The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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AUGUST 2018 THE WOLVERINE 51   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL impact," Webber said of a fundraiser for Mott Children's Hospital that was going on at the time. Webber, a former All-American, led the Wolverines to back-to-back appearances in the national champi- onship game in 1992 and 1993, but his relationship with the university, its fans and even the rest of the Fab Five has been strained since. Another Fab Fiver, Jalen Rose, said recently on his "Get Up" ESPN morning show he'd like to get the group back together again. The five have not been together since 1993, he noted. "I would love for him and the University of Michigan to see eye to eye," Rose said. "There are times families don't see eye to eye. I guess that's what we're dealing with at this point. Hopefully, we'll get through it. "I love him. That's my brother. I don't want people to feel like I'm upset or bitter with C-Webb or the University of Michigan. I love them both. I would love for the Fab Five to be in the same place, at the same time." For now, getting Webber on cam- pus is a start. — Chris Balas LUIJI VILAIN IS CLEARED TO PLAY Michigan redshirt freshman de- fensive end Luiji Vilain, a former four-star prospect and's No. 74 overall player nationally, was expected to contribute last year be- fore he tore his ACL in camp. Surgery proved more complicated than he ex- pected, and he was held out of spring activities. He's back now, however, and at 6-4, 242 pounds he is ready to con- tribute this fall. "I'm 100 percent cleared … 100 percent to do everything," he said in mid-June. "I'm starting to introduce it a lot more, but as far as my knee, I'm good, cleared [by U-M doctors]. "It was the hardest thing I've ev- ery experienced, definitely the most humbling thing. I got a chance to get closer to God, learn the playbook more. My coaches and teammates were there for me. Without them, I don't know what I would have done." Vilain could dominate at defensive end, but defensive line coach Greg Mattison likes his versatility. "Coach Matty wants me to take reps at both," he said. "Coach Herb [strength coach Ben Herbert] got me in great shape, a lot of upper body stuff, single leg work on my non- injured leg. Abigail, our main nutri- tionist, played a big part. "Without [my teammates and coaches], honestly, I'm not sure what my mental state would be. They al- ways kept me in it, involved." — Chris Balas PHILLIP PAEA TALKS TRANSITION FROM DEFENSIVE TACKLE TO OFFENSIVE GUARD Phillip Paea came to Michigan as a defensive tackle in 2017 and spent this whole past season there while taking a redshirt. The Berrien Springs, Mich., native has since been moved to offensive guard, though, and is gladly accepting the position switch. "I like it," he exclaimed. "It's good for a change. It definitely took some getting used to — switching up my stance and everything — but once I got the hang of it, it felt like home." Paea also talked about what it has been like working with first-year of- fensive line coach Ed Warinner since the move took place. "It's been pretty good," the line- man explained. "He's just been tak- ing it slow with me, trying to teach me all the plays — it's a lot different than D-line. "I feel like I bring excellent pull- ing to the table. I have pretty good speed compared to other guards and am a good weight [listed at 6-4, 275 pounds] right now." — Austin Fox TARIK BLACK AND MICHAEL DWUMFOUR CLARIFY REDSHIRT STATUSES Both wide receiver Tarik Black and defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour saw game action before suffering season-ending injuries as freshmen at U-M (the former in 2017, the latter in 2016), leading to some questions regarding each one's eligibility status. Black competed in Michigan's first three games of the 2017 campaign be- fore breaking his foot, while Dwum- four only appeared in the 2016 opener against Hawai'i before suffering a shoul- der injury. Both players addressed their respec- tive eligibilities and gave an update on the status of their injuries earlier this summer. "My foot is good and all healed up," Black revealed. "I played on it all spring, and it's back to 100 percent healthy — I think it got there midway through spring ball. I was a little rusty at first, just because I hadn't played on it in so long. "The game action I saw last year defi- nitely helped me, because I'm coming into this season knowing what to expect now. I won't be as nervous as I was coming out of the gate last year. I also know what the speed of the game is like, so the transition will be a lot smoother this time around." To receive a medical redshirt, the NCAA states that a player must compete in 30 percent or fewer of a team's games, meaning Black would qualify (he played in 23 percent of U-M's contests in 2017). "I'd like to say we've looked into it [a medical redshirt], but I'm not really worried about it," the wideout admitted. "I don't plan on using it anyway, to be honest." Dwumfour, however, had a much clearer answer regarding his. "I had shoulder problems throughout my freshman year and had to get it repaired," he recalled. "I wound up getting a redshirt for that season, and am cur- rently a redshirt sophomore. "I only saw action on 12 plays as a freshman against Hawai'i. My shoulder is all healed up now, though, so I'm just ready to ball." — Austin Fox Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour was hailed as one of Michigan's top players this past spring. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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