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May 17, 2013
Dymonte Thomas has the lead at nickel back
Michigan true freshman Dymonte Thomas will see the majority of his snaps at the nickel back position, secondary coach Curt Mallory confirmed in an interview with WTKA Friday as part of the Mott Takeover 2013.
"That's a starting position," Mallory said. "Our first year, [senior] Courtney Avery played 400 snaps at that position alone, and we think Dymonte is going to be a major contributor at nickel back, and we'll see where he goes from there."
The 6-2, 187-pound Thomas was one of the pleasant surprises in the spring, showing an ability to cover slot receivers and blitz the passer. He was recruited to play safety and could end up there in the future or he might just show himself capable of being a bigger, more physical corner.
The Wolverines are counting on fifth-year senior Thomas Gordon at strong safety and are expecting sophomore Jarrod Wilson to man the free safety position vacated by Jordan Kovacs, Mallory said.
"Last year, being a true freshman, Jarrod has matured and has done a good job," his coach said. "He's matured mentally but he's gotten physically stronger also. He made good strides in the spring and we expect him to come in and do a great job at the free safety position."
Gordon, meanwhile has emerged as the vocal presence and leader that Kovacs was the past few seasons.
"Thomas has stepped into that role, as well as Courtney Avery," Mallory said. "The other young man that did a great job in the spring, and I expect him to continue to lead even though he wasn't out there is [junior corner] Blake Countess. We're anxious to get him back [from injury]."
Finally, Mallory confirmed that junior Delonte Hollowell is very much in the mix at cornerback after two seasons excelling on kickoff and punt coverage. He is competing with junior Raymon Taylor, who ran a sub 4.4 40-yard dash this spring, among others.
"Delonte is a guy that has shown some things on special teams, and has played fast in that capacity," Mallory said. "We challenged him to play fast defensively like he does on special teams.
"Sometimes it clicks early and sometimes later for a player, but Delonte plays hard and it started to settle in for him. He did some big things in the spring and we're looking for him to be a big contributor in the fall."
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