Michigan senior defensive end Craig Roh has switched to the strong side defensive end for his senior season. Roh talked after practice Thursday about his position change, his new diet to gain weight for the position, his thoughts on Brennen Beyer, Ondre Pipkins, and more.
Roh looks to attack at new position
It has been a year of adjustments for Michigan senior defensive end Craig Roh.
A regular at rush defensive end the past three seasons, Roh has made the switch to strong side defensive end going into his senior campaign. And the position change couldn’t make Roh any happier, because it will give him more opportunities to attack.
“I love my move to strong side defensive end,” Roh enthused. “You’re just attacking a lot more not dropping back into coverage. It’s something I really love doing--attacking all the time.”
But part of the move to strong side meant that Roh would have to learn the three-technique as well. While Roh hasn’t mastered the three technique yet, he says it is still a learning process.
“It’s getting the technique down really,” Roh said on new defensive stance. “Getting the little intricacies. But it is still relatively new. So you are just learning new stuff every day.”
At 6-foot-5, 281-pounds, Roh has also changed his diet to accommodate the position change. He has gained roughly 30-pounds of muscle. His new diet is called the ‘blood type’ diet, and consist of meat, vegetables, almond milk, vegetable oil protein shakes and his favorite chain restaurant Chipotle (minus tortillas and sour cream)
What does the “blood type’ diet do?
According to Roh, “You eat these things that decrease inflammation in your body so that you can recover faster. You know, gain more muscle and be relatively healthier.”
With the added weight, Roh can make the necessary adjustments to play on the interior line when needed.
The defensive front
With the graduation of starters Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergan, Roh and fellow senior defensive tackle William Campbell are going to be looked upon to anchor the line this season. While Roh is adapting to the position change, he said he likes the upside of the D-line so far.
“I just love the athleticism and speed of this defensive line,” Roh said. “I think we’ve got a lot of guys that can move real well, and they are learning their technique better and better every day.”
Sophomore defensive end Brennen Beyer has taken over Roh’s old duties at rush defensive end. Roh said Beyer has really impressed with his size, strength and speed. Roh said Beyer, who is more slender at 6-foot-3, 252-pounds, is a better fit for the rush end position due to the running needed in open spaces.
“Well Brendan Beyer is a guy who did really well in the spring at rush,” Roh said. “He is a guy that can run really well. He is really strong. He is a guy that can really play at the position.”
Freshman defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins has made a nice impression on Roh. At 6-foot-3, 330-pounds, Pipkins brings a larger than life personality to the team. Roh calls him “Pip,” and he’s been impressed with the freshman so far.
“I saw a few highlight tapes of his,” Roh said of Pipkins. “To actually see him in person—to move like that is impressive.”
Pipkins who also is known as “Pewee”, told Roh he like to be called “Pewee Optimus Prime” (his twitter moniker) as well.
“I was just like, do your thing man!” Roh said, laughing.
If Pipkins can help Roh, Campbell, Beyer, and Jibreel Black ‘optimize’ the D-line play, he can be called whatever he wants!