The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 9, 1988 -Page.5
BY MICHAEL SALINSKY
A picture may not really be worth a
thousand words, but this one of Tripp
Welbone (3), Chris Calloway (2), and
Greg McMurtry in last year's Iowa game
contains quite a story.
Welbone and Calloway seem to be
standing in line behind McMurtry, and,
in many ways, they were. Splitting time
With "Mac" and John Kolesar, the two
highly touted young players combined
for only nine receptions. The passing
"The coaches looked at Greg and John
more," Calloway says. "They were the
It's been a different story this year.
The biggest question for Michigan
eading into this season - even moreso
San the passing game - was a
'efensive backfield that lost three starters
to graduation. This fall, Welbone was
F.noved to the secondary after practicing
ome there in the spring. He settled at
trong safety just nine practices before
he first game and has gone on to have
an honorable-mention All-Big Ten year.
Calloway, alternating with two
eceivers instead of three, has become a
big-time receiver. While McMurtry's and
Kolesar's numbers are comparable to last
year, Calloway has grabbed 17 receptions
I fompared to last year's seven.
Calloway and Welborne, close friends
' pff the field, have played major roles in
4ichigan's Big Ten championship
season. It can no longer be said that
ither toils in McMurtry's, or anyone's,
Unlike 1987, when he caught only
wo passes as a rookie, Welborne's 1988
ighlight film is a long one: 13 tackles
nd a fumble recovery against Iowa; two
nterceptions against Wake Forest; five
4iterceptions overall; and, in the season
finale, a nearly flawless, and according to
Michigan defensive backfield coach Bill
Harris, "possibly a game-saving"
performance against Ohio State.
"In two years he'll be one of the
dominant players in the league," Harris
says. "He'll be the player that when you
see No. 3, you say, 'Let's run away from
Welborne's great athletic ability
allowed him to make the quick switch to
the secondary, but strangely enough,
Welborne's athletic ability has not
always been an asset.
It was his athletic ability that led the
coaches to pick Welbone to make the
switch to defense. "We needed athletes,"
Welborne wasn't thrilled with the
decision. "I didn't want to switch," he
says. "On a scale of one to 10, defense
was a nine, but offense was a 10."
Being such a good athlete also has
forced Welborne to make some hard
choices. Basketball is his first love, but
Welborne, only 6-foot-1, felt he had a
"better chance with football, so he refused
scholarship offer from North Carolina.
Although drafted by the Cincinnati
Reds, Welborne has given up college
"baseball to concentrate on football.
Welborne has had to work hard to
"mprove throughout the year, but again,
C alloway, Welborne
are of No. 1 importance
to Michigan Wolverines
his athletic ability has been a problem as
well as an asset. He does things so
effortlessly, it sometimes looks like he's
"I used to call him P.D. for prima
donna," recalls Marion Kirby,
Welborne's football coach at Page High
in Greensboro, N.C. "What he did was
make it look easy, but I think there's a
fine line between making it look easy
and taking it easy."
Another criticism is his seeming lack
of emotion. "Inside, I really am
motivated," Welborne explains. "I'm just
trying to concentrate on what I'm
Unlike his athleticism, Welborne's
character has always been an asset. It has
helped him accept and deal with criticism
and decisions that he didn't agree with.
In high school, Welborne tutored in
elementary schools twice a week ("It's
nice to see a guy or girl struggling and
then see improvement," he says) as well
as being an Eagle Scout and an active
member in the Christian organization
Academics were also a major factor
for Welborne, the son of two educators.
It was this factor that made the prep All-
American choose Michigan.
"The memories (of games) last
forever," Welborne says. "But great
success is having a degree from a
university like Michigan." Welborne, an
industrial-engineering major, is going to
have to work to get that degree. He also
has some more work ahead on the
"He has a lot to learn," Harris says
about Welborne as well as the other
sophomores in the secondary. "Eighty
percent of the time he's going to do the
correct thing, but that other 20 percent...
The mistakes are more magnified in
the secondary. "You're the last wall of
defense," Welborne says.
But considering how little ti
played the position at the collef
just how rarely Welborne has d
wrong thing has to be a little sur
"Really surprising," says
receiving partner, Calloway.
Welborne has solidified a yo
inexperienced secondary. Acco
Harris, "For those guys to come
get you to the Rose Bowl, ti
WV elborne's friend Callow
has to receive a lot of cre
Michigan's Rose Bowl drive.
The junior flanker made tw
biggest catches in Michigan
biggest wins. Against Indiana, C
caught a 46-yard scoring pass of
play from McMurtry that broke t
open. Two weeks later hef
Michigan's first touchdown in t
clinching romp over Illinois.
