Last season, Michigan boasted one of the nation’s stingiest defenses under the guidance of defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin. In the time after Michigan’s last regular season game, Maryland offered Durkin a head coaching position. He promptly accepted.
During the 2015 season, Michigan battled Boston College for the top-ranked defense for much of the year. After Durkin left for Maryland, the Wolverines hired then-Boston College defensive coordinator Don Brown to the same position in Ann Arbor. At the 2015 season’s close, Boston College finished with the nation’s No. 1 ranked total-defense, while Michigan finished in the No. 4 position according to ESPN.
With Brown set to coach Michigan’s defense in the 2016 season and likely beyond, the future usage for current Wolverine commits may change under new leadership. Michigan landed the pledge of 3-star cornerback Sir Patrick Scott, the No. 17 athlete in the state of Maryland according to 247Sports.com, during the beginning stages of August. Since that time, the Riverdale Baptist School product has remained an advocate for Michigan, but he still remained impartial to the new hire according to a report from Rivals.com’s Brandon Brown.
“I haven’t heard anything about him unfortunately,” Scott told Rivals. “I plan to do my own research to see how good everyone says he is.”
If Scott is unsure of Brown’s credentials, he needs to go no further than fellow Michigan commit Sean McKeon. Like Brown, McKeon will be arriving to Michigan from the state of Massachusetts. In fact, McKeon told Today’s U that he and Brown lived in towns just miles apart
“He actually recruited me to go to Boston College,” McKeon said. “I’m really familiar with him and he actually grew up in a town right next to mine. I’m pretty familiar with him and we have a good relationship. He’s a great guy and an even better coach, really. I’m really excited that he decided to join Michigan.”
With word in from current Michigan targets, other prospects across the country have reacted to the sudden move. As a fellow resident of the state of Massachusetts, junior running back prospect Kevin Mensah detailed his relationship with Brown.
“As a recruiter, he looks for who he thinks can ball,” Mensah told Today’s U. “He will tell you the truth about everything and help you become better. As a coach, he’s the real deal. If you aren’t doing something right, he will make sure you get it right that day. He wants everything to be on time and never late, which is why Don Brown is my guy, because of that. He helped me a lot in the past also.”
As Michigan zeroes in on a number of prospects to close its 2016 class, the Wolverines have maintained a relationship with 4-star defensive end Connor Murphy since Jim Harbaugh took the head coaching position. Harbaugh recruited Murphy’s older brother at Stanford, and he has continued to recruit the most recent Murphy recruit.
“Coach Harbaugh informed me about it,” Murphy told Rivals.com’s Brown. “I don’t know much about the coach, though Boston College was another school that offered me. I’m sure he will be another of the greats that have coached with Coach Harbaugh.”
With Michigan set to take on Florida in the Citrus Bowl on January 1st, the Wolverines will experience first-hand the blitz-friendly Brown at the helm. Based on early reports, Brown will be using true freshman Reuben Jones at inside linebacker, while fellow classmate Brian Cole is repping at safety. Additionally, Chase Winovich switched to No. 45, so it looks as if the Pennsylvania native will be returning to his natural linebacker position.