In 2008 the Michigan secondary struggled more than any other position group on defense. Not only were safeties getting beat on coverage time and time again but all defensive-backs had glaring trouble with tackling.
In 2009 this must improve for the Michigan defense to advance from what proved to be a very disappointing 2008 campaign, as the D-line will be much younger.
This year the secondary will feature last year's starters Donovan Warren and Boubacar Cissoko, both former five-star recruits at the corners, but will have new starters at safety.
Michigan will have many players competing for the position this fall, and one of them will be blue-chip recruit Justin Turner.
Michigan has had success in the past in recruiting from Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio.
In 2003 they picked up star linebacker Shawn Crable and in 2009 they got Justin Turner.
Turner garnered plenty of attention early on, picking up offers from Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, and Ohio State but he knew where he was headed from the very beginning.
"I committed to Michigan today. That's just been my school, the school I watched growing up. It was right there, so I had to take it. It wasn't even really a tough choice", Turner told thewolverine.com
Turner's coverage skills are some of the best in the 2009 class. Turner plays very physical which could result in him moving to cornerback if needed at Michigan.
Turner is a player who, if he gets a hand on a ball, its likely that he's going to come down with it. He was the most impressive defensive-back at Army All-American practices in ball drills and in the game had a very impressive interception down the sideline.
Turner runs a 4.49 forty yard dash which was third fastest for all safeties in the 2009 class.
This aspect of Turner's game is what could impact Michigan the most and result in him earning the starting position. As mentioned before, Turner is not afraid to get physical and this helps tons. Turner actually led the East squad in tackles in the Army All-American game.
Areas That Need Work
This is the one area of Turner's game that he must improve in to be a very effective DB. It is easily fixable and should be worked on when Turner starts practicing with the team in August.
Although Turner does have good size standing, 6' 2", he weighs 186 pounds right now and needs to put on 10 to 15 pounds of muscle.
Turner will see the field this year but it may not be at safety, as the strong safety will likely be Michael Williams and freshman Vladamir Emilien, who enrolled early to take part in spring practices.
Turner will see the field somewhere as he has proved to be a do anything kind of player and could split time at both corner and safety.