The Wolverine

February 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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30 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2018 M ichigan redshirt sopho- more left tackle Grant Newsome missed the entire 2017 season while rehabbing from a traumatic knee injury suffered in a 2016 game with Wisconsin, and doctors told him he'd be a long shot to ever play again. Ever since, he has set out to prove them wrong, working diligently to see the field again. Newsome took a direct shot to the knee against the Bad- gers, but still walked off the field. His leg was "dying," he told The Detroit News, and he was fortunate they saved it in time with an emergency sur- gery. He was in the hospital for more than 40 days due to complications, but he's mak- ing strides every day toward his goal to play again. "I'm not a betting man, but I never bet against myself," Newsome said. "If I had to put money on it, I'll be back in the spring, at least in a lim- ited capacity, and then full-go for fall camp. There's where we're progressing. Each thing we've been able to accomplish, it's improved those odds. "We went from basically being 99.9 percent that I would never play again that first morning after the surgery to now where even the most conserva- tive of my doctors would say they're favorable odds. It's all trended well. We haven't had any big setbacks. I feel very, very confident that I will be on the field." He also comprehends why people say he won't, many telling him he shouldn't push his luck and should just feel fortunate he's able to walk again. "I was very close to losing my leg, so I understand the inclination," he said. "But I'm never going to bet against myself. "I think I'll be a different player. Whether that's better, worse … I think mentally, 100 percent, I'm al- ready two times the player I was when I got hurt, just having this time off and being able to sit around with the coaches and understand the en- tire offense." He's incredibly happy, he added, that he can live a normal life, but he isn't ready to end his football career. "A lot of people say take your win and move on. It's hard when you've been a competitor and you've been on the field just to give it up," he said. "That's the biggest thing that's driven me through this whole pro- cess. "If this happened in year eight or 10 of my NFL career, I'd probably be hanging it up. But I feel like I have unfinished business. I feel like this team has unfinished business. "It's impossible to give up that urge to go out and compete." — Chris Balas UTAH GRADUATE TRANSFER DEFENSIVE BACK PICKS MICHIGAN During a visit to Michigan Jan. 22, Utah graduate transfer defensive back Casey Hughes announced via Twitter he would spend his fifth and fi- nal year of college eligibility at U-M. Hughes started 11 games at cornerback this past year for the Utes, and he recorded 35 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. He also tallied one pass broken up and two forced fumbles, the latter of which was tied for sixth in the Pac-12. T h e 6 - 0 , 1 8 5 - p o u n d e r played in nine games in 2016, with all but one of his ap- pearances coming on special teams. He also made nine ap- pearances on special teams as a redshirt freshman in 2015. Hughes excelled in the classroom as well during his time in Salt Lake City, garner- ing honorable mention Pac-12 All-Academic three different times during his tenure there. "I finished my degree this past fall, and after a lot of thought, I have decided it is in my best interest to pursue a graduate transfer at an- other university," he wrote on Twit- ter once the season ended. "I want to thank coach [Kyle] Whittingham, coach [Sharrieff] Shah, coach [Jordan] Hicks and the rest of the coaching staff for all they have done for me. "My life has changed forever by my time as a Ute, and I will always be appreciative of everybody who has been a part of my experience." Hughes attended Legacy High in North Las Vegas, Nev., and was rated a two-star recruit out of high school. In fact, the only other Power Five of- fers he held besides Utah were from Colorado and Oregon State. As a graduate transfer, Hughes will be eligible to play immediately for the Wolverines in 2018, but it is not yet clear what position he'll be   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Grant Newsome's Doctors Give Him Favorable Odds For Return Newsome will be a redshirt junior with 10 appearances and six career starts in 2018. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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