How Michigan football DE Eyabi Anoma will figure on defense in 2022

Is there anything better than Eyabi Anoma’s Michigan debut?

The former five-star, who originally committed to Alabama over the Wolverines, somehow found himself in Ann Arbor, after all, having traveled from Tuscaloosa to Houston to UT-Martin before donning a winged helmet. Despite only being on campus a few weeks, Anoma was deployed relatively early in the season opener, and on his first snap, he earned Michigan’s second sack of the season and first in corn and blue. .

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According to PFF, Anoma played 10 snaps in total Saturday — nine on defense and one on special teams — and was Michigan’s second-highest-rated edge rusher, behind Jaylen Harrell, with an 81.9 defensive rating. But he’s just starting out and still acclimating, he’s quick to remember the defensive coordinator about him.

Speaking with Jon Jansen on the ‘Inside Michigan Football’ radio show, Jesse Minter shared how the Wolverines intend to field Anoma given his lack of time on task and understanding of defense. Although he is still learning the playbook, Minter hopes to gradually increase Anoma’s playing time and if all goes according to plan, production on him will continue as he did in Week 1.

“To his credit, the guy got here about three weeks ago,” Minter said. “He is convinced of what we are trying to do. He is a guy with a lot of physical tools, a high ceiling. I think he’s still learning and so we told him we wanted to try to feed him a little bit more each week and it was like, ‘Hey, let’s throw them in there, next third try.’ And, of course, the rest was history for him. It was good to have him there more in the second half on normal tries and get a feel for playing the run and playing a normal style of play. But he’s a guy that we can definitely use as a pass-rusher as we go forward.”

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Michigan’s defensive front really showed itself in the season opener, with other frontrunners really stepping up. We mentioned Harrell, but Mike Morris was involved in several key plays, as was Braiden McGregor from running back.

From Minter’s point of view, the more the merrier. The Wolverines may have relied more on Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo last year, but this season, production doesn’t have to come from just two players, as there are several who can get involved and get to the goalie.

“I think it’s just a mindset that we want to have, that everybody gets a chance and everybody eats, and something very important to us is that when one person makes a play, we all make a play,” Minter said. “And I’ve said this before like I’d love to by the end of the year that we maybe have a guy that can have 12-13 sacks, but right now we want to spread it out. We want to bring different boys. I think we have all three levels of the defense involved in the pressure and it keeps the offenses off balance and if the guys really accept it and can continue to buy it, I think as a team we’ll have a lot. of success.”

Anoma and company will get another chance on Saturday when the Wolverines host Hawaii at The Big House at 8 pm EDT.

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