The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2019 THE WOLVERINE 19 while breaking up one pass and recov- ering a fumble. The first-team All-Big Ten performer and second-team All- American (per the American Football Coaches Association) also embodied the defiance toward doubters that Michigan can re-climb the Big Ten and national mountain. "For me personally, it was important that I felt like I came off the field and didn't have any regrets," Winovich said after the bowl game. "I wanted to play until the last snap I could. "And my mom was telling me, sig- naling, like 'Sit on the bench, just come off it, call it quits. They're up 20.' And I said, 'That's just not me.'" 2. SHEA PATTERSON Junior, QB Pundits around the nation predicted Patterson would make a major impact on Michigan's offense and overall re- sults in 2018, and they weren't wrong. He helped guide them to a share of the Big Ten East title and to 39 points in U- M's ill-fated finale against Ohio State. Conference coaches selected Pat- terson as a third-team All-Big Ten performer, after he went 210-of-325 passing (64.6 percent) for 2,600 yards with 22 touchdowns. Patterson tossed just seven interceptions on the season, while rushing for 273 yards and an- other pair of touchdowns. Patterson also provided one of the bigger injections of hope for 2019 in an otherwise difficult December, vow- ing to return for one more year in a winged helmet. 3. DEVIN BUSH JR. Junior, LB Bush proved a consensus first-team All-American, and one of the fastest — if not the fastest — linebackers in Michigan football history. His absence from the Peach Bowl was very notice- able, after he'd led all season a defense topping the nation statistically. Despite not playing in the bowl, Bush led the Wolverines with 80 tack- les. His 9.5 tackles for loss stood second on the squad, while his five sacks tied Winovich for second in that category. He recorded six passes broken up and a pair of quarterback hurries, and served as a captain and emotional leader. The first-team All-Big Ten linebacker tweeted before the bowl he'd not been physically cleared to perform, and de- clared his intention to move on to the NFL. 4. DAVID LONG Junior, CB Long is another underclassman heading to the pros with a year of eli- gibility remaining. He opted to play in the Peach Bowl, finishing out a very strong season, in which he consistently ranked as one of the top cover corners in the country. The first-team All-Big Ten defensive back (coaches) recorded only 17 tackles on the year, but stayed glued to op- posing receivers all season long. He picked off one pass while leading the team with eight passes broken up. 5. DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES Sophomore, WR Peoples-Jones paced the resurgence of Michigan's receiving corps, haul- ing in a team-leading 47 catches for 612 yards. The latter figure more than doubled the yardage of the Wolver- ines' leading wideout in 2017. The third-team All-Big Ten receiver (coaches) also paced Michigan with eight touchdown catches, nearly matching the team total from the year before (nine). He returned 25 punts an average of 10.0 yards per run back, with one touchdown. 6. LAVERT HILL Junior, CB Hill's announcement that he'll re- turn to Michigan in 2019 marked the second-best retention news for the coming year. Hill earned unanimous first-team All-Big Ten honors this sea- son, after a strong year by the third- team Associated Press All-American cornerback. Hill's 14 tackles on the year included one tackle for loss. He also picked off a pass, broke up five more and com- bined with Long to form arguably the Big Ten's best pair of cornerbacks. Having one of them back should make a big difference for Michigan's defense. 7. KARAN HIGDON Senior, RB Higdon became a healthy scratch from the Peach Bowl lineup, the cap- tain opting to sit out his final game in a Michigan uniform. That sparked plenty of debate, after he had enjoyed a standout senior season. The Sarasota, Fla., native became Michigan's second running back since Mike Hart (Fitzgerald Toussaint in 2011) to break the 1,000-yard barrier. He went for 1,178 yards and 10 touch-

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