Harbaugh on Michigan secondary: Sammy Faustin moves to CB, Dax Hill earns top billing

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Sammy Faustin has moved from safety to cornerback in the last week and is challenging for a starting job, while safety Dax Hill is impressing enough to be considered the best player on the team, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday night on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show.

Dax Hill

Michigan must replace cornerback starters Lavert Hill and Ambry Thomas — Thomas opted out when the Big Ten announced in August the postponement of the season. Vince Gray will start at one corner and Gemon Green and Faustin, a redshirt sophomore, are competing for the other spot.

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The Wolverines have this week of camp before game-week practices begin Monday to make final preparations for the season opener against Minnesota on Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The Big Ten is playing a nine-game season, including a seeded-crossover game during championship game week.

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Defensive coordinator Don Brown seemed to give the nod to Green last week during his appearance on the weekly “Inside Michigan Football” show.

“I would say he’s probably the leader in the clubhouse right now,” Brown said.

Harbaugh said Monday night the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Faustin moved from safety to corner and referred to "battles" at cornerback.

“He’s doing a really nice job there the last week he’s been there,” Harbaugh said.

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Hill and Brad Hawkins, a returning starter, will be the safeties.

“Dax may be our most talented player on the team, arguably,” Harbaugh said of the sophomore. “Very trusted. Good communicator in the backend. Really knows the safety position and also the nickel position — he’s really good playing both safety and covering in the nickel slot. Brad Hawkins, he’s playing his best football since he’s been around here.”

Harbaugh touched on the offense and said receiver Ronnie Bell has been playing well in camp.

“I think you’re going to see a big jump in his game this year,” he said.

He also is high on the running backs, Zach Charbonnet, Hassan Haskins, Chris Evans and freshman Blake Corum.

“The quarterbacks have been very good,” Harbaugh said. “Offensive line is coming together well, and the other group that we’re really excited about are the running backs. Those four have been outstanding. We’re ready to let it rip on offense.”


Twitter: @chengelis