The Wolverine

January 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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8 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2021   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS VINCENT SMITH HONORED WITH BIG TEN'S HUMANITARIAN AWARD Former Michigan running back Vincent Smith (2009-12) is the recipient of the Big Ten's distinguished Dungy-Thomp- son Humanitarian Award for the 2020 season. Smith was honored for his Team Gardens project and #Eating Gardens initiative, which were designed to make sustainable positive changes in communities. The conference award recognizes Big Ten football students who have achieved success in the area of humanitarianism following their academic and athletic careers at a member university. He is the second U-M player to win the award, with former quarterback Brian Griese (1993-97) having been honored in 2014. Smith founded the Team Gardens project, which has the mission of increasing access to healthy foods and reducing juvenile crimes and violent behaviors through gardening- based intervention. Smith and the program mentor the youth in his hometown of Pahokee, Fla., and the initiative has since branched out to Flint, Ann Arbor and Detroit in Michigan. The Team Gardens project's mission is to "teach health education and promote a healthy lifestyle by gardening." The program works with community partners to clean up the earth with rain gardens, promote healthy eating with vegetable gardens, and encourage individuals to get out in the community and be active. Smith's movement in Flint, #Eating Gardens, transforms empty lots into vegetable gardens and micro-farms. He and the young people that are a part of the program clean up the area, remove trash and plant gardens, stressing the important life lessons of patience and follow-through. More information can be found at MICHIGAN SIGNEE JUNIOR COLSON NAMED BUTKUS AWARD SEMIFINALIST The Butkus Award is handed out annually to the top line- backer in the country in college and high school. The award came out with its list of 16 prep semifinalists across America, and a Michigan signee, Brentwood ( Tenn.) Ravenwood four-star Junior Colson, received the distinction. A panel of 51 coaches, recruiters, scouts and journalists, who vote separately and confidentially, selected the 16 semifinalists. Colson is ranked as the No. 94 overall player nationally, No. 5 outside linebacker and No. 3 player in the state of Tennes- see in the 2021 class by He notched 101 tackles and seven sacks in eight games as a senior, and will enroll early at U-M. THREE WOLVERINES SUIT UP FOR U.S. NATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY TEAM Michigan hockey freshman forwards Matty Beniers and Brendan Brisson, and sophomore defenseman Cam York were selected to play for the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, which were held Dec. 25-Jan. 5, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. York was named a team captain, becoming the fifth in U-M history to wear the 'C' at the prestigious event, while Wolver- ines assistant coach Kris Mayotte served behind the bench for the third time in his career. York is on the roster for a second straight year and has pre- viously suited up in three IIHF events, winning silver (2018) and bronze medals (2019) with the U-18 squad. Beniers joined York on the 2019 bronze medal team, while Brisson was part of the 2019 World Junior A Challenge roster. York was named the USA Player of the Game in the opener of preliminary play Dec. 25, after he tallied two points (one goal, one assist) in a 5-3 loss to Russia. The following day, all three Wolverines notched at least a point in an 11-0 blowout of Austria. Brisson found the back of the net twice, while Beniers and York each notched an assist. The squad continues preliminary play Dec. 29 (versus Czech Republic, 2 p.m. EST) and Dec. 31 (against Sweden, 9:30 p.m.), prior to the quarterfinals Jan. 2. All games will be broadcast on NHL Network. — Clayton Sayfie Smith, a running back at Michigan from 2009-12, was recognized by the Big Ten for his Team Gardens project and #Eating Gardens initiative, which were designed to make sustainable positive changes in communities. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL MAIZE AND BLUE NOTEBOOK

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