2008 Michigan Preview: Defensive Line

Ah yes, the defense. Shafer's men. The heart and soul of this year's squad. If we plan on winning 8 or so games this year, the defense is going to be mostly responsible. We may have a shiny new offense that is supposed to be great, but until they figure it out, the defense is the key. In this conference, no matter how many spreads there are, defense wins championships.

And it all starts up front with the D-Line. And the good news is, Michigan returns all of last year's starters at this position.

Defensive end Tim Jamison (Sr. 6-3, 263) brings with him three varsity letters and a ton of experience. He has played in 38 games, and made 13 career starts for the Michigan defense. He is the current active sack-leader; 79 tackles, 19 for loss, 14.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 3 pass-breakups.

On the other end of the line, Brandon Graham (Jr. 6-2, 270) is also a returning starter, and two-year letterman with 5 starts and playing time in 24 games. Posted 28 tackles, 9 sacks, and 10 tackles for loss.

On the interior line, Terrance Taylor (Sr. 6-0, 319) is the standout. Taylor is a three-year letterman, two-year starter at nose tackle. He has started 24 games at nose tackle and played in 36 contests, made 15 straight starts at nose tackle. Has 79 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and three pass breakups during career. 2007 All-Big Ten Conference second team.

Will Johnson (Sr. 6-5, 285) is another 3-year letterman and returning starter. Appeared in 35 career games and made 13 starts at defensive tackle. Has 52 tackles, 6 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks during his career A smart one, he's a four-time U-M Athletic Academic Achievement (2004-07), and three-time Academic All-Big Ten Conference (2005-06-07).

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