S S 0
has 'Jumbo' size
KOLESAR, MCMURTRY LEAD SWIFT FLEET
Receivers pose deep threat
By DARREN JASEY
Mark Messner is one of those
players who comes but never seems
to go. He's been a standout on
Michigan's defensive line for the
past two years and has a chance to
graduate two seasons hence with the
most career tackles for loss in
His talents do not excede some of
those who played before him, such
as Mike Hammerstein, Robert
Thompson, and Curtis Greer, but he
will always be noted for his
longevity and consistency.
"He's passed the test of time,"
said defensive line coach Tom Reed.
"Now he's got to keep on going."
AFTER HIS redshirt first year,
Messner has started every game at
defensive tackle. In each of those
years he has led the team in sacks. In
1985 he was AP second team Big
Ten and last season he was AP first
team Big Ten.
By GREG MOLZON
When you talk about great
receivers in Michigan history, the
list has to begin with number one.
Carter holds all the Wolverine
receiving records and is
unquestionably the best pass catcher
in the school's history.
While Bo Schembechler doesn't
appear to have any receivers this
season who will eclipse Carter as the
best ever, this year's group may just
become known as one of the best
receiver corps in Michigan history.
John Kolesar, Greg McMurtry,
Chris Calloway, and Tripp Welborne
are the names to remember. They are
all sure handed speedsters who will
make the job much easier for
whoever Schembechler tabs as the
team's starting quarterback.
Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON
Mark Messner, shown in Spring Game, leads by example.
.He has accumulated 24 tackles for
loss and has two years of eligibility
left. The Michigan career leader is
Greer with 48 from 1976 to 79.
"What that demonstrates is his
consistency," Reed said. "He
repeatedly does things well. He has
developed a habit of being
MIDDLE GUARD Billy
Harris joins Messner for his final
year on the line. He has also started
every game for the past two seasons.
"We've grown really close,"
Harris said. "I know I can depend on
(Messner). I have a lot of confidence
"We've got our basic starting
three back," said Messner. "There
isn't any superstars up front. We
don't really have any big names but
we play well as a unit."
Junior John Herrmann (6-5, 258)
will start at the other tackle
position. Fifth-year senior David
Folkertsma, is also back to bolster
the line. The 6-foot-5, 263 pounder
started all but one game last season.
More weight fell on the shoulders
of Herrmann and Folkertsma when
See EXPERIENCED, Page 13
First year offensive lineman Greg
Skrepenak is the first Michigan
football player born in the 1970s.
By DARREN JASEY
John Elliott is like many students
at the University of Michigan: He
takes classes. He likes music. He's
from the state of New York.
However, Elliott does not spend
his weekends in the diag playing
hacky sack or throwing frisbees.
Instead, he specializes in 'pancakes'
- a practice known among
Michigan's offensive linemen as
knocking an opponent on his back.
At 6-foot-7, 306 pounds Elliott, a
.fifth-year senior, may be the best
offensive lineman in the nation. He
is a leading candidate for the Outland
"HE CAN be a ' dominant
player," said head coach B o
Schembechler. "He is powerful and
strong with exceptionally fine
movement and weighs 300 pounds
"He has got great strength and
good quickness for his size," said
offensive line coach Jerry Hanlon.,
Elliott, also known as 'Jumbo' to
his teammates, has started 32 of the
last 34 Michigan games in a three-
season span. His last 12 starts have
been at strong tackle. Last season he
was selected first team All-Big Ten
and second team All-American.
Joining Elliott on the line will be
senior center John Vitale (6-1, 289),
senior quick tackle Mike Husar (6-3,
279), and senior quick guard Michael
Dames (6-2, 265) - all starters a
year ago. The only vacancy is at the
strong guard position manned by
Mark Hammerstein last season.
VITALE MOVED from guard
to center last season and started every
contest. He is another likely
candidate for All-Big Ten honors.
"Those people will undoubtedly
be a pretty good first line," said
Schembechler, "although we can't
afford injuries in there because I
don't think we have a lot of depth at
"With John Elliot and John
Vitale we have two outstanding
collegiate lineman," he added. "John
Vitale at center will be one of the
great centers that we've had."
