The Wolverine

January 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 33 "Wanted that 10-plus sack mark for the regular season," he wrote. "Got nine and basically missed three games, so I'll say the hard work definitely paid off." He also tossed in a lament while watching another contest, underscor- ing Harbaugh's own post-OSU rant. "I want one of those holding calls," Charlton tweeted. "I swear I can't buy one." Had such a purchase been pos- sible, everything about his final sea- son in a Michigan uniform might have looked different. A 10-win campaign — and potentially 11, with an Orange Bowl victory — isn't exactly worthy of a countenance one might assume upon finding a raisin in a taco. At the same time, there will always be wistfulness involved in reflecting on what might have been. Just days before the Ohio State game, Charlton put it plainly: "It's The Game. It's as big as it gets, Ohio State and Michigan. It's the biggest rivalry in college football, in all of football. We all know what's on the line — a Big Ten championship and national cham- pionship hopes." Those dreams proved that close, slip- ping away in the cruelest fashion pos- sible, igniting Harbaugh's wrath and lightening his wallet. Given his senior season effort, the upside for Charlton involves this not representing the end of his football road. He's come a long way from the gangly freshman looking technique deficient and dreaming big dreams. He's ready to make all the right moves in taking the next step. "When I came here, I was trying to learn different techniques on the de- fensive line," Charlton said. "This year I stayed so steady in the film room — practicing and watching NFL guys, how they use their arms, how they use their hands and implemented that to my game. It helped tremendously." He, in turn, helped Michigan tre- mendously. There's little doubt he'll be able to afford tacos for all in the very near future. "It's always Taco Tuesdays," he said, smiling. "Taco Tuesdays on Thursdays. It's a lot of tacos. I'm having Taco Tues- days on Saturday this year, and at the next level you've got Sundays and Mondays." That achievement stands close enough that the Michigan senior can already taste it. ❏ Charlton's 2.5 sacks against Ohio State set a career high and gave him at least one quarter- back takedown in each of the last four games of the regular season. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN Charlton A Top-10 Sack Master Senior defensive end Taco Charlton clawed to the cusp of Michigan's all-time top-10 performers in sacks with his strong effort at Ohio State. The sack list, kept since 1978, stands as follows heading into the Orange Bowl: MOST CAREER SACKS AT MICHIGAN Player Sacks Years 1. Mark Messner 36 1985-88 2. Brandon Graham 29.5 2006-09 3. James Hall 25 1996-99 4. Chris Hutchinson 24 1989-92 4. Jason Horn 24 1992-95 4. Glen Steele 24 1995-97 4. LaMarr Woodley 24 2003-06 8. Tim Jamison 20 2005-08 9. Robert Thompson 19 1979-82 10. Chris Wormley 18 2013-16 11. Taco Charlton 17.5 2013-16 12. Mike Hammerstein 17 1981-85 12. Mike Evans 17 1988-91 14. Trent Zenkewicz 16 1992-95 14. David Bowens 16 1995-96 14. Shawn Crable 16 2004-07 17. Sylvester Stanley 15 1989-93

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