ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Grant Newsome's logic was simple as a freshman.
Get better, work hard, and look for his opportunity to play if given.
That’s simple enough.
Well, his attitude paid off.
Unlike most freshman offensive lineman, who are asked to redshirt, Newsome was told he had an opportunity to see the field midway through Michigan's season.
Then, of course, when he started against Minnesota, helping the Wolverines defeat the Golden Gophers 29-26.
“It was coach (Tim) Drevno in a meeting, ‘I think you’re ready.’ Kind of just in passing, “I think you’re ready, be ready,’” Newsome recalled before the Minnesota game last season.
“Obviously they had a conversation asking if you’re comfortable with that. Like I’ve said, anytime two coaches (Jim Harbaugh and Drevno) with as much knowledge and experience (they have) want you to play, why wouldn’t you take that chance?”
So Newsome, all 6-foot-7, 290-pounds of him, played, breaking his redshirt and was used sparingly down the stretch run of U-M’s 10-3 season.
Now entering his sophomore campaign, Newsome is playing primarily with the first string offensive line group throughout Michigan’s spring camp. Two-year starter at left tackle, Mason Cole, has switched to center, making room for Newsome at left tackle. And it’s been an easy adjustment so far, says Newsome.
“Really it’s just getting more reps,” Newsome said. “And that’s been great to be able to get reps with the ones. I guess get more football experience, and that’s great. That’s what coach Harbaugh and Drevno talk about, anytime you play football it helps become playing better at football.”
Ultimately, though, Newsome says his opportunity to play now goes back to the work he put in as a freshman.
“I was just trying to get better everyday,” Newsome said. “I was fortunate I was able to move up into the (second string). So I was just trying to get better everyday and more comfortable with the system.
“A large part of it is just learning the offense because as a guy who didn’t enroll early, the first three months my head was spinning, so once I was able to understand where I was supposed to be, I was able to focus more on how to do it and how to do it well.”
Michigan plays its annual spring game on Friday (April 1) at 6 p.m.