Denard Robinson may be the focal point of the Michigan offense, but when it comes to the defense, all eyes are on senior DT Will Campbell.
Or, what's left of him, anyway.
Campbell's been making headlines throughout the offseason for his newly svelte appearance (that and a hood-wrecking failed "Bo Duke" attempt), and now, it sounds like he's too light.
Let's repeat that: Will Campbell does not weigh enough right now. He is too light. That. Will Campbell. Seriously.
I'm not huffing and puffing anymore, the senior defensive tackle said after practice Monday. I'm not dying right now.
There's more than one reason why Campbell wasn't "dying" after the first day of practice this season.
Actually, there's 46 reasons.
After beginning his highly-touted Wolverines career in 2009 at a whopping 356 pounds, Campbell weighed in Monday at a svelte 310 pounds.
Brady Hoke told AnnArbor.com (via Kyle Meinke) that he'd like Campbell to play at 312 or 314 pounds, so Campbell needs to swing the needle on the scale a couple ticks in the other direction (for once).
Also, per MGoBlog, Campbell said his weight loss was by cutting out "sweets" and that his favorite in that food group was "honeybuns." So, now you know. Honeybuns will make you obese, but then, not eating them anymore will make you a starting defensive tackle for Michigan. Right? That's how this works?
At any rate, Campbell has been praised by his teammates for his weight loss, and rightfully so; dropping that kind of weight takes a lot of hard work and discipline. News flash: Those are good for football players. Here's more from the Detroit Free Press:
Will shows off his stomach more than I do, quarterback Denard Robinson said, with his trademark grin, aware that he's 100 pounds less than Campbell.
You can tell he lost that weight. He didn't just do it for himself, he did it for the team, and that's holding himself accountable. We could respect him for that.
But for all the praise Campbell has gotten, it hasn't been of the "he is dominating practice" variety, and at the end of the day, that's the biggest thing Michigan needs from Campbell. It's pretty much the only thing it needs.
It's obviously great that Campbell's not washing down his honey buns with full jugs of grenadine syrup, but if he can't turn that into double-digit tackles-for-loss, Michigan still has a problem up the middle.
That's not to say that Campbell won't be productive or anything; the reports aren't in on how he's performing in camp so far, and the season doesn't even start for another three-and-a-half weeks. He's always had athleticism and strength too, and now, he's in the best shape ever to show off both. It would be far more surprising if Campbell didn't have a huge year.
But until Campbell makes it happen on the field, he's just another underwhelming 5-star recruit, and college football's history already overflows with those.