ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michael Onwenu was told he might play early on his Michigan career. He just didn’t think it would happen so soon.
So, naturally, when his number was called in Saturday win against Hawaii, Onwenu was in a little disbelief on the field in his first real game action.
“When I was doing the snaps and everything, in my head it didn’t feel real,” said Onwenu, Michigan’s largest player at 6-foot-3, 375-pounds. “But going out looking at the scoreboard, looking at the jumbo-tron, a nice feeling.”
But unlike most freshmen, Onwenu played both on both sides for the ball for U-M, lining up at right guard and nose tackle for the Wolverines.
“I was playing both ways all throughout high school, but when I was coming here taking visits and coming to the games, they always told me it was an option, it was never settled playing O-line or D-line,” he said.
Playing both ways is rare for any player, especially on the line, which was brought to Onwenus attention by coach Jim Harbaugh himself.
“Harbaugh brought that to my attention, I was surprised,” Onwenu said.“I was happy though.”
Is Onwenu surprised he’s playing so early on in his career?
“Yeah, pretty much,” he said. “Even going back to all the camps that I’ve been to, even the top rated guy who are rated more high than me, looking them, they are not in the position that I am. I’m just glad.”
And like most freshman, Onwenu admits he’ still just trying to keep up.
“It’s moving really fast,’ Onwenu said. “Like I said, it all feels unrealistic the position that I am in now – it doesn’t feel real.”
No. 5 Michigan (1-0) will play host to UCF (1-0) this Saturday at noon.