The Wolverine

September 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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coach Brady Hoke and men's bas- ketball head coach John Beilein, but the Michigan brand — and those as- sociated with it — are also antici- pating contributions from incoming freshmen in all of the institution's teams, ranging from cross country to wrestling. While one can never be certain how M aize and Blue faithful have certainly been spoiled by the recent recruiting ex- ploits of football head BY KEVIN MINOR a first-year player will adapt to not only the game on the next level but the independence that college offers, here is a look at 10 rookies with the potential to make an impact in Olym- pic sport competition for U-M next year. Tony Smoragiewicz, Cross Country/ Track and Field: One of the top distance running prospects in the 2012 class, Smoragiewicz heads to Ann Arbor with a decorated prep past, including South Dakota Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year and Rapid City Sports Hall of Fame High School Male Athlete of the Year honors. The two-time state champion also possesses extensive experience in national competition, placing third in the Foot Locker National Champi- onships in 2011 after a seventh-place finish in the event in 2010. He also captured a bronze in the 2011 Worth Junior Triathlon Championships. "Tony is a world-class junior tri- overall player in the country by PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS Golfer Chris O'Neill has been rated the No. 1 player in the state of Virginia and the No. 33 athlete, and also one of the top cross country runners in the country," Michigan cross country coach Alex Gibby said. "Tony has a good shot at contributing right away. He cer- tainly has potential to do so, which is unusual in the Big Ten right now because you basically have to be an All-American to be able to score — but I truly believe that he has that capability." George Kelly, Cross Country/Track and Field: The New Jersey native has al- ready experienced success under the bright lights as a part of two national prep title teams for Christian Broth- ers Academy. Among his vast ama- teur accomplishments, Kelly earned a 23rd-place finish at the highly com- petitive Nike Cross Country Nation- als and placed third as a senior in 2011 at the New Jersey State Meet of Champions. He has continued to im- prove over the summer, according to 88 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2012 ARRIVING ON THE SCENE Freshmen To Watch In 2012-13 Men's Olympic Sports' Gibby, and should step in and pro- vide auxiliary support for a young, but talented, Maize and Blue distance squad. "He was a part of a national cham- beast on the mat, Bruno headlines the U-M wrestling program's outstanding 2012 haul. He is touted as the No. 13 overall recruit in the nation and the No. 3 wrestler in the 126-pound weight class by InterMat, and his ré- sumé backs up the hype. Not only did he win a Florida state title as an eighth-grader, but he is the first grap- pionship team in high school," Gibby said. "He comes from a good high school program and is a kid that can step in right away in both relays and as an individual." Rossi Bruno, Wrestling: An absolute pler in the history of his home state to capture five career state champi- onships — concluding his prep ca- reer with a 289-3 overall record. He also captured junior national titles in Greco-Roman wrestling in both 2010 and 2011. "Rossi has a lot of experience and success at the national level," U-M wrestling coach Joe McFarland said. "But I really think his folk-style wres- tling is as good if not better than his freestyle and Greco. He's good in all three positions. "He rides really tough on top, which is a great neutralizer in college, and he's good on his feet and on bot- tom. With him, we're getting a solid, all-around wrestler who is only going to improve."

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