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NCAA Football Michigan Wolverines

Jake Ryan’s Return Will Be A Good Boost For Michigan Wolverines’ Defense

Rick Osentoski – USA Today Sports

The Michigan Wolverines’ top defensive player Jake Ryan could return as early as Saturday for Michigan’s game against the Penn State Nittany Lions in State College.

The all-Big Ten linebacker suffered a knee injury during a spring practice in March, and surgery soon followed. October was the goal for his return, and there’s a good chance it could happen this month. Doctors have cleared Ryan to play. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said there’s a possibility he could play on Saturday, though the decision on whether or not he will play will be up to both Hoke and Ryan.

Hoke said that he doesn’t want Ryan doing too much too soon. He wants to be cautious with him, to make sure he doesn’t re-injure himself.

Ryan is a playmaker and will bring a good energy back to the Michigan defense. Ryan led the Wolverines in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks last season. Since his injury, Michigan’s defense has performed better than expected. Michigan is fourth in the Big Ten and No. 13 in the country in total defense, only allowing 305 yards per game. Their rushing defense is ninth nationally, as they are only giving up 90.4 yards per game. They’ve only allowed seven touchdowns and haven’t given up a rushing touchdown so far this season.

In fact, Ryan brings so much energy to the Michigan defense that Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien said that his team is preparing as if Ryan will play on Saturday.

Ryan’s playmaking abilities and energy will be a nice boost to a Michigan defense that has already been playing well. Keep an eye out for him; he could very well be back on the field in State College on Saturday.

Jenna Aquino is a Big Ten Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook, or add her to your network on Google.