The Wolverine

January 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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30 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2019 M ichigan defensive end Rashan Gary didn't wait long to an- nounce he'd forego his senior season at U-M for the NFL Draft. The junior released a YouTube video only two days following the Wolverines' 62-39 loss at Ohio State. "I would like to thank my higher power, my family, the University of Michigan and the students and the fans, but I will be foregoing my senior season to make a dream come true to declare for the draft," Gary said in the video. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed during a Dec. 2 Peach Bowl teleconference that Gary would not be playing in the Dec. 29 game against Florida. Most analysts have Gary going in the top half of the first round. ESPN's Todd McShay ranked him fifth overall. "Two years after he arrived in Ann Arbor as the most celebrated recruit in the country, Gary has somehow matched the hype," McShay wrote. "A powerful run defender and edge setter, he has an outstanding combina- tion of size and athleticism and will fit any scheme: explosive, sudden and a nightmare to block." ESPN's Mel Kiper put Gary at No. 8 on his big board. "He dominates when he's at his best; he just manhandles offensive line- men," Kiper wrote. "He has a high ceil- ing. The problem? Consistency. A de- fender this big and this talented should create more pressure and disruptions. "The former No. 1 overall recruit disappears too often for my liking. Gary could play end in a 3-4 defense or three-technique in a 4-3.", meanwhile, placed Gary at No. 9 overall in the class. Gary finished his Michigan career with 10 sacks, 23.5 tackles for loss and 136 tackles. He missed three games with a shoulder injury this season and played through it in other games to finish with 44 stops, 3.5 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss in nine appearances. "I love it. It's his decision," junior safety Josh Metellus said Dec. 3. "I live with Rashan. It's just one of those things he asked me questions about, and he asked for my input on certain things. I gave it to him how it is, and I just love he made his decision for himself." Metellus was among those who had yet to decide whether or not they'd return. He said Dec. 3 he was waiting to hear his evaluation from NFL scouts before coming to a final decision. Many speculated junior linebacker Devin Bush Jr., No. 7 on Kiper's overall list, would announce sooner than later, but university spokesman Dave Ab- lauf confirmed Dec. 4 that no decision had been made. No Michigan player besides Gary had announced he would not play in the bowl game or bypass a year of eli- gibility next season as of Dec. 10. Others thought to be contemplating decisions include junior corners David Long and Lavert Hill, junior quarter- back Shea Patterson and redshirt ju- nior tight end Zach Gentry. Patterson, fifth-year senior defensive end Chase Winovich and junior guard Ben Bredeson did recently confirm they would play in the Peach Bowl. Bredeson, despite being ranked as Kiper's No. 3 draft-eligible guard, added he plans to be back next season. "I'll be here," Bredeson said Dec. 3. "It's not official, but yeah. "I love this place. I didn't really think of leaving. It never even crossed my mind until after the [Ohio State] game, and then I didn't really think about it a whole lot. I'm just going to go talk with coach, do due diligence, look into everything." Bredeson said he hadn't talked to Patterson but felt his quarterback would return in 2019, as well. — Chris Balas CENTRAL MICHIGAN HIRES U-M ASSISTANT JIM MCELWAIN AS ITS HEAD COACH Central Michigan has hired U-M re- ceivers coach Jim McElwain as its head coach, and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was very supportive when McElwain called to tell him Dec. 2. "The first words out of his mouth, before I even said anything, he an- swered the phone, 'Fire Up Chips!'" McElwain said during his introductory press conference Dec. 3 "I said, 'What do you know about that?' And he said, 'My brother-in-law went there.'" Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean, husband of Harbaugh's sister, Joni, is the Chip in question.   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Rashan Gary Will Skip Senior Season And Peach Bowl Gary was projected to be the third overall pick in The Athletic's Dec. 3 mock draft. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL 2018 MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent Time (ET)/TV Sept. 1 at Notre Dame L, 24-17 Sept. 8 Western Michigan W, 49-3 Sept. 15 SMU W, 45-20 Sept. 22 Nebraska W, 56-10 Sept. 29 at Northwestern W, 20-17 Oct. 6 Maryland W, 42-21 Oct. 13 Wisconsin W, 38-13 Oct. 20 at Michigan State W, 21-7 Nov. 3 Penn State W, 42-7 Nov. 10 at Rutgers W, 42-7 Nov. 17 Indiana W, 31-20 Nov. 24 at Ohio State L, 62-39 Dec. 29 vs. Florida Noon (ESPN)

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