Concerned player-parent denies allegations

Frosh WR Je'Ron Stokes has inadvertently found himself a center of conversations that surround flawed allegations regarding violation of rules for exceeding practice time limits. Known for not holding his tongue, Je'Ron's father Le'Ron decided it was time to speak up.

For Le'Ron Stokes, the past couple days have been a nightmare. He's the proud father of Philly bred receiver Je'Ron Stokes, a true freshman that was a surprise many by signing with the Wolverines in the 2009 class. Je'Ron has inadvertently found himself a center of conversations that surround flawed allegations regarding violation of rules for exceeding practice time limits. Known for not holding his tongue, Le'Ron Stokes decided it was time to speak up.

In talking to Le'Ron, it became clear that there certainly have been extra workouts taking place past practice limits, but it's at the players own doing, which is within NCAA rules. And there's plenty of motivation for their actions.

"It's irresponsible for them (Freep) to take advantage of a question asked to two young freshmen (Stokes and LB Brandin Hawthorne). The kids are working hard, and sometimes practice an hour or so longer… but that's what the players choose to do! They are embarrassed about last season, and never want to have a season like 3-9 happen again, in the history of Michigan football. The players are working hard!"

Je'Ron has been focused on this season since February, when he learned that he'd have the opportunity to play early in Rich Rodriquez spread offense. He skipped out on the prestigious Big 33 game, instead, choosing to train intensely with a personal trainer until he arrived at Michigan in June. He seems like the perfect fit for the strength and conditioning program run by Mike Barwis.

"You know that Je'Ron isn't about this drama stuff, he's a good kid. He's driven, and will always work beyond what coaches advise. He's part of a volunteer group that stays after practice to get more treatment and watch extra film. Thanks to the strength staff that is nice enough to let the players in, it's normal for the kids to be in their working an hour or two after practice. So Je'Ron loves Michigan, he loves the coaches, he loves his teammates. Je'Ron's a Michigan Man! He's all in! All those kids are."

So lets get this right. Je'Ron Stokes is a hard worker, loves Michigan, as is everybody involved in the football program now. One has to wonder, what damaging statement did he suddenly mutter to prompt an experienced reporter to accuse the football program of breaking NCAA rules?

"Je'Ron answered a question, and all of a sudden it grew into wild fire. He noticed that this his name kept coming up, and didn't know why. He didn't call home though, he was a man about it and went directly to coach Rodriquez office. Je'Ron asked coach....'What did I do? All I did was answer a question, what did I do?' Coach Rodriquez said, ‘You didn't do anything wrong, son.' Je'Ron's words were taken completely out of context."

Until recent reports, Le'Ron Stokes admits that he has had nothing to complain about in Ann Arbor. And so he's putting this incident behind him, and is looking forward to arriving in Ann Arbor this fall with his family on game day.

"I initially had some questions about coach Rodriquez during Je'Ron's recruitment, as other coaches were saying bad things about him. But once I went up there (Ann Arbor), my opinion changed. When I met coach Rodriquez and his staff, I could tell that they were great people. It's a family atmosphere up there. I love those guys! I can't wait to get up there on the weekends."

For more on this story, tune into WTKA Tuesday morning, as Le'Ron Stokes will be on the air with Sam Webb during the 8:00 am segment.


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