The leading candidate for the open
guard position was sophomore Tom
Dohring (6-7, 265) before before an
injury set him back. Senior Dave
Chester (6-2, 260) of Titusville,
Florida now has the insidetrack to
that job. If he falters then
Schembechler has Dave Dever, Jeff
Tubo, Mike Kerr, and Dave Weil to
WITHOUT A tested quarterback
the Michigan coaches expect to be
more of a ball control offense than a
big-play offense this season.
According to Hanlon the offensive
line will have to adapt.
"A lot of improvement has to be
made," Hanlon said. "We have to
improve our consistency running as
well as get good pass protection
because we may not have the big
play quarterback like we had in Jim
Harbaugh last year."
Said Schembechler; "(Elliott)
must have a great year and must be a
great leader. All of them must
contribute and have great years."
One thing that Elliott hopes to
see happen in the upcoming season
is Jamie Morris break the all-time
Michigan rushing record. Morris
needs 1,172 yards to eclipse Butch
Woolfolk's mark set in 1981.
This will be the fourth year in the
starting lineup for the biggest and
smallest Michigan players. The 5-7
Morris has led the team in rushing
in each of his three seasons and has
gained over 1,000 yards the past
two. Jumbo feels partly responsible
for Morris' success. "We've got to
move them out for him," he said.
"We're going to have a good
offense. We have a veteran offensive
line. Our goal is to be the best line
in the Big Ten."
THEY HAVE also made it
much easier for Michigan fans to get
over the losses of Paul Jokisch and
Ken Higgins, two excellent receivers
from last year. Jokisch is trying to
catch on with the NFL, while
Higgins passed on a final year of
eligibility to go to Harvard tLaw
"That's the deal with Michigan,"
Kolesar said. "It's not a fact that
great players are leaving, you have
great players coming up too."
One reason that these players may
become so great is because of their
youth. Of the four, there is one
freshman, two sophomores, and a
junior. That means that they will be
together for at least the next two
years to wreak havoc on enemy
K OL E S A R, a junior, is the
senior member of the group. The
most memorable moment of his
career was the 77-yard touchdown
pass he caught from Jim Harbaugh
two years ago to seal a 27-17 victory
over Ohio State.
Kolesar, who runs the 40-yard
dash in 4.3 seconds, has averaged a
hearty 27.3 yards per catch in his
first two seasons. It appears that the
only thing that can slow down
Kolesar is injuries. He missed the
end of last season and spring practice
with an injured collarbone, and has
been hampered by a sore hamstring
early in this season's practice.
Schembechler flirted with the idea
of moving Kolesar to defense, but
the coach finally decided against it.
However, just the thought of
moving such a dangerous threat has
to give some indication of how
highly Schembechler thinks of his
MCMURTRY will start along
with Kolesar to form a solid 1-2
punch. The electrifying sophomore
was named the top freshman receiver
by The Sporting News last year, and
the same publication projected him
to be the fifth best wideout in the
country this season.
McMurtry, who played center
field on the Wolverine baseball squad
and missed most of spring practice,
caught 22 passes in his first
campaign for 508 yards. He averaged
23.1 yards per reception and showed
Injuries have hindered John Kolesar more than
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16~1G r N 660
glimpses of the man who wore
number one before him, Carter.
The other sophomore is the
relatively unknown Calloway. But
he is not unknown to his coach.
"Chris Calloway is going to be an
outstanding receiver at Michigan,"
Calloway sprang into prominence
in the '87 Spring Game. The 5-foot-
10, 173 pounder caught six passes
for 108 yards and one touchdown.
THE FINAL member of the
crew is first year player, Welborne.
The youngster from North Carolina
has been compared to McMurtry
because of his great athletic talent,
and might even play baseball too.
Schembechler is bubbling over
the prospects of coaching him for
four years. "I just watch him run,
jump, catch, dodge. All those things
t . J, f~ y
j t ,1 1
Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
Sophomore Greg McMurtry is Michigan's man in motion.
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