The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 71 pick in 2000, Williams spent six seasons with the club and finished with 120 tackles and eight sacks. Ben Huff, DT (1994-97) The late Ben Huff was three-year contrib- utor and started every game in 1996, appear- ing primed for a huge season in 1997 before a knee injury ended his campaign before it started. He became the "12th man" on the 1997 national championship team and later spent time in the NFL with the Atlanta Fal- cons, as well as in the Canadian and Arena Football Leagues. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 31. Bobby Abrams, OLB (1986-89) A three-year starter, Abrams was part of three Big Ten championship teams and fin- ished his career with nine tackles in a 17-10 Rose Bowl loss to USC in 1990. He en- joyed six seasons in the NFL, even though he wasn't drafted, playing in all 16 games for Bill Parcells' New York Giants in both 1990 and 1991 and the entire slate for Min- nesota in 1994. He rejoined Parcells in New England, where he finished his career in 1995-96. J.J. Grant, ILB (1986-89) A three-year starter and four-year con- tributor, Grant started on the 1988 and 1989 defenses that stoned running games. Op- ponents managed only 292.2 total yards per game in '88 and 109.9 yards rushing yards per contest in '89, and the linebacker play was a big reason why. Grant finished his career with 232 tackles and earned trips to three Rose Bowls in his four years with the Wolverines. He was Bo Schembechler's last defensive captain in 1989. Lawrence Reid, ILB (2002-04) Reid earned the Roger Zatkoff Award as U-M's best linebacker in 2003 — Michi- gan's last outright Big Ten title year — after posting 82 stops and five tackles for loss. He followed up with 70 tackles (12 for loss and three sacks) in 2004 and seemed primed for a big year in 2005 before an injury ended his career. Reid finished with 165 tackles and 18 tackles for loss, notching double figures in tackles in three games. Roy Manning, OLB (2001-04) Manning played in 37 career games and made 10 starts at linebacker as a fifth-year senior with the Wolverines in 2004, earn- ing the Roger Zatkoff Award as the team's top linebacker after posting 39 tackles, six tackles for loss and one sack for the Big Ten co-champions. Manning finished his career with 72 stops, nine tackles for loss and three sacks. An undrafted free agent in 2005, he joined the Green Bay Packers and played in 15 games (two starts), notching 25 tackles. He retired after playing five games with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2007 and is now Michigan's cornerbacks coach. David Key, CB (1987-90) Key started every game for three years and was a fixture for the 1988 and 1989 teams that went 15-0-1 in Big Ten play un- der head coach Bo Schembechler. The 5-10, 190-pounder excelled on both sides of the ball in high school before settling on defense at U-M, and while undersized, he was very good against the run. Key enjoyed one NFL season in New England after being chosen in the sixth round, playing in three games with the Patriots. Brandent Englemon, S (2004-07) Not the fastest player or the best athlete, Englemon used his football IQ to blossom into Michigan's Defensive Back of the Year in 2007 after finishing the season fourth on the team with 86 tackles. He was also first in interceptions (three) and notched four passes broken up in 12 starts. The former two-star prospect nationally also started eight games in 2005 and five more in 2006, provid- ing a steadying influence that made U-M's secondary better. Stevie Brown, FS (2006-09) Brown moved from safety to a hybrid line- backer position in 2009, excelling in his fi- nal year to earn the Roger Zatkoff Award as Michigan's best linebacker. He finished with 80 tackles to lead the team that year, a season after finishing fourth in stops (64) and second on the team with two picks. A seventh-round NFL draft pick, Brown started his career with Oakland, played a season with Indianapolis and came into his own as a safety with the New York Giants in 2012, picking off eight passes and returning them 307 yards to lead the NFL. An ACL injury cost him the 2013 season. Todd Howard, CB (1998-2001) Howard, a three-year starter at only 5-9, 187 pounds, never earned all-conference hon- ors, but he was a big hitter for his size with great instincts. He still ranks tied for seventh in Michigan history for interceptions in a season (six, 2000) and second in career passes broken up (41, behind only Leon Hall's 43 from 2003-06). His 14 passes broken up in 1999 are still good for fourth in a season. ❏ Stevie Brown moved from safety to a hybrid linebacker position in 2009, posting a team-high 80 tackles and earning the Roger Zatkoff Award as Michigan's best linebacker. PHOTO BY ERIC BRONSON 68-71.All-Underappreciated Team.indd 71 6/19/14 12:54 PM

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