Lyons still learning UM defense; Canteen CB plans on hold

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Freddy Canteen

Ann Arbor – In an effort to find the best combination in the Michigan secondary, players have switched positions, like Jabrill Peppers moving from cornerback to safety and Jeremy Clark from safety to cornerback.

Wayne Lyons, the graduate transfer from Stanford, expected to make a push into the starting lineup, also has moved positions. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Lyons has switched from corner to safety and is not listed on Michigan's two-deep for Saturday's home opener against Oregon State.

Meanwhile, receiver Freddy Canteen, who recently shared via social media that he's a two-way player, has apparently moved back home to the offense, but received high marks on defense, where he worked at cornerback during camp.

"(Lyons) is doing well right now, but the guys we have right now are doing just as well," secondary coach Greg Jackson said Wednesday. "But I'm quite sure you'll see more of Wayne as the season goes along. We're just making sure he has this defense down at the safety position because it's a lot more challenging at safety than corner learning the defense.

Peppers will play anywhere but doesn't want to be pushy

"Wayne is in a great position because he can cover, he can play the deep middle of the field -- he has the best of both worlds."

Jackson said Clark, a 6-4, 210 pounder and backup to Jourdan Lewis, was moved because he can do more at corner.

"Because he's long, he's tall, he's quick," Jackson said. "He can use his hands a lot more. He can run with a lot of the big guys, the big receivers in the Big Ten, and we felt Wayne is more instinctive as a safety, and he plays in space a lot better back there in the middle of the field."

Canteen, a sophomore receiver, could play on defense if needed.

"We want him to play corner but I think they need him more at receiver," Jackson said. "He was doing really well at corner when we had him that short time. If it's an emergency, we may need him again."