Michigan Football: What You Need to Know About Wolverines' LB Kenny Demens

Austin FoxCorrespondent IIJune 24, 2012

Michigan Football: What You Need to Know About Wolverines' LB Kenny Demens

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    Kenny Demens is a man filled with controversy on this Michigan team. He has been criticized heavily at times over the past year, with some of it being deserved and some of it not.

    As a senior, Demens has the potential to be a captain, a leader on this defense and one of the best players on the team. There is also the possibility that he loses his starting spot to a freshman.

    Here's a closer look at some of the questions surrounding Kenny Demens this fall.

He Needs to Shake off a Poor Sugar Bowl Performance

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    This is the freshest thing in most people's minds, so I thought I'd mention this first. Demens had a very bad showing in the Sugar Bowl, and that's a big reason he's received so much criticism.

    He had countless missed tackles against Virginia Tech's receivers; yes, they were probably the biggest and most physical receiving core Michigan faced all year, but there's still no excuse.

    It is especially concerning when Demens had received the reputation of being a solid tackler earlier in his career. Honestly, I'm not too worried though. I think that he just had a bad game, something that even the best players have once in a while.

He Is a Potential Captain Candidate

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    This may seem like a bit of a stretch to some, but I wouldn't be shocked if Demens becomes a captain on Team 133. He is a senior, the leader and best player at his position and is extremely important to this team.

    If he would just be a little more consistent, then I think he would have a really good shot of becoming a captain. How he performs in fall practice could go a long way in deciding if he becomes one or not.

    A strong performance might just be what is needed to restore confidence back in him.

This Defense Needs Him to Be a Leader and Playmaker

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    This defense can obviously survive with or without Kenny Demens, but it would be absolutely huge if he could have a big year. Being the leader of the linebacking core, he is obviously very important.

    He has shown extended flashes of being a great player throughout his career, but inconsistency has really been an issue. Hopefully, he can put it all together and have a great year as a senior.

    Whether that happens obviously remains to be seen, but again, the defense as a whole would benefit greatly.

He Can Be a Mentor to the Younger Linebackers

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    Even though it may not seem like it, Demens' fellow linebackers, Jake Ryan and Desmond Morgan, are still very young players. Both will only be sophomores this fall, and they still have plenty to learn.

    Demens can teach both of these men, along with the rest of the young linebackers, plenty about the position.

    Regardless of which spot the incoming freshmen end up playing, I'm sure Demens can teach them something as well. James Ross, Joe Bolden, Royce Jenkins-Stone and Kaleb Ringer will all likely look at him as a role model.

Joe Bolden Could Potentially End Up Starting over Him

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    This is a very controversial statement, but it is one that I think many people would agree with.

    How can something like this be said, though, after examining the kind of player Kenny Demens can potentially be?

    The real question that needs to be asked, though, is if Demens is really that bad......or is true freshman Joe Bolden really that good?

    That obviously remains to be seen, but a good case can be made for both. Yes, Demens can be very up and down, while Bolden, on the other hand, looks like he is going to be the real deal. But still, can a true freshman really start over an experienced senior?

    As of right now, I'm predicting that Demens holds onto his starting spot, but with that being said, we are going to see plenty of Joe Bolden this fall.