Big Ten Media Day: Carr Previews 05 Team

Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr took a position by position look at the 2005 Wolverines Monday at the annual Big Ten Media Day.

Lloyd Carr

“Dave Ablauf just informed me that you (the media) have just selected us again to win the conference championship. I hope, as usual, that you know what you’re talking about. Our goals are high. We’re excited about this season and the competition in front of us. The biggest question across the country, I’m sure, about Michigan is our defense. I think up front we’ve got a lot of experienced guys back. Pat Massey I expect to be an outstanding leader. Lamarr Woodley is one of the most talented players we’ve had at Michigan. A guy that we really need to have step up is Gabe Watson. Gabe probably has as much potential as any player in the country and we are hoping that he is going to be a great leader for us.”

“An important question mark…Jeremy VanAlstyne is a senior that has been injured the last two years, at least in part. He had two surgeries and fought his way back. If he can come back healthy, we should be awful strong up front.”

“Our linebackers are going to be more athletic and quicker with Shawn Crable and Prescott Burgess. We have a sophomore named Chris Graham out of Indianapolis Indiana who had a great spring. Of course [we have] Scott McClintok back. David Harris is back from surgery on an injury. He did not compete as well a year ago, but the indications are from this spring that he is back to normal.”

“Our secondary is going to be young, but we do have three experienced guys back. I think Leon Hall has a chance to be one of those kids who is up for all big ten honors at a cornerback position. This will be his third year as a starter. Brandent Englemon and Jamar Adams are two young safeties, and one of the will fill the other safety position. Ryan Mundy is back as a starter (at free safety) and Grant Mason is the other corner.”

“We did move a kid named Morgan Trent, who may be the fastest player on our team, from the receiver position to cornerback this spring. I think he is going to make a great addition over there. There is probably some chance he will end up playing both ways for us. “

Garrett Rivas, our place kicker, is back. The biggest question mark in the kicking game will be at the position of punter. Zoltan Mesko, a true freshman from Twinsburg, Ohio, is really a guy that comes in with great accolades and a great leg. We just have to see how he operates in training camp. He will be competing there with Mark Spencer.”

“Breaston and Morgan Trent will be back to return kicks. Our kicking game, I think, has a chance to be better than it was a year ago. On offense we have five offensive linemen that have started at some point in their career, and two other guys that are going to really push for playing time in Adam Kraus and Alex Mitchell, a young redshirt freshman form Bay City.”

“Our tight end position probably has as fine a depth as we’ve had. Tim Massaquoi, Tyler Ecker, and a young sophomore, Mike Massey, who is Pat Massey’s brother…those three guys are going to give us, I think, an opportunity to use the tight end position more than we have in recent years.”
Jason Avant, Steve Breaston, and Carl Tabb are back at the wide receiver position. We do have Adrian Arrington and Doug Dutch two sophomores, and freshmen Mario Manningham and Antonio Bass a true freshman from Jackson Michigan. Out of that number hopefully we can find enough guys to help us replace Braylon Edwards.”

“The tailback position is probably as strong as any time since I’ve been at Michigan. We’re very young there but I do think we have the kind of talent that will enable us to have the kind of running game we’d like to have. Michael Hart had an outstanding and exceptional year as a true freshman. Max Martin played some a year ago. Max is probably the fastest back on the team. He is probably about 6-2, 215 lbs. and had a great spring, as did Kevin Grady, the freshman from Grand Rapids.”

“Our quarterback position…Chad Henne tied a Michigan record for most touchdowns in one season with 25. He had an exceptional year for a freshman. He is better than he was. Hopefully he will continue to improve. Matt Gutierrez is back as well. Matt is a great competitor and he wants his job back. That should make us strong at the quarterback position.”

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