Page 10-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, April 8, 1993
Key injuries plague 'M' football
Wheatley, Collins shine for hobbled Wolverines in spring practices
by Adam Miller
Daily Football Writer
When it debuted last fall, the pilot for the
NBC drama "The Round Table" was entitled
"Yesterday, we were playing football."
The show, as you may know, didn't last very
long - being pulled from the airwaves in less
than two months.
Perhaps this University's state of malaise will
encounter a similar, short fate: Yesterday (well,
Monday) we were playing basketball ...
But today, we play football.
Though you may not have noticed with all the
winter sport excitement in the past month, the
Michigan football team has been practicing in
spring workouts since March 13. The defending
Rose Bowl champions conduct their final scrim-
mage this afternoon, and are scheduled to hold
their annual Blue-White game at Michigan
Stadium at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, weather
In a press conference at Schembechler Hall
yesterday afternoon, Wolverines coach Gary
Moeller said spring workouts have generally
gone well, but he lamented the numerous injuries
suffered during this period.
"I don't know what to tell you," he said. "It's
probably the same old song."
That song brought news that key replace-
ments for graduated seniors - Michigan lost 23
letter-winners from last year's squad - are hob-
bled with various ailments.
Sophomore outside linebacker Shawn Collins
suffered a knee injury, which required arthro-
Redshirt freshman tight end Damon Jones,
who will be called on as a backup to Marc
Burkholder in the quest to replace Tony McGee,
suffered a broken leg and missed three-quarters
of spring drills.
Junior outside linebacker Matt Dyson has
suffered from various muscle pulls. In fact,
Michigan has only two outside linebackers able
to play right now - redshirt sophomore Jamie
Mignon and redshirt freshman Stephen Evans.
"We have only two outside linebackers avail-
able for four positions," Moeller said, "and both
of those are a long way away from playing."
Moeller was asked if the injury situation and
the questionable weather forecast would cause
him to cancel the Blue-White game. He replied
that while he would not unduly risk injuries on a
wet field, he still sees value in playing.
"The sad part is that you always have to risk
injury," Moeller said. "But you gotta live life.
They don't learn to play the game without
playing the game."
Moeller said some players have had excep-
tional springs. Tailback Tyrone Wheatley ranks
among the notables.
"Maybe (Wheatley's) more mature," Moeller
said, "but he's playing hard, physical football
this spring. He practices as hard as anyone out
there. He's got a little bit more now than the
other (running backs) and the rest of them have a
"Tyrone is trying to be a leader on this team."
Moeller had similar praise for redshirt junior
quarterback Todd Collins, expected to fill Elvis
Grbac's shoes as the starter.
"Todd's done very well," he said. "He's
showing signs he's going to be a good quarter-
back. If everything works out well he should be
very, very good."
Additionally, Moeller said junior wide re-
ceiver Felman Malveaux "has made a lot of big
catches this spring," that Burkholder has
emerged as "a quiet leader," and that, defen-
sively, senior tackle Buster Stanley and redshirt
junior middle guard Tony Henderson have also
stepped up as leaders.
A somewhat surprising revelation is the
quickly rising Charles Winters. The free safety is
just a redshirt freshman, but Moeller said
Winters has developed great "feel" for the
position and will play this year, "no question."
"But whether he's going to be the starter or
not, I don't know," Moeller said.
What he did know was this:
Yesterday (well, Monday) we were playing
Saturday we will be playing football.
"You gotta live life."
Wolverine junior quarterback Todd Collins readies to throw last season in
Michigan Stadium. The team will halve for the Spring Game Saturday.
LIBERTY OFF STATE 668-9329
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Permits for the 1993-94 aca-
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