Why Josh Uche Wanted to Fight Don Brown After Bowl Loss

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Why Josh Uche Wanted to Fight Don Brown After Bowl Loss

Football

Why Josh Uche Wanted to Fight Don Brown After Bowl Loss

After Michigan’s bowl loss to South Carolina last season, defensive coordinator Don Brown sat down to talk with linebacker Josh Uche.

Uche was asking for more playing time.

“Well go earn it, how about that? How about go earn it?” Brown snapped back.

Brown said at that moment, Uche may have wanted to fight him.

Nonetheless, seven months after falling 26-19 in the Outback Bowl, Brown said Uche has reaped the playing time he was asking for after just two weeks of fall practice.

The 6-foot-3, 241-pound linebacker hasn’t just gained some playing time. He’s earned a ton of it and in a major of distinct ways.

“(He’s) unbelievable,” Brown said. “We’re able to play him in a number of different roles and move him around. The place he makes the most explosive impact is when he pass rushes. But now, he’s an adequate cover guy over the tight ends. He’s figured out the zone pieces as well, so now he’s more of a complete player. But we can also integrate him in several areas on our football team to take the best advantage of his ability to rush the passer.”

In the 2017 season, Uche made three tackles and one sack. A year prior, he forced two fumbles and tackled three opponents. The next step is making the hurdle to a star on the defensive side of the ball.

Calling Uche a “competing animal,” Brown noted that the student-athlete has vaulted to 241 pounds while still running a 4.5 40-yard dash. His unique abilities allow the coaching staff to integrate him in different areas of the defense.

“He’s now 241-pounds. I want you to think about that for a minute – and he still runs 4.5,” Brown added. “I gave Ben Herbert a kiss on the lips for that one! Because he’s in a position now where it’s not a skinny guy now getting bounced around and trying to figure out my feet and posture and all the things that you’re looking for in a complete football player.”

Uche has demonstrated growth as a student of the game starting in spring practice. He continues to watch heaps of tape and talk details with Brown throughout fall practice in preparation for the 2018 season.

“And again, as I mentioned, we’re able to do several things with him in different areas of our defense up front, whatever, to accentuate his strengths and help our defense,” Brown said of Uche.

Uche came to Michigan at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds from Miami (Fla.) Columbus High School. He was a three-star prospect, ranked No. 707 in the nation and No. 98 in Florida, according to 247Sports Composite.

He made 50 tackles, 14 sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles as a senior at Columbus High.

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