The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCTOBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 29 move and make plays. That's never been a problem, the big man noted. "I've never been little, but I've al- ways had a little quickness," he said. "Even when I played little league, I was always the fastest big guy. Now, I've gained more pounds. I still try to be as fast as I was, but …" But he's not quite as fast as he was. Still, he's learned how to play with le- verage and make the most of his ability. The practice showdowns with Glasgow have been epic, according to teammates. "That's my biggest competition," Onwenu said. "When he lines up at three [technique], there's head-butting going on. In the beginning, it was hard. I was getting beat. But then I figured out I was setting him high, so I had to lower my body, lower my stance, and as soon as I get under him, go head up and he can do nothing." Onwenu was one of Harbaugh's fa- vorites from the first days of camp. "He can be a contributor on either side of the ball. He's that good," Har- baugh said. "He's playing both ways. He might just be my favorite guy right now. He's awesome. I really like him a lot." As of now, however, he's the No. 2 freshman guard. No. 1 is Wiscon- sin native Bredeson, who was initially chal- lenging sophomore Grant Newsome for the left tackle position but was rotating at left guard with fifth-year senior Ben Braden in games two and three. Bredeson's upside is off the charts, and the Big Ten Network's Gerry DiNardo singled him out as one of two future superstars (with Gary) during a pre- season practice. Offensive coordi- nator/line coach Tim Drevno saw something special from his pupil in the days leading up to the opener. "Ben Bredeson is a very good football player, and not to take away anything from Grant Newsome — be- cause he's a good football player, too — but Ben is a guy who could play a couple different spots," Drevno said. "You look for that balance, the cleats in the ground, the initial quickness, that quick-twitch as they punch … to be able to feel something and naturally come off. "It's a God-given ability, and he has that." At the skill positions, McDoom is the other besides Evans who has had the biggest impact. He's already a fan favorite because of his name — "Dooooooom" echoes through- out Michigan Stadium every time he touches the ball — and he's been a go-to guy on jet sweeps (five in three games) because of his speed. "We're real close to having a race be- tween [fifth-year senior] Jehu Chesson and Eddie McDoom. It's been talked about," Harbaugh said after U-M's 51- 14 win over Central Florida. "When that official challenge is made, we'll race them. It's been close; there's been discussion if Eddie is faster than Jehu. That would be the guy Eddie would have to dethrone." McDoom, a former track star, re- portedly ran an 11.02-second 100-me- ter dash last spring for West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Fla., and posted a 10.85 as a junior. "My eye time, watching him run, is right up there with Jehu," Harbaugh said. "I'm not the only one. There are others who have commented they would like to see that race. ... The chal- lenge has not been thrown down yet." A GROWING LIST Michigan's list of freshmen to play grew by two in week two, a 51-14 win over Central Florida, when receiver Nate Johnson and tight end Nick Eu- banks saw the field, the 16th and 17th scholarship freshmen to see time. De- fensive end Carlo Kemp joined the group a week later against Colorado. "Everything we expected to see has shown up," assistant Jay Harbaugh said of his tight ends group, which in- cludes a trio of true freshman contribu- tors. "They all have something they bring to the table that is exceptional, and we've seen those things stand out in team settings against the ones." Asiasi has seen significant time and is excelling as a blocker, though he had yet to catch a pass in three games. He's the headliner, but he's not alone. "Nick Eubanks is very fast and has good ball skills. He's able to play at his full speed," Harbaugh said. "He's long and has a rela- tively big catch radius. At this juncture, the tools he brings to the table give him a shot to help us down the field. "Sean McKeon [has improved] a huge amount. He's a tremen- dously hard worker, has the knack that when you tell him to do something or to work on this — he does it, doesn't overthink it and just puts in the work. He's very blue collar in his approach. He's improved a ton in every way, specifically as a route runner and with his ball skills." At running back, Ka- reem Walker has yet to Mammoth first-year lineman Michael Onwenu has played on both sides of the ball already for the Wolverines. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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