Unlike Welborne, who Callov
"talks a lot - you know he's f
South," Calloway, a Chicago n
quiet by nature.
If you had to sum up a man
cliche, "Actions speak loud
words" would be the one for Call
Watch No. 2 on the field fc
couple of plays, and you're boun
him scuffling with an of
defensive back. Calloway
reputation for blocking hard late
play, when the play is dead,1
"Some teams call it tau
Calloway says. "We like to k
defensive backs off the ball carri
like to get in the face of the ball
even nudge him with his
something. We keep them away.
Calloway takes great pride
blocking. When they weren't ca
lot of passes last year, he and Welborne
" used to joke that they should be named
All-American at wide blockers.
Toward the end of the year, Calloway
got a spurt of receptions, including his
first touchdown and a fourth-down grab
in Michigan's come-from-behind wins
over Minnesota and Illinois,
Those receptions show that it isn't
just Welborne's exit that has resulted in
Callo-way's increased productivity. "I
feel more confident on the field,"
Not quite as big or as fast as
Welborne, Calloway has had to work
harder to excel at receiver. "I'm not
blessed with blazing speed. I have to run
routes precisely," says Calloway, known
in practice as the "routemaster."
He also takes pride in his pass-
catching abilities. "I look at Chris as
Mr. Consistency," says Frank Lenti, his
coach at Mt. Carmel High School in
File Photo Chicago. "If you get the ball in his
hands, he's not going to drop it."
Lenti's admiration of Bo
Schembechler, as well as his mom's
stressing of academics, led Calloway to
choose Michigan over Illinois in a
dramatic last-minute decision.
Like Welborne, he also excelled in
basketball. He was the point guard on
the 1986 state championship team that
me he's included current Purdue star Melvin
ge level, McCants.
lone the "I like playing basketball better than I
prising. do playing football, but I play football
his old better," Calloway says.
And he plays it hard. Calloway was
ung and Michigan's Offensive Hustler the first
rding to two games this year. He feels his tough
e on and blocking and overall play helps set the
hat says tone for the team.
N ow that Welborne practices
ay also against Calloway, he has a different
dit for perspective on his friend: "Chris would
aggravate me if he was on offense
o of his (against me)".
I's two "I think I'd aggravate him, too,"
alloway Welborne adds.
n a trick They both have helped the team, but
he game also have helped each other.
grabbed "That's how you get better," Harris
he title- says, "practicing against the best guys."
Welborne's and Calloway's
way says relationship, which both claim was not
rom the competitive when they were both on
ative, is offense, is now playfully so.
"I tell Chris, 'I'm going to have to
n with a shut you down,"' Welborne says. "(But)
er than we're still real close,"
oway. Welborne and Calloway couldn't help
)r just a but be close last year. They practiced
id to see together, and because they were No. 2
pposing and 3, they were always together in the
has a locker room and at meetings.
into the Also with them at the next locker and
between at receiver practice was No. 1,
McMurtry. Last year Welborne and
inting," Calloway may have looked over with
eep the envy at "Mac" as he led the team in
er. They receptions - the role they might have
1 carrier, had if he wasn't around.
foot or But this year, No. 2 and No. 3
haven't played second fiddle to No. 1.
in his The days of waiting in line behind
tching a McMurtry are over.
Michigan and Southern Cal aren't the only
teams going bowling this season. For those of
you "lucky" enough to be able to watch other
games on TV instead of getting a sunburn in
California, we present the entire bowl lineup.
No. 1 Notre Dame (11-0) vs.
No. 3 West Virginia (11-0)
Date: Jan. 2
Location: Tempe, Ariz.
Time: 5:00, TV: NBC
Notes: This one should decide the
national championship, although we
might not be done hearing from Miami.
Notre Dame's Major problem will be,
West Virginia's B.
No. 6 Nebraska (11-1) vs.
No. 2 Miami (10-1)
Date: Jan. 2
Time: 8:30,'TV: NBC
Notes: The Orange without Oklahoma?
Nebraska ousted the Sooners for the;
first time in five years. If they
Cornhuskers can pull a similar jobont
Miami, all West Virginia needs is a win'
to be No. 1.
No. 7 Auburn (10-1) vs.
No. 4 Florida State (10-1)
Date: Jan. 2
Location: New Orleans
Time: 8:30, TV: ABC
Notes: FSU has been invincible since:
its opening-game loss to Miami. But.
Auburn will be a bit tougher than East
No. 13 Clemson (9.2) vs.
No. 10 Oklahoma (9-2)
Date: Jan. 2°
Location: Orlando, Fla.
Time: 1:30, TV: ABC
Notes: Big Eight vs. ACC makes a
good basketball game, but this is,
football. Even the worstbOklahoma
team in five years should be too much
No. 9 Arkansas (10-1) vs.
