Mike Barwis: "I think he is also a kid that has some pretty good maturity as far as mental aspect. He makes a mistake and he takes it upon himself. He doesn't look for excuses. He doesn't look for anyone else to blame on. He hits his chest and it's my fault and it won't happen again. I like that about Denard (Robinson). He's got some good speed, no question he can run. I think he is getting faster. He's worked a lot on his length strength and he's worked a lot on his running technique. He's got some great attributes. He's got great character and great work ethics. I'm excited about him. I think in the long run, he's going to make some really, really big strides and he's fun to work with no question."
Question: Have you timed him?
Mike Barwis: "The kids who come in as freshman we won't time them in the summer. It's illegal to do testing in the summer. So we don't do that. He can run. He's fast. He's got some wheels. He's a hard working kid. He's only going to get faster. His coach was up here a few weeks ago and he said Denard called him and he said, ‘Coach I'm faster than I was'. Coach said, ‘I don't know if that is possible'. He said, ‘Coach I am, I know I am.' He goes, "I'm more explosive. I feel like I'm generating my force better." I think he's the type of kid that is going to continue to get better, because he really wants to. It really comes down (garbled) tools. In reality, he is a kid that does work and I'm excited about seeing where he is going to end up."
Question: Is there a particular moment or episode that sticks in your mind?
Mike Barwis: "He likes to race. He gets down there and tries to race kids. He's a competitor. He's definitely a competitor and he's excited about trying to be the best that he can possibly be. He wants to be the best period. I like that. Every day with him is the same day. He's not a kid that goes up and down or swings. He's a kid that comes in with that same energy, explosive, happy go lucky attitude and great work effort. Stand out days are every day."
Question: (Question lost in background noise).
Mike Barwis: "Tate (Forcier) is a hard worker too."
Question: Have you noticed them competing against each other?
Mike Barwis: "I think there has been a battle in the weight room. There is a battle on the field, which is a healthy environment. You want kids competing. You want to put kids near each other so that they understand that they got to fight every day to make themselves great, otherwise someone else will take your job. That's what you want. That's what makes kid flourish. It gives them an environment that is conducive to success. I think in reality to have that about them; those two are battling. Nick (Sheridan) is not giving up either. Nick's in there and he's swinging with them, struggling and fighting along side them. Nick's a great leader, has a great mindset. I think the three of them have a healthy relationship right now and all really prospering from that relationship. Tate has gained 20 pounds of muscle. Since he's been here, we've changed his body dramatically. The kid never lifted a weight in his life before he got here. That's another whole other area for him that he had to had to endure. He made some great strides in the winter and made some great strides in the summer and he's a great kid too. He does a great job of stepping up and leading and having a strong mentality and being a guy in my opinion that really wants to assert himself in all environments as well. There is no standout in my opinion between the three. Everybody is just competing and wants to do well. Coach Rod and Coach Smith will decide which is the right thing for the team and I think there all going to be happy."
Question: What is Tate up to now?
Mike Barwis: "He's 194 pounds. He was 170 something when he got here."
Question: Did he play at that?
Mike Barwis: "In high school, he played (garbled). He may have played in the 160s. I don't know. He was a pretty small, frail guy. He's athletic as heck. He can run a little bit too. He isn't slow. He can throw. He's a smart kid. He works hard. I think both of them have that attributes to be great quarterbacks and good leaders as long as they work hard on the field and they work hard trying to better themselves with coaches; they've got the right staff to try and get them where their trying to go. They are going to work hard and do what they can to make sure that that happens."
Question: What has the extra pounds done for Tate Forcier?
Mike Barwis: "Tate ran better. Tate ran better, faster. I don't believe in putting weight on kids that is going to make them slower. That's not something that we do. As far as development is concerned, every kid that we have has gained weight is going to get faster. If you look at our kids, we don't put the body weight on them that a lot of people do. They're lean, explosive kids. Brandon Graham was 315 pounds when we got here. He's 268 pounds. He can run. He flies now. He's dropped 3/10th on his 40. You look at a guy like that, he dropped weight and did that, but he also look at guys like Brandon Minor, was 198 pounds; he's 216 and he ran a 1/10th faster than he did last year. It's the right kind of weight and it is knowing how to use that weight and being in the optimal position and activating the fast twitch thigh, which generates the power necessary to move down the field and utilize your athletic ability and your genetic attributes in training to make you the best you can possibly be and that is the goal of all our kids."
