For those that missed part one, click here.
One of Mike Martin’s primary objectives on his official visit last weekend was to get a better feel for what his role on the defense would be. After defensive coordinator Scott Shafer made it clear that the Wolverines would play an attack style, it was up to a few of the other assistants to fill Martin in on how he’d be utilized. Defensive line coach Bruce Tall was the first one up to bat.
“Coach Tall said he likes my ability to fit his defense,” said Martin. “He said that he wants to use you at all four defensive line positions. He told me that I will not be holding up centers or guards. He wants me to get up the field and make plays”.
Upon hearing what Tall had to say, linebackers coach Jay Hopson chimed in.
“Coach Hopson told me that I have two options,” Martin recalled. “I can get the TFL (tackle for loss) or I could help his linebackers make the plays. Coach Hopson is real cool.”
The conversations made Martin even more thrilled about a future consisting of donning the winged helmet. The excitement ratcheted up another notch, though when he met face to face with a man that has created a significant and surprising stir in only a few weeks on the job. That man is Michigan strength & conditioning coach, Mike Barwis.
“Man that guy is an animal,” Martin exclaimed. “He is a beast. “I would say that he stood out the most this weekend.”
When the recruits went to visit Barwis in the weight room, the youngsters were captivated.
“He showed quite a few exercises,” said Martin. “Then he got down there and performed them. I like a coach that can do the drills that he is showing you. He pulled out these big bouncy balls that you do crunches on and he jumps up on top on it. His assistant was throwing balls while he was catching them and keeping his balance at the same time. It was incredible.”
“It helps build your core,” Martin continued regarding the exercise. “He told us we all could do it. Mike Barwis said that we all will be able to do it although it doesn’t seem like that now. It does not matter where you start but where you finish.”
After witnessing Barwis’ exploits, Martin could only think of one word.
“Intense,” he said. “(Barwis) is very intense. Coach Rodriguez told all of the recruits that it is not a show. It is real and that he is like this all the time.”
The question now is, will Martin be in Ann Arbor the next four years to find
out for himself?