The Wolverine

January 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 67

JANUARY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 15   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS Michigan redshirt junior offensive lineman Andrew Stueber is far from alone when he says 2020 has been a challenging year. There have been many trials and tribulations across the country this year, including for stu- dent-athletes playing Division I foot- ball. Stueber missed all of last season after he tore his ACL in preseason camp, and was forced to watch the entire campaign from the sideline. He had to follow that up by seeing his 2020 season get canceled, before the Big Ten reversed course and decided to begin in late October. He started the first two games of the year at right guard, and then was bumped out to right tackle due to injuries across the offensive line. Through the challenges, including with classes being moved primarily to an online setting, Stueber earned Aca- demic All-Big Ten honors this fall, join- ing 147 other U-M student-athletes. A member of the prestigious Ross School of Business, Stueber especially was facing an uphill climb, but was able to come out with stellar marks for the semester. "It's definitely been harder this year, balancing schoolwork and football," Stueber said. "Obviously, we have a lot more time online, but with our schedule, balancing school projects and meetings with other people in the business school, for me, was pretty tough. Being online is pretty tough, as well. You don't have the same class environment." Stueber was one of 50 football play- ers from U-M to earn the recognition, marking the most in program history for any season. He believes it's a tes- tament to the team culture, which stresses the importance of academics. "I think it shows a lot to the moti- vation of every player on the team," Stueber said. "It's a very tough year, a totally unprecedented year, so for ev- eryone to totally focus on school and us to get the most academic All-Big Tens ever, I'm really proud of everyone on the team. "And to be a part of that, that's all something I've worked tremendously hard to do. I'm just really proud of ev- eryone, especially the young guys that were able to do it. It was really impres- sive, and it just speaks to the motiva- tion and determination of this team. " To stay focused and attentive throughout this whole season and this whole semester was really impressive for all the guys." U-M finished with a 2-4 record, se- verely underper forming based on preseason expectations. But the team went through a lot just to have the season, including waking up at the crack of dawn to head to Schem- bechler Hall for daily COVID tests. That, on top of a losing season, can weigh heavily on a player, Stueber explained. "It's definitely been a very different season, in terms of mentality," he ad- mitted. "You really don't understand it unless you go through it, going from your house to the facility and back for about a couple months on end — it gets kind of relentless. "Being worried to leave your house, in case you come into contact with anyone, is also not the best feeling. It was a weird year overall; I think a lot of guys have started to feel some mental stress from it." Still, Stueber believes having the season, and even the stress and pro- cedures that came with it, was worth the hassle. "People come here to play football at a high level, so I think everyone on the team wanted to play," he said. "I'm sure I don't speak for just myself; I think everyone wants to play football at the highest level they can. We'll do any protocol, anything that they want us to do [in order to play]. "I'm very proud of everyone on the team for handling it in such a profes- sional manner. I think everyone was fully on board with supporting all the COVID protocols in order to play the sport they love." — Clayton Sayfie Stueber was one of a record 50 football players who were named Academic All-Big Ten this fall. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL Student-Athlete Of The Month Football Redshirt Junior Andrew Stueber

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - January 2021