Friday afternoon. That offense, entirely, belongs to Gattis.

Donovan Jeter has bounced back from injury and hopes to increase his playing time this season.

When Jeter speaks, he does so with firm conviction. It’s clear he carries the bumps and bruises of the last two years with him, and that they’ve calloused into determination. There’s a clear understanding that he knows this is the year for him.

Freshman cornerback Jalen Perry has shown cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich signs of potential, an opportunity afforded to him by enrolling early at Michigan.

There’s a phrase ringing around Schembechler Hall: Michigan’s early enrollees “should be at high school prom.” Cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich described them as “raw” and “green.” Certainly, they’re not ready for college football, not yet.

This is what spring ball is for those who graduate high school a semester early to come to Ann Arbor.

Junior corner Ambry Thomas has impressed his coaches and teammates in spring practice.

But now, teammates and coaches say Thomas has stepped up his game and come on as a player who could be a major contributor on a secondary that has a lost several key contributors — including cornerbacks David Long and Brandon Watson.

“The sky is the limit for that guy”

Presented by The Michigan Daily's sports section, a rotating cast of writers discusses Michigan sports.

The Spring Game(??) was this weekend, and we've got some takes from what we saw.


Many people would say it’s smart to resist the urge to fire off the hottest takes imaginable, but I am not one of them. Now that we all got a taste of football, the next four and a half months without it are going to be hard, and there is no better way to pass that time than by envisioning, in maniacal detail, all the success your favorite team is going to have.

Defensive coordinator Don Brown must deal with losing multiple star players.

But while Brown’s presence may add a comfortable layer of trustworthiness, he does not make the defense impervious to questions — of which there are plenty to ask.

Not even the king of defensive coordinators can step on the field and replace Devin Bush’s generational sideline-to-sideline speed, Rashan Gary’s power or Chase Winovich’s tenacity. He cannot mask a woefully thin interior defensive line, nor hide holes at safety and linebacker.


Mike Sainristil got the ball on a crossing route at the 23-yard line, beat his defender and coasted into the end zone.

Senior Tru Wilson is building confidence in Michigan's new offense.

The pre-game plane carried the optimistic hope for change that has defined Michigan’s offseason since it hired Josh Gattis as its new offensive coordinator on Jan. 10. And while aspects of that hope may be rooted in reality, Saturday’s spring game was a reminder that the Wolverines’ running game isn’t going anywhere.