Michigan Football: Analyzing Allen Gant's Move from Safety to Sam Linebacker

Austin FoxCorrespondent IIJune 19, 2013

Jan 1, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Michigan Wolverines cheerleaders run onto the field before a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest news this past week from the Michigan football team was that redshirt freshman Allen Gant would be moving from safety to Sam linebacker.

While this seemingly came out of nowhere to some, others weren't surprised by this move. A popular opinion was that Gant wasn't cut out to play safety, mainly because of a lack of speed and/or athleticism.

His 6'2", 203-pound body frame may be more suited in the future to play linebacker anyway. He'll need to add weight if he plans on staying at the Sam, though.

The current co-starters at the position, Cam Gordon and Brennen Beyer, weigh 233 and 254 pounds, respectively. Gant obviously has a ways to go if he wants to get anywhere near that.

There's no doubt he'll be buried on the depth chart as a redshirt freshman. The aforementioned Gordon and Beyer figure to man the position until Jake Ryan is healthy enough to return, placing Gant fourth-string at best.

If either incoming freshman Mike McCray or Ben Gedeon winds up at the Sam, there's a good chance they could start out ahead of Gant as well.

While the new outlook at the Sam position is interesting, I actually think the new situation at safety is far more intriguing.

Michigan was already incredibly thin at the position even with Gant, and moving him just means there's one less able body. Plus, Gant wasn't buried on the depth chart at safety the way he will be at Sam.

What if Thomas Gordon or Jarrod Wilson goes down with injury? Jeremy Clark would probably be the next guy in, and he too is only a redshirt freshman. But beyond Clark there really isn't anybody else.

Sure, you could throw Josh Furman's name into the mix, but the veteran has had so many opportunities and has never taken advantage. I truly believe that the coaches do not trust putting him in the game on defense.

Assuming Dymonte Thomas spends the entire season at nickelback, Delano Hill is the only other freshman who may start out at safety. I doubt Hill is ready to contribute as a freshman, though, making him a non-factor for this season.

Hopefully this is just a sign that the coaches feel really, really good in what they have. If they can make it through the year with only Gordon, Wilson and Clark contributing at safety, then that would be great.

I don't want to say that Gant won't ever play, seeing as how he's only a redshirt freshman, but it's obviously not looking good. Gant's story so far is eerily similar to Cam Gordon's.

Gordon was also a man without a position, starting out at safety under Rich Rodriguez before a slew of position changes eventually saw him wind up at Sam linebacker. Now a fifth-year senior, Gordon has a good chance of starting the season opener, something that looked impossible only a year or two ago.

Will Gant's career follow a similar path?