The Wolverine

December 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 27 of 91

I They'd gone through grueling two-a- days in preparation, were champing at the bit to hit somebody (anybody) else, and probably not in the mood for another meeting. This one, though, would be met n late August, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke assembled Team 133 together days be- fore U-M's opener at Alabama. BY CHRIS BALAS the team and there were hugs and excitement." It's a long road from earning a with huge roars of approval. It was Hoke's opportunity to present schol- arships to redshirt junior defensive lineman Nathan Brink, redshirt soph- omore offensive lineman Joey Burzyn- scholarship as a walk-on to playing time, however. Defensive lineman Will Heininger and safety Jordan Ko- vacs were two who became signifi- cant contributors on an 11-2 team last year — but they were the exception, not the norm. This year, however, several of those HEROES UNSUNG ski, redshirt junior long snapper Jareth Glanda, fifth-year senior fullback Paul Gyarmati, fifth-year senior tight end Mike Kwiatkowski, redshirt junior wide receiver Joe Reynolds and fifth- year senior cornerback Steve Wilson, former walk-ons who would be free of tuition bills for a year. "I thought we were all going to get Relative Unknowns Played Key Roles On Team 133 the same lofty expectations bestowed upon the scholarship players when they first arrived at Michigan. in trouble," Kwiatkowski recalled with a laugh. "Coach Hoke started talking about the locker room, and I thought it was going to be that we were in trouble for having messy lock- ers. Then he just broke the news and said, 'These guys are getting scholar- ships for the season.' It was pretty awesome. "I think a lot of the scholarship guys played more in a blocking role at tight end, catching four passes for 31 yards. Brink was lost for the season early with an injury, while Gyarmati and Wilson spent most of their time on special teams. Glanda and Reynolds, meanwhile, Kwiatkowski started six games and LIVING THE DREAM saw significant action, Reynolds as a wide receiver (one start, three catches for 22 yards) and Glanda in his role as the long snapper on field goals. Nobody would have known who were happier than we were. [Fifth- year senior guard] Patrick Omameh actually started crying because he was so happy for us. They know how much hard work gets put into playing here. A lot of times the scout positions are even worse than being a first-team guy. It's a lot of special teams without much rest — it's a lot of work." It was also one of the days of camp in which Hoke took the most plea- sure. "That was fun," he said at the time. "I announced it in front of the rest of 28 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2012 awarded scholarships were asked to play key roles on a team that fin- ished 8-4 in the regular season. It was a dream come true for many, but it also came with a price for some — a laugh. "If no one knows who you are then you're doing your job — ex- cept then there was that play. I barely remember it, but it was exciting at the time." And probably just reward for the "That's very fair," Glanda said with thankless, high-risk, low-reward job Glanda handles on a weekly basis. He snapped for redshirt junior kicker Brendan Gibbons' overtime game winner against Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, and for Gibbons' chip shot that tied the game with North- western late in regulation this year to send it to overtime. None, though, were bigger than a 38-yarder to beat Michigan State 12- 10. nerves, but his snap was a bit low, nonetheless — very catchable, but with a little bit of work involved for junior holder Drew Dileo. "You just focus," Glanda said of his Glanda did well to control his role. "I don't try to get overly excited, but I know what's being called on me to do is put Brendan and Drew in the best position to tie or win the game. I just try to do my job, the same job if it's the game winner, an extra point or a punt. "The Michigan State snap wasn't a great snap, but it was definitely a clutch situation, and Drew is great back there. People don't appreciate how tough that position is sometimes, too, when you have not so great snaps come back and you still are expected to get the ball down. I owe a lot to him." The not so great ones are an excep- tion with Glanda, though — most have been on the money. On the very rare chance they're not, Dileo said, Glanda is always grateful. "He texted me after the State game Glanda was, probably, had a fake field goal in last year's Sugar Bowl not gone horribly wrong. He made the most of a bad play, catching a de- flected pass from holder Drew Dileo for a first down. Tom Pomarico's senior speech at last year's football bust might not have been going through Glanda's head at the time, but he remembered the 2011 punt long snapper's words later — "I'm hoping most of you don't recognize my name, because that means I did a pretty good job this year." with some pretty funny comments," Dileo recalled with a smile. "He said he owed me a couple things for saving his butt. But really, it wasn't too bad. I think he described it as the best worst snap he could have made because it was low, but it was there so I could trap it and pick it up easily. I didn't have to spin the laces or anything." Junior Drew Dileo — who has served as a holder, a short returner on kickoffs and a wide receiver — had four catches for 94 yards against Michigan State, including a 20-yard grab with nine seconds remaining that set up the game-winning field goal. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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