Only one Wolverine defender was on the field for every single play against Washington on Saturday.
Even though junior safety Daxton Hill was Michigan's Co-Player of the Week against Western Michigan, it wasn't him. Senior captain Aidan Hutchinson was the other Co-Player of the Week against the Broncos. He made some splash plays against WMU and racked up 2.5 sacks against Washington — it wasn't him either.
The only Wolverine to to play every snap on defense was senior safety Brad Hawkins.
Hawkins has been very good this year for Michigan and new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald clearly trusts him. The fifth-year senior has been on the field a lot and he's been asked to do a lot of different things ranging from covering, playing in the box and blitzing.
Against Washington, Hawkins played all 71 snaps and was the fourth-highest graded player (76.5) per Pro Football Focus behind Nikhai Hill-Green (79.9), Kris Jenkins (79.3) and Aidan Hutchinson (77.3). The difference — Hill-Green, Jenkins and Hutchinson played 26, 21 and 55 snaps respectively. For Hawkins to be on the field that much and grade out that high speaks to his preparation and how he's being used by Macdonald and safeties coach Ron Bellamy.
Hawkins did miss two tackles against the Huskies but he was outstanding in coverage (77.1) and also put some pressure on the quarterback as a blitzer for the second game in a row. He might not technically be a captain, but Hawkins is playing more snaps than anyone and consistently makes plays while putting himself in the correct positions. He's also been more vocal this season, which only makes the defense stronger with captains Hutchinson and Josh Ross manning the first two levels.
*Pro Football Focus Grading Scale*
90.0 and higher - Elite
80.0-89.9 - High Quality
70.0-79.9 - Above Average
60.0-69.9 - Average
50.0-59.9 - Below Average
49.9 and below - Poor