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Why Shaun Nua fits perfectly with Wolverines

Michigan football has found a new defensive line coach and according to reports, it’s going to be Shaun Nua. Here’s why it’s a perfect move for UM.

Ever since Greg Mattison left Michigan football for Ohio State, the Wolverines have been searching for a new defensive line coach and Wednesday, they found one in former Arizona State assistant Shaun Nua.

Of course, the move doesn’t come as a huge surprise. We outlined why Nua was a name to watch for Michigan football Tuesday, after hearing rumors abound on the internet and now, according to Sam Webb of the Michigan Insider, it’s a done deal.

Nua will come to Michigan after spending just one season on the staff of Arizona State head coach Herman Edwards. However, he has lots of prior experience after coaching for six seasons at the Naval Academy. Nua also played four seasons in the NFL with Pittsburgh and Buffalo after getting drafted by the Steelers in the 2005 NFL draft.

Nua played his college ball at BYU and over his last two seasons, he registered 10 sacks and 16 tackles for loss, showing that he knows what it takes to be disruptive. He also helped develop a defensive line at Arizona State that wasn’t necessarily suited to the scheme the Sun Devils were trying to play.

But in the report by Webb on the Michigan Insider, he cites fellow 247 sports reporter Chris Karpman, who covers Arizona State. Karpman said he was able to watch Nua work closely and here is part of what he told Webb about the Wolverines new assistant coach.

“I don’t think I missed a practice all season, so I got to see him up close on a daily basis. The D-line group works right next to where media are able to go, so I could see and listen to him interacting with all of his players. They had a great rapport and I think that he gets along really well with them. He has got kind of a low-key demeanor. He’s not a yeller or anything like that, but when he needs to, he’ll bring it up a notch and keep guys in check. I think (the players) knew that, and they responded really well to him.”

Like new hires Josh Gattis and Anthony Campanile, Sua is relatively young at just 37 years old. That kind of energy and excitement will be good for a defensive line group and with his time in the NFL, he will garner immediate respect from the defensive line, which has guys like Josh Uche, Kwity Paye and others that certainly have pro football futures in mind.

One of the Wolverines big recruiting points is being able to help guys get to the NFL and Nua should be able to do that. He also has a history of helping teams win. During his time at Navy, the Midshipmen had a record of 52-27.

Arizona State went 7-6 last season. He also helped the Sun Devils rank 41st in sacks with 29 last season, as well as 36th in tackles for loss with 87. He also helped Arizona State land one of its top four-star recruits in Stephon Wright. 

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Nua interviewed with Michigan last weekend and decided to join the staff Wednesday. While there is still more to learn, especially about his ability to recruit, he seems like a perfect fit, especially with his NFL background.

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