Crable aiming high for 2006 season

Shawn Crable, projected as the Wolverines starting outside linebacker, was one of six Wolverines to meet with the media on Monday at the weekly press conference. With his turn to speak, Crable spoke on a wide variety of topics from his relationship with Lloyd Carr to his responsibilities as a father and family man.

In life, eye-opening experiences are happening everyday. Some are more visible then others, but they are always there. In the case of Shawn Crable, it took a memorable visit to Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr's office and a recent addition to the Crable family for his vision to become clear and things to be put in perspective.

"I remember one time he brought me into his office and he asked me to transfer. He pulled out the papers and said he'd sign my transfer papers for me. I looked at him like 'man, you're a jerk,'" Crable said on Monday. "He wanted to motivate me. He just wanted to see how I was going to perform. Obviously, he didn't think my effort was the greatest. This was the beginning of last year right before I started playing. He pulled me in and told me he thought I should transfer because I wasn't doing anything."

With his back against the wall, Crable was unsure of where to go at that point. After looking to former U-M linebacker Sam Sword for some advice, Crable decided against the transfer and began using his latest visit to the coaches' office as his motivation to succeed.

"I thought I was playing good at that point," the linebacker said. "But you get into that spot where you think you're playing good enough, and the coaches wanted me to play better then that. I had improved, but you can always play better."

With the new defensive coordinators emphasis on getting to the ball, one place that Crable, along with the rest of the Michigan linebackers, needed to improve this offseason was their physical conditioning. While that is still a work in progress, Crable feels that, for the most part, the team has done a good job of slimming down.

"I think all of us are actually in shape this year. We've lost weight. We're playing hard and we're all running to the ball better. You'll see a difference in the linebackers getting to the ball whether the ball is run to our side or the other side. Szabo has been working with us on our technique because you can't get to the ball unless you can shed the blocker, and I think you'll see us do that a lot better then last year."

And as for how Crable can see himself fitting in? "I think I'm a good pass rusher. Linebacker, I love it. I love hitting people. But when it's time to blitz, I think I'm the best at that."

However, the offseason conditioning wasn't the only major change for Crable this summer. Just this week, the Crable family was blessed with the birth of their second son, Tayton. Despite all the work Crable had done in the classroom and on the field in his first three years at Michigan, the birth of his second son has opened up a new world to Shawn.

"I've got to create a better life for them whether it's getting my degree or with playing football. I've got to create a better life for them," Crable told the media on Monday. "I can't cheat them out of their lives because I decided not to work hard, because I decided not to live up to my end of things. They're all living up to their end of things."

For more on Shawn Crable, pick up a copy of the upcoming issue of GoBlueWolverine Magazine.

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