Blake Countess‘ sophomore season with the Michigan Wolverines couldn’t have been any more short-lived. The young cornerback suffered an ACL tear in the first quarter of the season opener against Alabama and missed the rest of the year as a result.
Before the injury, Countess was coming off an impressive freshman campaign that resulted in him being named to numerous Big Ten all-freshman teams. He started six games that year and was locked into a starting position heading into the 2012 season.
He was sorely missed throughout last year’s disappointing 8-5 campaign, but the Maize and Blue will benefit from his return in a big way. Brady Hoke is already bringing in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, and if Countess can get back to full strength, he will make this defense that much stronger.
He gained valuable experience in 2011 and was arguably Michigan’s top defensive back heading into the 2012 season. Countess possesses a very strong work ethic and excellent tools as a corner. He’s extremely quick, has great instincts, and will only get more comfortable with experience and time to recover from the serious injury.
The Wolverines are losing a couple of starters out of their secondary due to graduation, so that’s another reason the return of Countess comes at a great time. Kyle Meinke of Mlive.com reported in January that Countess could be ready to return in time for the team’s 15-practice spring camp that begins March 16.
If he’s ready for the spring, great. If not, you should still be anxious for the young corner to become a key contributor for the Wolverines in 2013, just as he was preparing to do in 2012 before going down with a torn ACL.