The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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32 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY CHRIS BALAS As injuries go, Michigan linebacker recruits haven't been fortunate in re- cent years. Freshman Drew Singleton of Paramus, N.J., blew out his knee before his senior year of high school and was just starting to re-realize his potential at the end of his redshirt season in Ann Arbor. Indianapolis Lawrence Central four-star Cameron McGrone was the second in two years to go down with an ACL injury, having torn it against Carmel (Ind.) High Oct. 14, 2016. He heard the pop, felt the burn and knew he was likely in for a long rehab, assuming it was 'only' an ACL. T h e r e w a s a moment when it entered his mind that his football career might even be over. That didn't pre- vent Michigan and others from realiz- ing just how spe- cial he was, how- ever, and he was a huge get when he pledged to the Wolverines last July 31. McGrone worked so hard in the weight room and in rehab that his head coach, Bill Peebles, reportedly had to en- courage him to slow down a bit … and it didn't work. McGrone was back to 100 percent by spring workouts at his school, only six months to the day after his injury. He even went to Nike's The Open- ing Regional and put up impressive numbers — just like he did prior to his junior campaign — including a 4.67 40-yard dash and 35-inch vertical jump, earning an invite to The Open- ing Finals in Beaverton, Ore. "Nobody had dropped him [from their recruiting lists]," Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt recalled. "Everybody was waiting to see how things were going to go with the injury. "The first time I saw him again was at The Opening in the summer. That was the first time in a camp setting after he missed all that offseason. His performance there exceeded my ex- pectations. "Usually guys come back, and are tentative on that knee and don't have the same explosiveness they used to. He came back and was pretty darn good." He was much better by the end of his senior season, Helmholdt re- called of's No. 195 pros- pect nationally, s u r p a s s i n g a l l expectations and improving on his junior year. The 6-1, then- 1 9 5 - p o u n d e r played inside and outside linebacker and led his team with 84 tackles despite missing a couple of games due to injury, and notched 14 tackles for loss with four sacks. H e w a s o u t - s t a n d i n g e v e n when he wasn't at full strength, dominating with his speed and ath- leticism. It was ev- ident from the first game of the year, a 40-6 blowout win at Lafayette (Ind.) McCutcheon Sept. 18. "We played him two years ago. He was obviously a lot younger then, but was still awesome," McCutcheon head coach Ken Frauhiger recalled in early February. "He then tore his ACL, and our game against them this past year was his first game back. One of their coaches made the comment that he played a little timid because of it. We didn't notice him being timid at all, though. Indianapolis Linebacker Cameron McGrone Brings Speed And Explosiveness To The Wolverines STATISTICS Year Tkl. TFL Sacks 2017 84 14 4 2016 70 15 5 2015 36 4 — HONORS • Played in the U.S. Army All-Amer- ican Bowl as a senior, breaking up a pass. • Named state Defensive Player of the Year by • Voted to the Indianapolis Star's Cen- tral Indiana Super Team. • Tabbed a USA Today All-State first- team selection and was a nominee for the high school Butkus Award, which is presented to the top prep linebacker in the country. • Selected as the No. 1 player in the state of Indiana and a member of the Best of the Midwest team by the De- troit Free Press. • Earned Indiana Football Coaches' Association Top 50 All-State Dream Team honors as a senior and was named the top linebacker. He also made the group's Junior All-State team the previous year. • Earned Academic All-State recogni- tion as a senior. • Named the Metropolitan Interscho- lastic Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and was a two- time all-conference selection. • Won the Glenn Davis Award for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, pre- sented to players who exhibit prowess in the classroom and on the field. CAMERON McGRONE LINEBACKER 6-1 • 225 LAWRENCE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL INDIANAPOLIS RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 195 16^ 2 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 24 1^ 1 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 206 9^ 2 ^ Ranking as an outside linebacker 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 32 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 Rivals ranked McGrone as the No. 195 player and No. 16 outside linebacker nationally. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN 2018 Projection Michigan boasts a number of vet- erans at the linebacker position on the 2018 roster, including fifth-year senior Noah Furbush and junior Devin Bush. McGrone will battle with youngsters for the middle line- backer position vacated by Mike Mc- Cray. Redshirt sophomore Devin Gil and sophomore Josh Ross are among the talented 'backers vying for the spot, and both played well in bowl practices. Others, like redshirt fresh- men Drew Singleton and Jordan An- thony, are also waiting in the wings, so it could be tough for McGrone to see the field this season other than on special teams. But that's how Bush was used in year one before breaking out in his second season.

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