The Wolverine

November 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 21 players. We told them: even though you're young, you guys can help us out on a big way." Wormley made certain those were more than just words, and Gary's growth is a testament to how well the captain followed through. HARD TO THE FINISH Wormley understands the job isn't finished by any means. The Wolver- ines have half a season to play and a lifetime to remember, to modify a famous line by Michigan broadcasting icon Bob Ufer. U-M's toughest games remain ahead, and it will need all hands on deck. That's why it's good two of those hands are Wormley's, according to Mattison. "People don't realize, he's a guy we can put at any position," the veteran coach explained. "I was worried when Taco got hurt about holding up at the split-end side against the tackle. "Midway through that game, we put him at the split-end side end, and we got two sacks right away. Other guys, you couldn't do that with, be- cause you weren't sure they could handle it mentally. He can do any- thing for you." Can do and is doing, according to fifth-year senior guard Ben Braden, with whom Wormley arrived back in 2012. "Chris came in, and he and I were young freshmen trying to get a feel for things," Braden recalled. "Chris has always had a big heart for the team and the game. His dedication has been just unbelievable. "He's just a freak of nature. He's really strong. He's just in incredible shape. He's got the mindset of a leader. I'm really happy for him." They'll all be happy if the next sev- eral weeks go as planned. There is more to it than one shining season, of course — especially the way Wormley has gone about his business. Braden summed it up: "I think he's going to instill a mentality on the D- line that will last for generations." ❏ Michigan's Best Fifth-Year Seniors The Wolverines haven't seen the team success they'd like over the past decade, but disappointment hasn't precluded a host of individual highlights. Michigan has featured a number of players who blossomed in a fifth year with the program. Here's a look back at the five best over the past 10 years: 1. Jake Long, OT, 2007 — Long became a two-time team captain, earning Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in his final two seasons with the Wolverines. He also collected All- America honors in both 2006 and 2007. The Miami Dolphins made the four-year starter for the Wolverines the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He stands as one of the most dominant of- fensive linemen in Michigan's storied history of them. 2. Taylor Lewan, OT, 2013 — Lewan earned All-America hon- ors from a host of outlets after his junior season in 2012, and as a fifth-year senior garnered Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors for a second consecutive year. He obviously landed on the All-Big Ten first team both of those seasons and went to the Tennessee Titans in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. 3. Jake Ryan, LB, 2014 — Ryan bounced back from injury to storm through his fifth-year senior season and move on up to the NFL's Green Bay Packers as a fourth-round draft choice. In his final season with the Wolverines, Ryan led the team with 112 tackles, including 14 for loss, with two sacks. He also inter- cepted a pass, broke up three more, forced two fumbles and logged five quarterback hurries along the way. 4. David Harris, LB, 2006 — A knee injury forced Harris to redshirt as a true freshman, but by the time his fifth year rolled around, he stood tall in the middle of the Michigan defense. He paced the staunch 2006 U-M defenders with 103 tackles, earning All-Big Ten first-team honors, a co-team MVP distinc- tion with senior running back Mike Hart and second-team All-America notice, before going to the New York Jets in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. 5. Jeremy Gallon, WR, 2013 — Gallon set a single-season Michigan receiving record in his fifth year with the team, mak- ing 89 catches for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns. He aver- aged 15.4 yards per catch, a mark bolstered by an 84-yard touchdown catch. — John Borton After earning a pair of All-America honors at Michigan, Jake Long was the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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