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October 06, 1972 - Image 8

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1972-10-06

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Page Eight

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, October 6, 1972

Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY 1-riday, October 6, 1972

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FOREST
FIRES BURN
MORE
T HAN

Injuries keep gridders
frustrated spectators

By BOB McGINN
The electricity of the packed
crowd overwhelms you and the
emotions of your teammates and
coaches engulf you. But you're
not a part of it. You're not, that
is, if you're Geoff Steger or Dave
Elliott, two prominent but wound-
ed Wolverines who are reduced
to sideline onlookers each Satur-
day.
"It's an agonizing situation,"
says Steger. "I've worked so
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hard for this season and have
really looked forward to it. But
then it's all over."
His.roommate, Elliott, feels
the same way. "The injury has
been a shocking experience for
me," Elliott reflected Wednes-
day as he quietly watched his
teammates' practice. "I never
realized that I'd miss football
this much until now. It's all
very disappointing."
Both players were sure start-
ers before fall drills. Steger had
been extremely impressive a
year ago as departed wolfman
Frank Gusich's back-up. Although
hq started but one game, the
6-0, 188 pound junior accounted
for 27 solo tackles.
Elliott, meanwhile, played sec-
ond team to Randy Logan at
short side cornerback in 1971.
Until he suffered a' shoulder sep-
eration a week before the opener
with Northwestern, the Florida
junior held down the number one
berth.
In last April's Spring Game
Steger was kicked in the fore-
arm and the narrow radius bone
was fractured. He was operated
on a few days later, and all signs
indicated that he would be
healthyeforthis campaign. But
the arm didn't heal properly.
When Steger reported to Ann
Arbor in late August for practice,
Michigan's doctors decided to
operate once again. A piece of
bone was removed from his hip
and grafted to the injured area.
Now it is healing quickly, and
Steger is sure he'll be ready for
winter workouts in February.
Steger finds one bright spot in
an otherwise bleak situation:
"Practice simply isn't the great-
est. So when those magnificent
jfall days roll around, it's nice not
to have to go to practice."
On game days, however, it's
an entirely different story. It's
so bad that Steger tries to stay,
away as much as possible. "I
just can't go into the locker
room before or after the games,"
he says.
The injury hex that Elliott
can't shake has been even more
persistent than Steger's. It first
hit in October of 1971, forcing

the 6-2 junior to miss three
games with a banged-up knee.
Then, after a week of spring
drills, Elliott suffered another
knee injury, this time much more
serious in nature. He had been
first team safety at the time.
In an effort to rehabilitate the
knee, Elliott worked out daily,
often with members of the Miami
Dolphins. It responded well, and
after two weeks of fall sessions
he was perfectly healthy. But
Lady Luck frowned once again.
Painfully, Elliott remembers:
"I made it through the grind
of two-a-day drills O.K. Then,
in the last heavy contact work
before the opener, I dove for a
fumble. The shoulder separation
was a freak thing."
Elliott should be able to play
by the eighth or ninth game, but
has decided to pass up this sea-
son entirely for the extra year
of eligibility which the Big Ten
surely will grant him. "I'd like
to play against Colorado in 1974,"
he laughs. If injuries should hit
the present secondary, however,
Elliott would dress for the re-
mainder of the current season.

Daily Photo
EVEN THE REFEREE couldn't keep up with Randy Logan (41)
in this play, as Logan races for a Michigan touchdown with an
interception against Tulane last Saturday. Logan is \rapidly estab-
lishing himself as an All-American candidate.

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Ann Arbor

VAN PELT, LOGAN STAND OUT:
Pros eye defensive back stars

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By CHUCK DRUKIS
For the second consecutive sea-
son pro football will have a bump-
er crop of collegiate athletes to
husk in the post season draft this
spring. The success of defensive
backs like Michigan's Tom Dar-
den, Ohio State's Craig Clemons,
and San DiegoNState'sWillie Bu-
chanan in the, NFL this year has
been so impressive that the talent
sleuths are closely eyeing back-
field standouts.
Emerging as top prospects be-
cause of their efficacy in perorat-
ing offensive maneuvers have been
Michigan State's Brad Van Pelt,
Nebraska's Joe Blahak, and Mich-
igan's Randy Logan.
Senior safetyman Van Pelt has
an outstanding chance of being

picked in the first round. An all-
around athlete having earned six
letters in three sports and head-
ed for another three awards in
1972-73, he ranks as one of the
Spartans' all-time athletic greats.
Performing brilliantly as a junior,
Van Pelt racked up All-American
and Big Ten honors last year.
Van Pelt is perhaps the biggest
safety in college football at 6-S

and 221. His tractile speed and Logan has adjusted brilliantly
brute power make him a human to wolfman from short side half-
dynamo on the gridiron. back; where he proved himself to
be a hitter last season by making
Incurring a shoulder ijury 68 tackles, four for losses.
which required surgery in the sec-
ond to the last game of the year, Logan's light footedness and
Van Pelt has recoiled with three good size (6-2, 192) has wrecked
strong showings this season. numerous opponent sweeps and
Senior cornerback Blahak was passing efforts.
one of three Cornhuskers from the His natural ability to adjust to
defensive backfield to gain a All- new situations rapidly may make
Big 8 status last year, and is pre- him a highly sought after choice
sently a contender for All-America in the NFL.
honors. A swift and agile back, Other defensive backs have also
Blahak gained star status as a beenevligntnaoalpm-
sophomore when he led the Husk- evligntnaoalpm-
er backs with 52 tackles. nence.
Blahak, although only 5-9 and In the west Dan Hansen of Brig-
179, has not let his size deter his ham Young, Jackie Wallace of
efforts. "Joe makes up for his Arizona, and Pete Carroll of Pa-
size with intense aggressiveness," cific have received some recogni-
annotated Nebraska coach Bob De- tion in national polls. Mississippi
vaney. State's Frank Dowsing has re-
Overlooked to a certain extent ceived notability in the South,
in preseason sportswriters predic- while Villanova boasts of Frank
tions, but daily gaining more na- Polito.

tional recognition is ,the Wolver-
ine's senior wolfback Logan.
"I don't know what it takes to
be an All-America defensive back,
but if there is a better one than
Logan, I haven't seen him yet,"
rendered M i c h i g a n coach Bo
Schembechler. "He can tackle
anything that walks. He has been
sensational."

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