Spring Is In The Air

The Michigan Football Team has had a week and a half of spring practices now. Since the opening practice, the press has been excluded -- but around Ann Arbor at this time of year the smell of spring and of Spring Practice is 'in the air' everywhere.

There can only be 15 total spring practices now-a-days, so the team only hits the field about three times a week. And as we say, we, the press, have not been in the Big House to watch practice since the Mar. 13 opening session.

But ... just as the first smell of spring is in the air in Ann Arbor, so is the first 'smell of 2004 Michigan Football'. And if one stands quite still in A2 at this time of year and just listens hard enough, one can plainly hear the almost-like-bees-buzzing of little snippets of U-M-ism's floating through the air. Nothing in detail, nothing that could be construed as 'leaking information', just the smallest of snippets, floating, buzzing, about the old college town. Like this:

"Two-headed monster: one's a righty (Gutierrez), the other's a lefty (Richard)”.Matt is looking good, but the way Clayton is coming along may surprise some.

"Fighting like a Wolverine with his back to the wall: Underwood (can he do it when it counts???)." Running strong and tough once the pads were put on.

"Not sitting on his laurels: Braylon." In the best shape of his life, snagging passes left and right and breaking tackles at a ridiculous rate.

"Mr. Everywhere: Breaston." The Wolverines know he’s a weapon and are going to use him in a great number of ways.

"O-Beasts: Bass, Jake/Ruben." Bass has been his normally dominant self but potential line-up newbies Jake Long and Ruben Riley are really progressing. Both players are really sticking out and the battle at RT is fierce.

"D-monster: Gabe." Mr. Watson has been really impressive in the middle. Both quickness and power have been very evident thus far”

"Mr. Versatility: * 3 Lamarr, Rondell, and Pierre" Like Stevie B. on O, Michigan will use it’s best defensive athletes in whatever way they can

"Backrobat: Prescott (potentially some of the best cover skills in a U-M-LB???)." Those that saw Burgess in high school know he can lay the boom, but he has really excelled in coverage this spring. Zone or man, this kid looks poised for significant field time.

"Providing Comfort at Safety: Ryan and Ernest" The two talented DB’s are really meshing and are feeding off one another. Able to communicate without speaking and knocking out anything that comes across the middle.

"He's Back: Marlin." Welcome back Marlin Jackson! Say hello to the MJ from 2 years ago!

"Sleepers: Massey, Hood." Mr. Massey has been everywhere and is stepping up as one of the elder-statesman on the line. Mr. Hood is more comfortable at corner and it shows.

"Best position group: wideouts." No need to say anything more!

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