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The Michigan Daily - Friday, Se
Page 14 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 7, 1984
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By KATIE BLACKWELL
There's not a whole lot to say about
Michigan's defensive line in 1984. Even
head coach Bo Schembechler had little
to say concerning this area of his team
- other than: "We've worked a lot
on the pass rush and we've improved a
lot. Our defense is even better than last
year's: we're two-deep in veterans."
Schembechler doesn't have to say
much about the line-its talent speaks
Specifically this highly improved
squad stars All-Big Ten Al Sincich, a
four-year starter at middle guard;
Kevin Brooks, a 6-6 right tackle; and
Vince DeFelice and Mike
Hammerstein, who will most likely
share the left tackle slot.
EXPERIENCE, rather than size (6-3
average) is the key to this line. The four
veterans are seniors and previous
starters. Hammerstein missed the first
five games in 1983 with a broken hand.
With four such excellent players in
the ranks, Michigan's defensive
coaches are in a unique position. They
have the advantage of using four down
linemen when needed. By the same
token, an extra man will enable
defensive line coach Jerry Meter to
alternate DeFelice and Hammerstein
at left tackle, thereby providing a boost
to the line with rested players
throughout the game.
Sincich, though small in stature for a
lineman (6-1, 230 pounds) tops the line
in 1983 statistics. He recorded 39 solo
tackles and 14 assists. Yet Sincich feels
there's more to come.
"LAST YEAR I really don't think I
had that good of a year. I feel I'm lucky
that I got the Big Ten honor," Siricich
said modestly. "This year," he added,
"I plan on improving myself 100
percent from last year."
Brooks is right on his teammate's
heels in the tackling department.
Brooks' 31 solos and 17 assists in 1983
were seventh best on the team and
fourth among returnees. Brooks' strong
suit is stopping the action before it gets
to the line of scrimmage. Last season
the Detroit native accomplished six
such stops, setting the opposition back
DeFelice excels in the sacking
department as well. He brings with him
five tackles behind the line of
scrimmage for losses totaling 18 yards.
DeFelice's solid frame of 6-2, 245
pounds will be a tough obstacle for
EVEN THOUGH he sat out five
games in 1983, the 6-4, 240-pound
Hammerstein managed to collect 22
total tackles, two quarterback sacks
and two fumble recoveries.
In addition to all this experience and
ability, three more seniors will play the
back-up roles on the defensive line.
Nate Rodgers and Joe Gray return at
middle guard and the 6-4, 245-pound
Dave Meredith will be ready to fill in at
Defensive line dep
Linemen lead rugged 'M' de
LEFT TACKLE MIDDLE GUARD
Mike Hammerstein (Sr) AL SINCICH (Sr)
VINCE DEFELICE (Sr) Nate Rodgers (Sr)
Joe Gray (Sr) Billy Harris (So)
CAPS indicate returning starter.
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Defensive tackle Mike Hammerstein fights his
blockers in last January's Sugar Bowl.
THE SHOW GOES ON
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Sincich plays theA
make his father p
By PAUL HELGREN
One look at the center and the middle
guard tells the story.
The center, from Auburn, is massive,
an immovable bulk of 250 pounds.
Across from him, the middle guard
from Michigan is diminutive by com-
parison, easily 15 pounds less than his
listed weight of 230. The ball is snapped.
The middle guard move first, crumbles
the slower center and springs toward
the unsuspecting quarterback, forcing
him to pitch the ball too soon. The play
results in a large loss of yardage for
THE MIDDLE GUARD is Al Sincich
and his performance is reflective of the
valiant effort the Wolverine defense is,
making in what will wind up as a 9-7
loss. But despite this play and others
like it that game, Sincich is only mildly
satisfied. "Should've been doing this all,
season," he thinks.
Like every game, Sincich battles with
a burning ferocity. But it's not good
enough, no matter what anyone tells
him. Not good enough because what
Sincich does on the field now he does for
someone else. Someone he loves very
"He's playing for his dad," Sincich's
brother Randy would explain later.
"You know, now that our mom is
OVER A YEAR and a half has passed
none so p
his son to
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Al Sincich prepares to lay into Northwestern's Kevin Villars in a 1981 contest.
Said Sincich's high school coach Mike Moran, "Off the field he's a
gentleman .,.. on the field he plays like he's got a miniature motor inside of