The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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30 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 Chris Hutchinson admitted it was a little jarring seeing his son wearing his old number 97 with the family name on the back during an official visit. The elder Hutchinson entered Michigan at around 220 pounds. His son comes in pushing 260. Plus, the equipment has changed a bit over the past 30 years. "My pads from 30 years ago were these giant shoulder pads," Chris Hutchinson noted. "He's got these lit- tle tiny things that our wide receivers probably wouldn't even have worn back then. It looks so different." Still, there are similarities in their games, the father noted. That's not by accident. Both play with sound funda- mentals and relentless effort. Nothing short of those twin attri- butes could be acceptable. "I've always taught him, one, you have to have good technique, and two, 'I don't care if you're any good, but you'd better try hard,' which I said from flag football days," Chris Hutchinson explained. The former Wolverine watched his son grow into a strong, durable de- fender, who also played tight end, offensive line and long snapper. That combination leaves little respite, a fact not lost on a savvy observer. At least, eventually. "There were games where he was playing both ways, long snapping, never coming off the field in Septem- ber and August," Chris Hutchinson recalled. "It's hot and he's clearly fa- tigued, and I said, 'If you're not go- ing to be able to give your full effort, I don't want you on the field.' "There were a couple of times I had to say to him, 'Was that the best effort you could give there? Because if it's not, you either need to tap into that or you need to take a break.' It's funny, because we would watch his game film on Hudl, and all of a sud- den I'd look at the play counter and it would be at 130 plays. I'd be like, 'Holy crap! You played 130 plays. No wonder you were tired and wanted to throw up." Aidan Hutchinson loves to throw himself into the competition, like he did against Detroit's De La Salle High in one memorable confronta- tion. Divine Child worked all week at slowing down the jet sweep, which De La Salle ran with devastating ef- fectiveness. "Their jet was deadly," Hutchinson said. "We were a little bit nervous about that." Soon enough, De La Salle started worrying. They ran the jet sweep their second play on offense. Hutchinson came crashing in, blowing up the play five yards in the backfield. "They didn't run that play the rest of the game," he said, with a measure of hard-earned satisfaction. "That was a pretty cool moment." By then, of course, Michigan had jetted past all the competition for the next-generation Hutchinson on the defensive line. He'll get a long look as an anchor end in defensive coor- dinator Don Brown's scheme. Hutchinson will have plenty of adjustments to make at the college level, but he figures he's got a pretty good handle on game days at Michi- gan Stadium. He's been there since before he can remember. "I've been going my entire life," he said. "I'm pretty sure my dad brought me when I was a baby, but I remember going when I was 6, 7, 8. "I was 11 or 12, and my dad was being honored as a captain. He was being honored at halftime, so we got Hutchinson was selected to the 2017 All-State Dream Teams of the top players from all clas- sifications done by The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press and MLive Detroit. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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