The Wolverine

2021 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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62 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2021 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY JOHN BORTON Y ou can stop Hassan Haskins on the street, remind him his team strug- gled mightily last year, and suggest that's not a good sign for this fall. The redshirt sophomore tailback would listen thoughtfully. Then he'd give you a look like you'd just announced there was once an Ice Age, meaning Zamboni machines will be required at The Big House this August. The rugged running back out of St. Louis knows all about what happened in 2020. He lived it. Parts of it made him physically ill. But that's over, he stresses. Done. It's in the rearview mirror, and he's not wasting time looking back. "The chemistry," Haskins mused, trying to describe the difference he feels. "We have great players on both sides of the ball, O and D. They fit. The feeling is just different. The coaches … it feels right. It feels better. The energy. I just feel it in the air. It's going to be an exciting year." Part of the chemistry in the running backs room involves a Back To The Future sort of sensation. Mike Hart won't be jump-cutting past defenders and using hesitation moves to tie would-be tacklers in knots. He won't be toppling potential quarterback killers with toughness and savvy. But he'll be working overtime to get those qualities and more out of Haskins and Michi- gan's other backs. From what he's seen, Haskins understands why Hart has been so successful, as both a player and coach. "He's definitely a wonderful coach," Haskins said. "I love him. He taught us a lot of new things. He just knows what he's do- ing. He's been through it. I really understand him, and he's been definitely helping us for the better. "I've seen a couple films of him, in his col- lege days. He's not as big, but he's definitely powerful, and he knows what he's doing." Meanwhile, Hart is certainly learning to appreciate the toughness Haskins delivers, run by blow-dealing run. "He loves it," Haskins said. "He's all about CHARGING FORWARD Hassan Haskins Bolts Toward A Very Different 2021

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