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September 21, 1989 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-21

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 21, 1989 - Page 11

Michigan prep star shuns Bo for UCLA

by David Gibson
Sports Editor UCLA Daily Bruin
On New Year's day in 1983 a
football game between the UCLA
Bruins and Michigan Wolverines
would decide more than just the
Rose Bowl champion. It would
decide a career for one standout prep
Ever since UCLA's 24-14 victory
over Michigan in that game, UCLA
defensive lineman Mike Lodish -
who was born in Detroit and raised
in Birmingham - knew that
Westwood was the place for him to
pursue his football career.
Lodish headed west despite that
fact that his father, Dr. E Michael
Lodish, played football for Notre
Dame. Additionally, Lodish came to
UCLA despite growing up watching
and living Michigan football and
later being heavily recruited by
Michigan coach Bo Schembechler.
Lodish said that he became
interested in playing for UCLA as a
sophomore in high school while
watching that 1983 Rose Bowl
"I remember that hit by (UCLA
all-American defensive back) Don
Rogers on (Michigan Quarterback)
Steve Smith in the Rose Bowl
game," Lodish explained.
"I though that this program was
for real, that defense was for real."
That famous tackle by Rogers
will remembered by football fans for
years. Not only did Rogers stop
Smith cold and separate his shoulder
in the process, but it completely
changed the momentum of the game.
It also altered Lodish's thinking of
where he would attend school.
-umMSix years later, UCLA and
Michigan will once again be lining
up against one another, but this time
Lodish willnnot be watching from
his living room television set. Now
Lodish will be on the television. He
is the starting defensive tackle for
the Bruins.
The senior 6'3" 260 lb. defensive
tackle has apparently made the right
Let Thdm Know decision. As one of the top linemen
in college football, Lodish is being
How You F-e-- touted as a Lombardi and Outland
Trophy candidate.
DA E4Five years ago, Lodish had a
dilemma of choosing between
Michigan and UCLA.
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"It came down to UCLA or
Michigan and I came out west for
some reasons that I don't want to
discuss," Lodish said at the UCLA
luncheon earlier this week. "I
enjoyed the UCLA coaching staff,
the way I was treated, and I wanted
to get away form home and grow up
a little bit and not have the comfort
of being only 45 minutes from
But as a young football fan,
Lodish looked in awe of the
Wolverine football team. "I used to
go to Michigan spring practices just
to see Bo Schembechler get all
excited when the team played well."
Despite his early childhood
memories Lodish decided to play for
UCLA football coach Terry
Donahue, but not before

Fracassa, who coached Lodish's three
high school varsity seasons.
"I remember when Mike was
recruited, but I wouldn't worry about
which game tape I sent to the
coaches because they were all good,"
Fracassa said.
"He was a great football player
who was recruited by everyone. He
told me that he liked UCLA
recruiting coach Bill Rees. He said
that Rees was honest and that he was
impressed by the UCLA people and
coaches. Lodish picked UCLA
because he knew that he would treat
him well."
Fracassa said that he also
remembers the Michigan football
staff contacting him about Lodish.
"The Schembechler staff are
excellent people. They emphasize
family first and Coach Schembechler
is a very good, honest man. He does
his job legitimately to the tee."
"Bo is tough guy with a heart of
gold. You learn to love him - he is
a Woody Hayes type of coach," said
Fracassa of the former Ohio State
Fracassa is not the only one who
sees the resemblance between Bo and
Woody. Lodish, believes that he was
pressured by Schembechler. "When
Bo Schembechler came into your
house, he demanded your attention."
"It was almost like it was his
house. He is kind like a Woody
Hayes type of coach, but I felt that
UCLA was the school for me.
"When I called Bo and told him I
was going to UCLA he went nuts a
little bit. He said, 'I coming to your
house. You stay home.' So
(Schembechler) and (Michigan
assistant coach) Gary Moeller came
to my house."
But their visit only delayed
Lodish, who eventually reaffirmed
his decision to attend UCLA. "I just
felt that UCLA would be a better
school for me outside of football and
getting contacts in business," Lodish
But still. the decision making
process for Lodish was not easy.
Schembechler made one-hundred
percent sure of that.
Lodish remembers the days when
the Michigan coaches tried to
persuade him from going 3,000

miles away. They told him he
wouldn't play because he wasn't the
California boy.
"That was a challenge itself, and I
wasn't going to back down to the
challenge. They were trying to beat
'Go Blue' into my head, but it really
wasn't working. The way (Bo) acted
kind of turned me off. But it wasn't
a deciding factor.
"I just felt more comfortable
here. I believed that UCLA would be
a better school for me outside of
football, after football."
The decision was all Mike
Lodish's, and no one could persuade
him. Not Schembechler, not
Moeller, not even his father. "We
visited Michigan, Michigan State,
Boston College and UCLA," said his
father. "But the choice was all his.
He is the athlete that had to live
with it...Bill Rees only picked him
out because he was recruiting Mike
Farr and Mel Farr Jr. on the team.
The only thing about Michigan is
that it was closer to home.
And this week's game will
represent sort of a homecoming for
Lodish, who says that he's been
looking forward to it for a long
"I've always been more excited
about this game. It's bragging rights
for me. I don't want to lose and this
would be a great win for us. I would
like to go home at thanksgiving
knowing that we won."
But so would a few Michigan
players. During this past summer,
Lodish worked out with some
Michigan football players in order to
get in shape for the season. "I went
home during summer and trained
with those guys. They would say,
'You better watch out on the 23rd,'
and I would say 'No, you better
watch out.'"
"It's going to have to be a hell of
a game, we are going to have to be
at the top of our game to beat them.
I'm from Michigan. I know how Bo
is and they are going to be pumped
up. "I glad I came out here," Lodish
said. " I am very fortunate."
And whether Schembechler
agrees, who knows? But the fact
remains that about 11 p.m. Eastern
Time Saturday night, we'll see who
has the last laugh.

Schembechler got his two cents in.
"I remember (Schembechler) as a
gut tough, hard-nosed coach," Lodish
said with a slight smile on his face.
"When I was being recruited, there
were five high school all-Americans
coming out of Michigan and
Michigan State got four of them.
There was always this pressure on
me that 'you're a Michigan boy and
have to play here, and that you're a
Michigan type person.' "
Another person remembers the
Michigan-UCLA tug-of-war for
Lodish is Birmingham Brother Rice
High School football coach Al

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Pepsi will be on campus to source:
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Michigan League, Room D (Third Floor)
7:00-9:00 p.m.
We invite both graduate and undergraduate students to
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