The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2020 THE WOLVERINE 17   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS Daxton Hill Is Ready To Make A Move By Chris Balas Michigan's sophomore safety was thrown into the fire during his debut, and he got better as the year progressed. Hill might just be the best athlete on the team — he could play corner or safety, but the Wolverines will ask him to replace Josh Metellus at safety, and it says here he'll be All-Big Ten by the end of the season. Hill showed off his cover ability repeatedly, al- ways being around the ball even when he got beat. His instincts were also on display several times when he'd sniff out screens or flat passes and react quickly, and he was usually in the right spot in the second half of the season. Hill was a five-star recruit for a reason, and he and senior Brad Hawkins will pair up to form an extremely formidable safety duo. Chris Hinton Poised To Shine As A Sophomore By Austin Fox With former Michigan defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour transferring to Rutgers for his fifth-year senior season, the door is wide open at the position for sophomore Chris Hinton to earn a starting spot alongside fifth-year senior Carlo Kemp (assuming Kemp reclaims his) in 2020. Hinton was rated as a five-star prospect out of high school in 2019, but received nine snaps or fewer in each of Michigan's first 10 games of last season. He emerged down the stretch, however, averaging 32 snaps over the Maize and Blue's final three contests and earning the starting nod in the Jan. 1 Citrus Bowl loss to Alabama. Hinton should be able to carry that late-season momentum into 2020 and earn a starting role from the get-go this time around. That would help solidify a position that is once again set to be very inexperienced outside of Kemp (redshirt junior Donovan Jeter is slated to be the next most experienced defensive tackle on the roster, despite the fact that he has never started a game). POINT ❙ COUNTERPOINT WHO WILL BE MICHIGAN FOOTBALL'S BREAKOUT PLAYER IN 2020? DAXTON HILL CHRIS HINTON demic All-Big Ten selection in both 2018 and 2019, and he won U-M's Jordan Morgan/Bod- nar Brothers Award for Academic Achieve- ment in 2019, given to the team's top scholar. Davis has also provided good minutes on the floor when called upon, touting a career- high field goal percentage of 71.9 percent in limited action. The team's record since he stepped foot on campus in 2016 is a remark- able 105-36 (.745 winning percentage). The philosophy that head coach Juwan Howard has preached for his bench play- ers like Davis, has been "stay ready so you don't have to get ready." Nobody on the team has embodied that mantra like the 6-10, 250-pound big man from Onsted, Mich., who is seizing his opportunity in his fourth season. "Just keeping your head in it, always being prepared," Davis said of the philosophy. "Always knowing everything on the scouting report, always preparing in practice beforehand. Just knowing that you could be thrown in there any minute, and if you are, you gotta go out there and perform to the best of your ability, help your team win and do it for your brothers." Davis hasn't missed a game since Dec. 14 against Oregon. Where foul trouble was his gateway into the game in previous years, and even early in this one, now he's on the floor be- cause he's earned the trust of his coaches and teammates, and has made his impact known to anyone and everyone that's paying attention. "It's been a great year so far," Davis said. "I'm really thankful for my teammates and how close this team is. I think this is one of the closest teams I've played on. We're always hanging out and having each other's back in every situation." Davis made 19 of 22 shots (86.4 percent) and averaged 7.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per outing to help U-M win five of six games from Jan. 28 to Feb. 16. His recent hot streak has a lot to do with confidence, he said. Having a head coach that played in the post at the highest level in the NBA doesn't hurt, either. "Yeah, absolutely," Davis said, after being asked if his confidence is at its highest point since being in college. "I think that's really come through just working with Coach [Ju- wan] Howard every day. This coaching staff has really been great; they've helped me a lot. "[Howard] is high energy all the time in prac- tice. He's pedal to the metal every minute of practice. I love it. He's down in the trenches with the post guys, working with us, and he gives us feedback as we go. It's really invalu- able. It's incredible. He played 19 years in the NBA, for Pete's sake, and all that comes through. It's great." Whether Davis returns to U-M for his fifth season or plays elsewhere, the safe bet is to predict that success will follow. — Clayton Sayfie GRILL COVER (Item #1365) Commercial grade, breathable vinyl with moisture vent and buckle clasps • Block M logo in UV resistant ink Available in 2 sizes: Small: 60" W x 36" T x 21" D $51.95 + $15.00 S&H Large: 72" W x 36" T x 21" D $54.95 + $15.00 S&H Grill covers are made to order and shipped direct from manufacturer. Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. Returns not related to damage or manufacturer error may incur restocking fee. Please add sales tax if shipping to NC 7%, IN 7% or MI 6% THE WOLVERINE PO Box 2331 • Durham, NC 27702 1-800-421-7751 Grill Cover

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