Question: With the freshman, does your reputation with what you do proceed you a little bit? I mean, have they heard the stories about, you'll get in with Barwis and this is what you expect.
Mike Barwis: "I think everybody comes in with some type of image in their head exactly what they think it is going to be like and I don't know if they can ever really prepare themselves for what it is really like to be honest. The work is a lot greater than people are used to doing. For instance, Bacon decided that he wanted to do some stuff this year and we through Bacon into the mix and Bacon thought he knew how to work out. He found out that the trashcan was his best friend. In reality, the work that they do, the commitment that they have and things they are put through, they are not going to be put through it at any other level, at any other time in their lives. The NFL guys we have back, think wow, this is absurd the amount of work they are putting in. It is a good environment. It's a healthy environment. It's all energetic. It's a positive environment. They all stand by each other. All the kids have done a great job at bringing the younger kids along, giving them support and offering them a good solid relationship that helps them develop and I think the kids embraced it. I think they were a little nervous but at the same time they were excited about getting better. They know they see the results of the past kids that have done well and they see the results of the pro kids that are doing well, and I think that excites them even though there is a little bit of fear there, but they get over that pretty quickly when they start seeing themselves develop and adjusting to workouts. They've all don't a great job."
Question: Do you like the fact that they come in with a little bit of a fear of god in them about working with you?
Mike Barwis: "I don't worry about it. They are going to get it one way or another. Once they get in there, it's not about fear – it's about respect. It really comes down, I respect the kids and they respect me. We work hard and I try to develop that relationship and try to make sure that they obtain everything that they can possibly obtain in their lives, not just in football, not just in the weight but everything they do. They know that I'm committed and I care about and love every one of those kids. I'm going to do everything I can every day to make them successful in their life. Allow their training to transcend their lifestyle and I think in the same respect they do the same back to me. Understanding that my commitment is 100% to their success, more so than it is to mine. I'm probably the weakest link. I do the best I can every day. I got a great staff and Coach Rodriguez really from the top down does a great job at teaching everyone on his staff as well as his athletes to do the right things and work hard for the University of Michigan and I think that is really what we try to do every day."
Question: When you get out in the circle in pregame, is that you at your best a little bit?
Mike Barwis: "I'm a pretty passionate person. I'm pretty energetic. I stay really positive most of the time. I'm a person that is excited about competition, excited about watching kids that you work with every day succeed in being in a situation of a competitive environment and fire them up and get them excited and energetic. At that point, it is just trying to get kids fired up to get kids to go do what they got to do and allow all the work that they did over the year to come to accumulation and put it out there on the field and excel because of their commitment on the field, in the weight room, in the classroom, everything they do. That's an exciting part for me. The most exciting part about my job is watching kids be successful."
Question: What do you do on game day?
Mike Barwis: "There are a lot of things to do. I get in there and get energetic. I talk to guys. I think my personal opinion and environment that you surround yourself with, you tend to emulate. If you are an environment that is energetic, explosive and passionate, you're going to be that type of guy. You surround yourself with people who are lazy and don't want to work hard and aren't excited, you are going to be that type of guy. Every day I feel like it is my responsibility to come in and get them in the right environment for these kids to excel and have passion for what they do and make it demanding and give them discipline. Rich Rodriguez does a great job of doing that with his staff and in reality, I think kids will emulate people that they work with, so if you are around those kids and you combine that energy and that excitement they end up being that type of kid. I just try to be the type of person that I'm supposed to be that type of player."
Question: So you have to be contagious?
Mike Barwis: "No question. No question, I think that is something to me that if I come in here and I'm dead or on the field and I'm that type of guy, then we're going to have that type of surrounding and those type of players. Our coaches do a good job of being passionate, energetic and Rich Rodriguez is about as passionate as you can get. I think when you're out there and you're doing that, you have got to be contagious for them so they can wipe themselves to levels that they normally aren't at."
Full Transcript: Mike Barwis
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