There was a great deal of experience available to the defensive signal-callers.
The linebacker group for the Michigan Wolverines was instrumental in the team’s success in the 2023–24 campaign. This group featured important players like Ernest Hausmann, Michael Barrett, and Junior Colson, all of whom made a big difference in the team’s ability to win the national championship.
With Colson having started in 2022, Barrett being in his sixth season, and Hausmann having started as a true freshman at Nebraska, the linebackers displayed a great deal of experience this season. When Chris Partridge, the linebackers coach, was fired the Friday before the Maryland game, this experienced leadership was a key factor. The father of defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, Rick Minter, took over in his place.
The stars of the linebacker room had excellent seasons in spite of the outside noise.
The strong 6-foot-3, 247-pound junior Colson has been an invaluable member of Michigan’s defense. With 95 tackles in 2023, he topped his teammates by a wide margin—no other player had more than 65 tackles. His two for loss and 44 solo tackles highlight his ability to read the game and respond quickly. Due to his outstanding play, he was named to the second team of the Big Ten and received the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors his immense influence both on and off the field.
The massive 6-foot-3, 247-pound junior Colson has been an invaluable member of Michigan’s defense. As no other player surpassed 65 tackles, he led the team in 2023 with 95 tackles, vastly outpacing his teammates. His 44 tackles on his own and two for a loss demonstrate his ability to read the game and respond quickly.
His achievements led to his selection to the second team of the Big Ten, and he was given the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors his immense influence both on and off the field.
Over his six years with the Wolverines, Barrett’s performance improved steadily. At six feet and 240 pounds, he has made 62 appearances in games and 33 starts for the squad. His stats for 2023 include two passes defended, three forced fumbles, three sacks, 65 tackles, and 3.5 tackles for loss. Barrett’s best year was 2022, when he was named to the All-Big Ten team twice in a row and honored as the defense’s Most Improved Player.
Barrett can now finally leave Ann Arbor with peace of mind, having watched the Wolverines go from 2-4 in 2020 to the National Championship in a matter of years, now that he is no longer eligible.
After transferring from Nebraska, Hausmann established himself as a vital component of the Wolverines’ defense. 54 tackles in his debut season with Nebraska was followed by 46 tackles, two for loss, and five sacks in his 2023 campaign with Michigan. He tied the team high with eight tackles in the Big Ten Championship game against Iowa, making it an especially noteworthy performance for him.
Hausmann is anticipated to take center stage in Michigan’s defense in the upcoming season, as Barrett and Colson are expected to enter the professional ranks.
Overall, the 2023 campaign demonstrated how well the Wolverines’ linebackers supported the team’s defensive tactics and accomplishments. Colson’s dependability, Barrett’s expertise, and Hausmann’s developing ability highlighted their significance to the team’s performance and established goals for the upcoming campaign, which will see Hausmann return and former Maryland linebacker Jaishawn Barham join the team.