The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 47 of 83

MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Gordon received a message from Michigan head coach Brady Hoke prior to spring practice. The boss wanted to see more reckless aban- don out of the Detroit Cass Tech product, more forceful reaction and less contemplation. In short, Hoke wanted to see Gor- don cut it loose. Gordon took those words to TO RAMP IT UP AT SAFETY Redshirt junior safety Thomas THOMAS GORDON READY got a lot of depth, and with the other freshmen coming in, in the summer- time, we should be really deep." Meanwhile, all of Michigan's de- until the season gets here. It's going to be a lot of fun." It's also going to be difficult, and fenders came through spring practice at a higher level because of having played in defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's system for a year, Gordon noted. "It's real comfortable," he said. heart. He has no intention of getting bumped from the lineup again, like he was late last season. The safety did bounce back to start two of the fi- nal three games — against Nebraska and then Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. With a veteran secondary returning, Gordon expects a lot out of Michi- gan's last line of defense. He'll join with fifth-year senior Jordan Kovacs at safety, while fifth-year senior J.T. Floyd and sophomore Blake Countess return as the starters at cornerback. They'll need to operate at a high level in fall camp and beyond, Gor- don noted, because plenty of younger players are pushing hard for time. Michigan's coaches have mentioned junior cornerback Courtney Avery, sophomore corner Raymon Taylor and junior corner Terrence Talbott as pushing hard, while junior safety Marvin Robinson and early entry true freshman Jarrod Wilson have turned some heads at safety. "All four of the guys coming back a constant challenge. Gordon knows that jobs can be lost on a week-to- week basis, and performance counts above all. "Coach Mattison is always on us," "We just feel like we've got a handle on everything, and we're throwing new wrinkles in. We just can't wait Gordon said. "We're always improv- ing. There is always pressure, be- cause Coach Hoke is all about com- peting. You've always got to compete for your job, day in and day out." ❏ in the second year in the scheme, we're looking to make a whole lot more plays this year," Gordon said. "With Marvin and Jarrod behind us, they've been working hard. We're looking for them to contribute. We've 2012 Football Schedule Date Sept. 1 Sept. 8 Opponent Sept. 15 Sept. 22 Oct. 6 Oct. 13 Oct. 20 Oct. 27 Nov. 3 vs. Alabama* Air Force Massachusetts at Notre Dame at Purdue Illinois * at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas Nov. 10 Nov. 17 Nov. 24 at Ohio State 48 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2012 Michigan State at Nebraska at Minnesota Northwestern Iowa Gordon started two of the last three games last season, against Nebraska and in the Sugar Bowl versus Virginia Tech, and he wants to carry that momentum into the 2012 campaign. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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