The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 18 of 75

OCTOBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 19 captains at the close of Michigan's fall camp. Both of them reacted excitedly on social media. When Wormley called home, the emotions ratcheted up a few notches. "I called my mom, and she started crying," Wormley recalled. "I told my dad, and I called my girlfriend, and she was starting to cry. It was very emotional for all of them." Wormley referenced Brady's state- ment and put his own take on the achievement, voted on by the Wolver- ines. "It's the highest honor in sports, in my opinion, being able to lead your team, on and off the field, for a sea- son," he said. "It's something that most people don't get. I'll wear that with honor and pride each week." Butt found himself trying to come to grips with one of the immediate implications — going out to midfield for the coin flip with honorary captain Michael Jordan in Michigan's season opener. He's well grounded enough, though, to talk about the job in practical, func- tional terms. "It's not something that you really have to change to do," Butt said. "With me, it starts with being the hardest worker you can possibly be. You want your leadership to come from example first. Since I got here, if they call: 'Hey, we need someone to step in and do it,' usually guys will look around. I'll just be the guy that runs in and does it." Both Wormley and Butt get their hands dirty not only on the practice field, but in teaching other players the ropes. They both sport the credentials to command attention. Wormley garnered the Richard Katcher Award as Michigan's best de- fensive lineman a year ago, posting 6.5 sacks among 14.5 tackles for loss. The veteran out of Toledo, Ohio, notched a career-high seven tackles against Ohio State and shone in Michigan's 41-7 Cit- rus Bowl rampage over Florida, post- ing a sack among 2.5 TFLs. Butt, from Pickerington, Ohio, is closing in on several Michigan receiv- ing records for tight ends. Along the way, he caught first-team All-America recognition and the Kwalick-Clark Big Ten Tight End of the Year honors for his 51 catches for 654 yards and three touchdowns in 2015. The 2016 captains' ability to lead goes far beyond numbers on a stat sheet or a plaque on the wall, accord- ing to their head coach. HARBAUGH AND TEAMMATES PRAISE CAPTAIN DUO Harbaugh's stamp of approval ties directly into how both Butt and Wormley are building the next wave of Wolverines. He absolutely appreci- ates what they're doing for Michigan's offense and defense, respectively, in 2016. Some might be selfish and overly engrossed in their own senior season success. That description doesn't fit either of those bearing the captain's mantle, Harbaugh stressed. "I'm thrilled with the leadership on our team right now, from our senior class and our younger classes," Har- baugh said. "There are a lot of deserv- ing candidates, but what a great honor for Jake Butt and Chris Wormley. I think they will represent our team very well. "They're two of the hardest-working guys and two of the best players on the team. They both have a real great way of being great teammates. They don't build themselves up and put others down around them. They both have that quality of building up other guys around them and making themselves smaller. "When you do that, you make your- self very big in the eyes of everybody — in the eyes of the whole world and in the eyes of the people that are on your team. That's evidenced in so many ways — how they talk to the young players, how they coach the young players." That's the common theme with Wormley and Butt, whether observed by Harbaugh and his coaches or expe- rienced by the players themselves. The two veterans are trying to make their teammates better every day. "I've caught Jake Butt in the act of helping the young tight ends on sev- eral occasions," Harbaugh said. "I've caught Chris Wormley giving advice and tips to the young defensive line- men — Rashan [Gary] and Ron [John- son]. That speaks volumes when you catch guys doing that." Grant Newsome, the sophomore left tackle, fleshed out how that looked in the offseason and how it plays out every day in practice. "With Wormley, it's how he mentors younger guys," Newsome said. "There is never a moment in practice where he isn't trying to help out one of the In the first three games of 2016, Wormley has totaled nine tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and two blocked kicks. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN Wormley "I called my mom, and she started crying. I told my dad, and I called my girlfriend, and she was starting to cry. It was very emotional for all of them."

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