The Wolverine

2022 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2022 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 73 BY JOHN BORTON F ree agency marks a key element in football reloads these days. Con- sider grad transfer Olusegun "Olu" Oluwatimi an A-lister, who should snap into action as a winged-helmeted force. Oluwatimi became the biggest recruit of the offseason for the Wolverines, and for good reason. It's not every day a program can re- place a six-year veteran at center with a Rim- ington Trophy finalist. That's precisely what Jim Harbaugh did, landing the transfer from Virginia after Oluwatimi wrapped up a successful career in Charlottesville. For his part, Oluwatimi proved anything but cavalier in choosing his landing spot. "You've got to find the right fit," noted the 6-3, 310-pound center, a three-time letter- man with second-team All-America honors, first-team All-ACC plaudits and a bachelor's degree in economics already tucked safely in his back pocket. "Michigan just stuck out to me. One, be- cause of the brand of football that is played here. Two, the University is among the best in the country, whether it's private or pub- lic institutions. I just really thought of the value playing my last year at Michigan could add to me. It was a no- brainer." It's not always easy to come in from the outside and immediately click with new team- mates. Oluwatimi pulled it off like an ice cream truck driver giving out free samples, due to a personality his teammates describe as open, friendly and "awesome." Oluwatimi assigns the smooth shift into maize and blue to "just being myself, be- ing the person I am, the person my parents raised me to be. Everything else goes from there. "I like to think of myself as a social butterfly. I really don't have a problem talking to anyone. That just works for me. Everybody embraces me. If you put in the work, your team is going to respect you." Built For The Battle Oluwatimi didn't always command the respect he presently possesses. The son of Yetunde and Olufemi Oluwatimi — Nigerian immigrants from the 1980s and '90s, respec- tively — checked in as the sixth among six siblings, including five boys and one girl. "I'm the baby," Oluwatimi declared. And oh baby, he discovered early on a spank-free sprint to stardom wasn't in his fu- ture. Given that many big brothers — includ- ing Oluwaseun, who played defensive line at Maryland — Oluwatimi occasionally got the tail end of boyhood tomfoolery. "When I was young, still getting bathed by my parents, I was in a towel," Oluwatimi re- called. "She went to go do something else. My older siblings had a game called 'Free Butts.' ELECTRIC PLUG-IN Olu Oluwatimi Stands Ready To Lead O-Line Charge Oluwatimi earned second-team All-America and first-team All-ACC honors last year along with a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND

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