No need to check your calendars to make sure it isn't 1995, but J.T. Turner does not shy away from the history of the jersey on his back. In fact, he asked for it.
"I wanted to wear #2," he explained, "Charles Woodson is my favorite player. I grew up watching him and I wanted to show everybody that I can step in his shoes and do everything he did."
First things first though, as Turner has to play catch up after starting camp a little later than the rest of the team. Meaning, he still has some adjusting to do to the college game.
"Yeah, I got up here late, but they have been working me in. The game is a lot faster. There are a lot of faster receivers, so I have to get out of stance faster and break on ball faster.
Coming out of high school, Turner was recruited both as a cornerback and a safety, but as of now, he is working only at corner. His size (6'2, 187), is rare for that position and an asset, although right now, it is affecting some of the technical work he is doing.
"I'm the tallest corner we have, so it is harder for me to get down low in my stance, but we have been working on that. I'm just working to get on the field on Saturdays."
The Wolverines are set at cornerback as far as starters go, with Donovan Warren and Boubacar Cissoko returning. After them, there is a group of young players competing for playing time, including a few freshmen like Turner. Of course, the upperclassmen have been there for the younger Wolverines.
"Donovan is my big brother on the team. He tells me everything I need to know. If I have a question, he tells me, same with Boubacar."
Technique, speed of the game, the lifestyle, are all elements of college which make it tough for freshmen in their initial weeks. However, Turner says the strength and conditioning workouts with Mike Barwis have been the toughest part of his adjustment. He doesn't mind though, as he knows it will all pay off on September 5th when he suits up for the first time and steps into Michigan Stadium.
"It's going to be great. I can't wait. I played in the Army All-American bowl and there was only 32,000 people, but 110,000, I just can't wait for it.
Oh yeah, that Woodson guy he idolizes returned punts and played a little wide receiver too.
"I want to do it. I'm going to ask them about it. Hopefully they tell me they can."