The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2018 THE WOLVERINE 17   Student-Athlete Of The Month Football Redshirt Junior Tight End Joseph Files It's rare for collegiate athletes to make their playing debuts during their redshirt junior seasons, but that's exactly what tight end Joseph Files did when he saw his first career action in U-M's 49-3 win over Western Michigan Sept. 8. A walk-on, Files explained that finally stepping onto the field at The Big House was a surreal moment. "I can't even explain how cool it was to get in against both WMU and Nebraska," he exclaimed. "You train your whole life for that, and you finally get a sense of just how incredible 110,000 people is once you get out there." Files grew up in Lake Orion, Mich., and even though his hometown is just over an hour from Michigan's campus, the tight end took a unique path to officially become a Wolverine. "I actually saw a registration on Facebook where they were holding tryouts," he said with a laugh. "They had me fill in my height, weight and position, and then had us do some workouts at Schembechler [Hall] to assess our talent. "I got a call from them later that week asking me to come back to the facility, because I had made the team. I didn't even think I had done that well on the workouts." Those events took place in head coach Jim Harbaugh's debut season of 2015, and even though it took the red-shirt junior four years to see the field, he said he wouldn't trade the time in between for anything. "I've just become great friends with all my teammates, because they're such a supportive group of guys," he explained. "I also love having [first-year tight ends] Coach [Sherrone] Moore here, because he's brought us all together. We're just a tight-knit group of friends." While Files may not have the football accolades that some of his teammates do, the same can't be said for what he's achieved in the classroom. "I was actually named a distin- guished scholar for the Big Ten last year," he recalled. "I'm not sure what their exact qualifications were, but I think it meant you had to have a GPA of 3.7 or higher. "Earning that meant a lot to not only myself, but my parents as well. I al- ways knew I was a pretty good student in high school, but my first semester at the University of Michigan kind of gave me a rude awakening. I picked my grades back up, though, and got my GPA back into the high threes, which made me proud." Files announced he is majoring in both biology and Spanish, with hopes of one day becoming an orthopedic surgeon. While most student-athletes find the combined workload of athletics and academics incredibly challenging, the tight end said he embraces it. "I actually enjoy the demands, be- cause it forces me to organize my day," he noted. "I know it'll also help me someday get my degree, and I don't think there's a more valuable piece of paper in the world. "The connections among the alumni network this place brings are incredible — we ran into people on our Paris trip telling us 'Go Blue,' and how they had a relative who went to school here. It really gives you a sense of how much the university impacts the world." — Austin Fox PRESEASON BASKETBALL RANKINGS FOR MICHIGAN AND ITS RANKED OPPONENTS Michigan's basketball team will have a challenging non-conference schedule in 2018-19. However, most of its Big Ten foes aren't highly ranked. Here are the experts' preseason rankings for the Wolverines and their ranked opponents for 2018. —Andrew Hussey School Sporting News SBNation Blue Ribbon CBS Sports NBC Sports Stadium Athlon Michigan 10 12 23 21 23 19 24 Villanova 9 9 21 9 5 8 13 Providence — — — — 32 27 — North Carolina 6 7 12 8 9 7 7 Indiana — 25 — 25 28 29 — Iowa — — — — — 49 — Wisconsin — 34 — — — 31 — Minnesota — — — — — 43 — Maryland 21 28 — 23 — 24 — Michigan State 12 10 10 11 13 11 10 Purdue — 27 19 — 30 26 — Northwestern — — — — — 50 — Nebraska — — — — — 42 25

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