Bad news out of preseason camp today. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Abe Koroma has broken his ankle and is expected to miss a few weeks. Maybe a month. Koroma has destroyed everything in his path in practice and was expected to anchor down the interior defensive line this season.
This injury could not happen at a worse time. Our once deep talent pool at defensive tackle is now as shallow as a bird bath. Philip Taylor is nursing a knee sprain that is going to keep him out a few weeks. Tom McEowen is still recovering from offseason knee surgery. And Chris Baker's status is still uncertain until his legal issues are worked out.
Now we basically have two guys we can play at defensive tackle. This thrusts Ollie Ogbu and Jared Odrick into the starting role. Ogbu is a redshirt freshman that is pretty much an unknown at this point. He was most likely slotted third in the three gap spot. Now he most likely moves over to the one gap. Odrick will assume the three gap spot. I'm not as concerned about him though. He saw a lot of action at defensive end as a true freshman last year, but he's always been a tweener. The coaches seem to disagree whether he would be best utilized as an end or tackle. Now he's thrust into tackle out of necessity.
The good news is that Tom McEowen is back participating in full contact drills and even participated in a scrimmage. But you have to wonder what kind of football shape he's in and how much strength does he have in that knee. Philip Taylor is expected to be back in a few weeks so that's more good news. Obviously we should be ok for the Florida International and Buffalo games. I think the team-wide talent level is good enough we should be able to beat a rebuilding Notre Dame. Hopefully we'll have Koroma, McEowen, Baker and Taylor back in time for Michigan in week four. Otherwise we could be in trouble.