Germany Talks About Playing

One of the lingering questions this fall for the University of Michigan football team was whether standout defensive end Eugene Germany would be eligible to play this year, or would he need to wait a year. Last week the NCAA granted his transfer waiver request, clearing him to play. spoke with Germany who, needless to say, is ecstatic about the news.

Defensive lineman Eugene Germany of Pomona, Calif., dreamed of playing for Michigan, and even verbally committed to coach Lloyd Carr shortly before Signing Day 2004. Then, after family pressure to stay close to home, he eventually signed with USC. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Germany participated in several USC summer practices last fall before being released from his letter of intent, and signing on with Michigan in the recruiting class of 2005. It was those few practice sessions that threatened to keep Germany on the sidelines this fall. However, he received word that he is clear to play. "They told me (Friday) morning that I don't have to sit out a year," Germany told "I'm real happy." Germany will wear No. 96 for Michigan.

Practice opened for the Wolverines on Sunday, and Germany was looking forward to getting out on the field. "They told me I could get in the rotation at defensive end this season," he said. "I'm back down to 255 so I won't be playing inside." At one time he was reported to weigh in at 270 pounds and seemed destined for the tackle spot.

Germany originally planned to attend Michigan with his friend and former Pomona teammate Keston Cheathem. Cheathem, of course, signed with Michigan but has since transferred to Oregon State. "I wish Keston hadn't left me," Germany said. "We were going to be roommates but he had to do what's best for him and he's happy at Oregon State. I'm not going anywhere. I like Ann Arbor and am so happy to be here. My parents are coming out for a couple games."

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