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November 17, 1983 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

Page 10 --The Michigan Daily, Thursday, November 17, 1983

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MysteryQB
Who owns that arm

Mike Walker, Michigan's passing fancy, signs autographs after throwing a
69-yard touchdown strike in the Wolverines annual Blue-White game last

spring.
By CHUCK JAFFE
The Michigan quarterback's name
was Mike Walker - as in walk-on,
throw a long touchdown pass and walk-
of f.
Walker was the mystery quarterback
at the Wolverines' annual Blue-White
exhibition game last spring, throwing a
69-yard touchdown passto Steve John-
son to key the Blue's 16-10 victory. Im-
mediately following the game Michigan
coach Bo Schembechler knew nothing
about Walker's background, and today
quarterback coach Jerry Hanlon has no
idea what Walker is doing.
WHAT WALKER is not doing is
playing football, preferring instead to
concentrate on getting into Michigan's
School of Architecture which is what
lured him away from the starting quar-
terback position at DePauw Univer-
sity.
"Mike was a heck of good kid who did
a lot of good work for us last year during
spring practice," Hanlon said. "Then
he happened to be in there with two
seconds left in the first half when I
called for a 'Hail Mary' pass. I have no
idea where he ishnow, though.nI haven't
seen him since the spring game.''
No one from Michigan had seen or
heard of Walker prior to the game last
spring. The 6-0, 180-pound senior was a
back-up quarterback at DePauw
University in Greencastle, Ind. where
he had completed just five of 12 passes
for just 29 yards.
AFTER DEPAUW finished an 8-2
season in Division III, Walker opted to
transfer to Michigan for academic
reasons - leaving behind a chance to
be starting quarterback as a senior.
"All I was doing at DePauw was
playing football and sacrificing study
time," Walker said. "I wanted to go to
architecture school and they didn't
have one at DePauw."
With a letter of recommendation
from DePauw coach Nick Mourizis and
help from Wolverine graduate assistant
Joe English, Walker was invited to
spring practice as a walk-on quarter-
back. Practice was not all glory for
ASSI STANT
EDnITOR
Downtown Detroit reference book
publisher is seeking editorial
candidates to do research and
writing for our books. Required is a
Bachelor's Degree in English with
training and interest in
contemporary literature. Also
required are proofreading skills
and typing skills of 35 wpm. Salary
starts at $800/mo. with periodic
increases and a comprehensive
benefit program. Please send
resume, transcripts (if available)
along with literary nonreturnable
college paper(not poetry or short
story) to:
Publisher
P.O. Box 2629 Dept.1
Detroit, M 48231
Equal Opportunity Employer M/F

Walker, however, as the first snap he
took as a Wolverine broke the little
finger on his throwing hand.
BUT AFTER that injury healed,
Walker found that he would receive
playing time in the Blue-White game.
Injuries to Steve Smith, Dave Hall and
Dan Decker left Michigan short on
quarterbacks, so Walker entered the
game late in the first half for the Blue
squad.
"I had played in only one scrimmage
until then, and all the passes I threw
had been short," said Walker,twho
described himself as a classic drop-
back passer. "We were just running out
the clock, but we called time-out with
one second left in the first half. I went
over to the sideline and coach Hanlon
said 'Run Black-88, and throw the thing
as far as you can.' "
Black-88 is one of Michigan's long pat-
terns, designed in this case, to go to the
wide side of the field and receiver Mike
Sessa. Walker, however, dropped back
and saw that defensive back Greg Ran-
dall had slipped covering Steve Johnson
on the short sideline.
"I CHECKED the back side, like I
was supposed to, and there was Steve
Johnsonjust flying down the sideline,"
Walker said. "I threw it as far as I
could - he had to stretch a little to cat-
ch it - and he caught it in stride and
ran it in.",
The 69-yard connection was Walker's
only pass attempt of the day and made
him an-instant media hit. Everyone
wanted to know about the mystery
quarterback with the rifle arm, and
publicity of the pass spread all the way
back to Mourizis at DePauw.
"Everyone sent me clippings about
the game and ribbed me about losing
Mike as a quarterback," Mourisiz said.4
"They said that he got good after he left
DePauw. But the funniest point to me
was when someone asked Bo 'who is
this new quarterback?' and Bo said,
'Er, Um, well . . . he's a very nice
boy.'
A FEW DAYS later Schembechler sat
down, got to know Walker, and invited
him to walk-on in the fall. In July,
however, Walker decided not to accept
the try out, opting to concentrate on his
studies instead.
"I felt that if I made the switch up
here for academics, then I should really
work on getting into architecture
school," Walker said. "I would have
had to sit out a year because of the
transfer, so I couldn't have played a
really active role with the team. I would
have practiced, but not dressed for
games."~
Now that Michigan is playing Ohio
State and is headed for a bowl game,
however, Walker admits that he misses
playing.
"I don't regret not playing this year,
but I miss it sometimes; I miss it more
knowing that it would have been my year
at DePauw," he said. "Now I do my
schoolwork and play for the (Phi Delta
Theta) fraternity."
"I'll always remember throwing that
pass, though," Walker added. "I'll tell
my grandkids about it. Getting to play
for Michigan in Michigan Stadium was
a thrill, and throwing that touchdown
pass was something special."

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6

© 1983 MSL/JRG INC.
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Drawing Dec. 15, 1983. You must be 18 or older to enter You need not be present nor be a Mutual Savings
customer to win. Deposit this registration at our Ann Arbor office.

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