The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 169 22.3 points per game over their previous four contests. This year, Wilson is looking for a chance at redemption against Ohio State, but also against Notre Dame, and Michigan State, and Indiana, and the rest of the Wolverines' 2014 schedule. "I've been playing football since I was 8 years old and my goal every year is to be the best football player I can be," Wilson said. "Even though last year was my first time starting, it bothers me that I had bad games. "It feels good to know that my coaches trust me and view me as a guy that they can depend on, but I have to be that guy." If he is, and a few teammates also play up to their potential, Michigan should start winning at a high level again, and Wilson is anxiously anticipating the climatic feeling of success. "My junior year in high school we went to the state championship game, and that was the most fun I've ever had playing football," he said. "We haven't been reading the papers because we don't care what other people are predicting for our season. "Our goal is to win the Big Ten champion- ship and play in the Rose Bowl, or whatever BCS game we go to with the new playoff. We just want to have fun." ❑ A year ago, in his first season starting, Wilson recorded two interceptions, two passes broken up and two tackles for loss among 50 total stops. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL Why Mundy: Both Jarrod Wilson and Ryan Mundy were highly ranked recruits coming out of high school. Mundy was a four-star prospect, and was tabbed the No. 96 player nationally and the No. 6 safety in the 2003 class. Wilson was also a four-star prospect and the No. 12 safety in the country for the class of 2012. Both saw the field some in their rookie years — Mundy had 10 tackles in six games and Wilson had eight stops in six contests — and they both started as sophomores. The 6-2, 200-pound Mundy was recruited for his prowess to patrol center field and make plays on the football. Those traits also could eas- ily describe the expectations for the 6-1, 208-pound Wilson. What it could mean: After an inconsistent sophomore season, Mundy was poised to be a better player in 2005, but he suffered a season-ending injury before the year began. He returned in 2006, but was not quite the same and decided to transfer. In one season at West Virginia, Mundy blossomed, recording three interceptions and 10 passes broken up. He was a sixth-round choice in the NFL Draft and has started 14 games in five seasons, signing with the Chicago Bears this offseason to become the team's starting safety in 2014. Michigan is hopeful Wilson can avoid injury and doesn't need a trans- fer to realize his potential, but if he can fulfill his promise, like Mundy eventually did, U-M would be the beneficiary of a player that can shut down an opponent's down-field passing game and at the same time register momentum-changing interceptions. Overall: The expectations for Wilson are high. Very high. And the be- lief is he will provide the solid presence at deep safety Michigan badly missed a year ago but had in 2011-12 with Jordan Kovacs. Mundy was a talented player, but didn't make his impact at Michigan. That came later. Wilson's time is now. — Michael Spath Following In The Footsteps Of … Ryan Mundy (2003-06) 166-169.Jarrod Wilson.indd 169 6/19/14 2:05 PM

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