Michigan defensive end Chase Winovich took a long and winding road to get to his first start on Saturday.
Recruited as a linebacker at U-M, Winovich would eventually switch over to a fullback and tight end last season until, finally, he came into his own as a linebacker. Talking after the Wolverines' 51-14 victory over UCF, Winovich was emotional. He took to social media the night before to share his excitement about the start.
After the game, it was everything he ever wanted.
"It feels great, it really does," Winovich said. "I'm not going to lie and say I was perfect out there, because nobody was. I felt like I left it all out there and this one, for me, I talked about it on my Instagram. This one was for my family, they always believed in me. The second thing is, everybody that told me I want to do this or that or make excuses for me being too little my whole life. Just to go out there and have that opportunity, just to go out there, people can't take that away from you."
With Winovich on the verge of tears due to the emotion and happiness, he was asked why he felt this way.
"There's not a lot of things that tug on my heart strings but that's one of them," he added.
Even head coach Jim Harbaugh said during the postgame press conference that Winovich has found a home on the defensive line. Every day, Winovich would push as hard as he could. Senior captain Jake Butt pointed out that he goes "100-percent" every play, and likened his drive to a disease -- in a good way, of course.
The journey to find a position is over for now, however, it doesn't mean he becomes complacent.
"It's been a long journey not having a position these past two years," Winovich said. "Just battling the scout team every day. You could ask Chris Wormley or Taco [Charlton], I don't think anyone has blocked them as hard as they have. I had a lot to prove to myself and I still have a lot to prove."