The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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SEPTEMBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 39 I took some games off when I was a sophomore. I took some practices off when I was a freshman. I wrote myself off and said: 'I'm not going to play this game, so …' "Don't do that. We've got to prepare for anything." Sounds like a captain talking. That vote hadn't taken place at press time, but Lewis isn't at all shy about ex- pressing what such a role would mean. "Everything to me," he said. "I've been a Michigan fanatic since I was 2 years old. I've had Michigan gear forever. All the tradition, everybody that came ahead of me, some of the great players that were never captains … that would mean so much to me, if I was. "It would be a great honor to me, and I know everybody that's involved with me in my life would really be proud of that." Either way, he's going to keep push- ing. There's a championship to pur- sue. ❏ Teammates Intrigued By Lewis At WR Jim Harbaugh's pronouncement on media day that senior cornerback Jourdan Lewis might make appearances on offense caught many by surprise — and not just outside of Schembechler Hall. It's not that Lewis' teammates don't see his ver- satility or athleticism. They just hadn't been clued into the possibility of the senior snagging passes as well as swatting them down. "He's a heck of an athlete, I'll say that," offered fifth-year senior wide receiver and 2015 Michigan MVP Jehu Chesson. "One of the better guys we've ever gone against. He's the best cornerback I've ever gone against. I've had the pleasure and for- tunate opportunity to go against him every day in practice. He makes me better. "I would love to have a guy like that on offense, who is a competitor, who is willing to get the ball in the end zone, who is willing to die himself and put the team first." Senior tight end Jake Butt vouched for Lewis' versatility as well. "He's one of those guys you can plug in any- where," Butt said. "He's similar to Jabrill [Peppers] in the sense that he can do a lot for our team. If he does, great. We'll be excited for it. "I know these coaches. They're very good at scheming and putting guys in positions to suc- ceed." Redshirt junior quarterback John O'Korn ac- knowledged he's seen Lewis in position to be ac- cepting, rather than rejecting, passes. "We've done a little bit," O'Korn said. " That's about all I'll say." O'Korn did say more, however, about the type of athlete Lewis can be on either side of the football. "He and Jabrill are both once-in-a-decade play- ers, and we just happen to have two of them on our team," O'Korn stressed. "They're guys who can do things I've never seen before. "They're both different in their strengths, but they're both freak athletes. That's the word I would use to describe them — just freaks. They work very hard, but that's God-given talent for those two." They'll be working exceptionally hard if they reach the 90- to 95-play game-day maximum Harbaugh tossed out on media day. They'll also give Michigan one more way to keep opponents guessing. — John Borton Lewis notched 751 receiving yards and six touchdowns as a wide receiver dur- ing his senior campaign at Detroit Cass Tech. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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