Michigan S Rod Moore Suffers Major Knee Injury: What’s Next for the Wolverines?

    Just as the Michigan Wolverines' spring practices began to heat up, star safety Rod Moore reportedly tore his ACL. Who will step up in his absence?

    The Michigan Wolverines will begin their national title defense without senior safety Rod Moore. The star defender reportedly suffered a torn ACL during spring practice on Monday and will likely miss the majority of the 2024 college football season.

    Which Michigan Defenders Will Step Up Following Rod Moore’s Injury?

    247Sports’ Matt Zenitz first reported the news late Monday night. An ACL tear isn’t the career-altering injury it used to be, but it still takes 8-12 months to recover fully, let alone return to elite athletic levels and 100% confidence.

    Moore’s loss is a huge blow to Michigan’s defense, especially after 2022 four-star recruit Keon Sabb transferred to Alabama in February.

    Moore has been a mainstay in the secondary over the last three years, registering 141 total tackles, six interceptions, and seven pass breakups. While the two-time All-Big Ten selection focuses on his recovery, the Wolverines will begin to identify who will take his place on the back end.

    Jim Harbaugh took a sizeable chunk of Michigan’s 2023 staff to the Los Angeles Chargers, including defensive coordinator Jesse Minter. New head coach Sherrone Moore brought in seasoned NFL DC Wink Martindale to call the unit, and his scheme isn’t too dissimilar from what the Wolverines have run the last two years.

    With nearly four decades of coaching experience, Martindale has seen his fair share of impactful safeties. And last week, he shared high praise for Moore, comparing him to five-time NFL All-Pro safety Eric Weddle, who Martindale coached for two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

    “Rod Moore, he’s the safety that, and I’m not talking about play-wise or anything else. Smart-wise, football knowledge-wise, all that. He reminds me of Eric Weddle,” Martindale said. “He was one of the smartest safeties I’ve ever coached. I called Weddle and told him about it.

    “There’s a lot of checks that have to be made on the field … Rod is like, ‘If they go hurry up, what should we do?’ [I told him], ‘Call the defense. You can’t be wrong.’ He’s that smart.”

    Now, Moore’s football IQ will be relegated to the sideline alongside Martindale. But his injury injury only adds to the DC’s extensive to-do list. As expected from a program fresh off a national championship victory, Michigan will replace most of their 22 starters, with seven coming on defense (eight when counting Moore).

    Defensive linemen Kris Jenkins, Braiden McGregor, and Jaylen Harrell, linebackers Junior Colson and Michael Barrett, and corners Josh Wallace and Mike Sainristil declared for the NFL Draft, but, as is the case for most blueblood programs, the Wolverines still have more than enough talent on the roster.

    DT Mason Graham and CB Will Johnson are the stars of the returning group, with NT Kenneth Grant, LB Ernest Hausmann, EDGEs Josaiah Stewart and Derrick Moore, and DBs Makari Paige and Ja’Den McBurrows prepared to step up.

    KEEP READING: FOX To Show Ohio State, Michigan College Football Spring Games

    With Moore out, the 6’4″ Paige will use his four years of experience to lead the safety room, while longtime Wolverine Quentin Johnson should slot next to him in the starting lineup.

    Redshirt sophomore Zeke Berry and true sophomore Brandyn Hillman fill out the two-deep depth chart, but if Martindale and Co. aren’t confident with what they see the rest of spring, they could dip into the transfer portal for reinforcements.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    1 COMMENT

    1. with Jim Harbaugh going to the N.F.L. the Michigan Wolverines won’t be the same dominating team

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