No. 8 UCLA (9-2)
Date: Jan. 2
Time: 1:00, TV: CBS
Notes: This is UCLA quarterback Troy
Aikman's last chance to prove why he;'
should be the NFL's No. 1 draft pick.
No. 16 Louisiana St. (8-3) vs.
No. 18 Syracuse (9-2)
Date: Jan. 2
Location: Tampa, Fla.
Time: 1:00, TV: NBC
Notes: Does Billy Owens play football
No. 19 Georgia (8-3) vs.
Michigan State (6-4-1)
Date: Jan. 1
Location: Jacksonville, Fla.
Time: 8:00, TV: ESPN
Notes: If anyone says anything bad
about the Gator Bowl, we'll punch them
in the face. You happy, George?
North Carolina St. (7-3-1) vs.
Date: Dec. 31
Time: 1:00, TV: Mizlou
Notes: A peach of a city. A peach of a
No. 15 Wyoming (11-1) vs.
No. 12 Oklahoma State (9-2)
Location: San Diego
Time: 8:00, TV: ESPN
Notes: The Sandman gives Wyoming
nightmares.SThe Sandman gives
Oklahoma State 200+ yards. The;t
Sandman gets another Heisman.
Brigham Young (8-3) vs.
Date: Dec. 29
Location: Anaheim, Calif.
Time: 9:00, TV: Mizlou
Notes: The hometown Angels
purely second division, and so is
BY PETE STEINERT
Southern Cal senior All-America split end
Erik Affholter has learned to pick himself up
both figuratively and literally.
Two months into his first year at USC,
'Affholter was kicked out of his dorm for a
party in his room. Chairs were tossed out the
window, and fights erupted between
Affholter's roommates and his friends.
The troubles didn't stop there. After
moving off-campus, Affholter was involved
in a fight with two other students. He ended
up before a university dean to discuss his
future at USC -- if he still had one.
He got a second chance, and he's better off
"I feel when I first came here, I really
.wasn't sure of what was important to me,"
'Affholter said. "They say college is a learning
experience. A lot of it's books, but I think a
lot of it is a social education, and I've
received a very good one here."
Call it maturation. Affholter, a member of
the 1987 Pac-10 All-Academic team, carries a
3.2 grade-point average in communications.
For two years now he has regularly
attended church and team chapel services,
2During games he wears a hand towel with the
inscribed biblical verse "Phil. 4:13." The
verse reads, "All things are possible through
Christ who strengthens us."
"T think (Chritianitu\ is real ythe rencnn T
Affholter, then 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds,
fielded an on-side kick and was steamrolled in
the process. In tackling Affholter, the other
team managed to bend his face mask far
enough inward that his coach had to unscrew
the mask to get his helmet off.
"There's times where I've been hit, and
I've been a little disoriented out there,"
Affholter said. "I didn't really feel like getting
up, but I've always been able to get up and
keep playing. There have been times when
I've wondered what I'm doing playing this
game. It goes away after a period of time."
Affholter has taken the good with the bad.
Most schools would not give him a chance
as a receiver when he came Out of high
school. They were more impressed with his
kicking ability. Affholter set a since-broken
national high school record as a junior with a
64-yard field goal. But he wanted to go
somewhere where he could contribute more
than just his right foot.
USC was one school willing to give him
a chance. Affholter, still the Trojans' long-
range field-goal kicker, started slowly at split
end, but he began to assert himself. His
playing time increased. Then came last year's
People all across the country watched
Affholter make a juggling 33-yard touchdown
recentinn in the harkLfr-1 th pA -fnd nat
Illinois (6-4-1) vs.
Date: Dec. 29
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Time: 8:00, TV: ESPN
Notes: Bo tabbed Illinois' John
Mackovic as Big Ten Coach of the Year;
for his team's surprising performance.
South Carolina (8-3) vs.
Indiana (7-3-1) ;
Date: Dec. 28
Location: Memphis, Tenn.
Time: 8:00, TV: Raycom
Notes: Should be renamed
Unfulfilled Expectations Bowl.
No. 14 Houston (9-2) vs.
No. 17 Washington State (8-3)
Date: Dec. 25
Time: 3:30, TV: ABC
Notes: Houston's scoring attack brimg'
back memories of Phi Slamma Jammai
Should be a high-scoring affair.
No. 20 Alabama (8-3) vs.
Date: Dec. 24
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time: 1:00, TV: CBS
Notes: Santa in the chimney makes for
Southern Mississippi (9-2) vs.
Texas-El Paso (10-2)
Date: Dec. 23
Location: Shreveport. a.
- os m '-'mm