The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2018 THE WOLVERINE 13   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS "Recruiting is down. There's no doubt about it. Michigan finished No. 24 this year after fin- ishing fourth the last two years. There is some concern there. Kids still want to go to Michi- gan, but there is so much competition out there nowadays that if you don't win on the football field, it doesn't matter if you lost every senior and you're rebuilding. "If you go 8-5 while programs you're recruit- ing against go 10-2 or 11-1 and are making the playoff, kids aren't going to want to go there as much. "The bottom line for [Jim] Harbaugh is it doesn't matter how well he can recruit. Now that he's in year four, he has to put together a playoff run. I know he's come close, but you can't step back. When kids see 10 wins, 10 wins and then eight, they think your program is regressing and it's used against you by every- body else. "He needs to have a huge season this year, needs to solve the quarterback problem, and recruiting will return to a high level if he does that. Finishing fourth twice in recruiting, you're selling a vision. Now he has results on the field that are being used against him by other col- leges, and it's affecting the way they're recruit- ing." — director of recruiting Mike Farrell on Michigan's 2018 recruiting struggles "It's the scheme. They took the handcuffs off me. In this defense, man, you can't ask for nothing better — it's a D-lineman's dream. I'm just happy to be the first person to be a part of it when they transitioned to the new coach. I had [Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordina- tor Jim] Schwartz back at the Senior Bowl. That was my first taste of it, and I never got back to it until now. It's pretty cool to be able to pick up where I left off and have success." — Philadel- phia Eagles defensive end and former Michigan standout Brandon Graham, prior to the Eagles' 41-33 Super Bowl win over the New England Pa- triots Feb. 4 "I usually tell them to think about their mother [at the free throw line]. Think about the ones you love." — Michigan head coach John Beilein on the Wolverines' free throw struggles this season "He's doing great. [Strength and condition- ing] Coach [Ben] Herbert and his staff are ex- tremely hard working, very detailed. They have hit the ground running. It's early, but we're al- ready seeing positive results — we interviewed multiple interested coaches and felt we got the right man for the job." — Harbaugh on new strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert, who was hired Dec. 30 — Austin Fox THEY SAID IT Chris Burke of The Athletic, after projecting Hurst to go No. 10 overall in his Jan. 31 mock draft "It's not fair to [Michigan graduating fifth-year senior defensive tackle Maurice] Hurst to say that he is the next [Rams defensive tackle] Aaron Donald (it's not fair to Donald either, considering he and [Texans defensive end] J.J. Watt are the most dominant defenders in football). But can we at least let Donald's impact guide the discussion of Hurst's 'undersized' frame? The Michigan product is a perfect fit as a 3-technique, capable of busting up both run and pass plays in the backfield." PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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