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April 21, 1998 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-21

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20 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 21, 1998


I1Loss of Howard will be Williams' gainw
Thomas, Jackson also in backfield mix; recruits check out spring action from stands
By Mark Snyder yards, Thomas established himself as he said after Saturday's game, "but ichigan lost a number of outstand
DailyS ports Editor the leading returning tailback e Lc\rhodis expected back. We should leaders. Five Wolverines . .lo
At Michigan, the backfield has despite possessing a fullback's frame at be a healthy team going ito training Griese Iowrd, Charles Wood ot


always been a sacred domain.
Bo Schembechler established
Michigan as a running school when he
arrived in Ann Arbor in 1969 and prid-
ed himself on a grind-it-out, three-
yards-and-cloud-of-dust style.
And so it has continued.
Last season, with an average receiv-
ing corps for quarterback Brian Griese
-----------.----- to fall back on,
Football Michigan main-
Fo taincd its heavy
Notebook reliance on the
-------------- --- run.
At tailback, Chris Howard and
Clarence Williams split the carries until
Williams was sidelined for most of the
second half of the season with a severe
groin injury.
Thankfully for Lloyd Carr, a safety
net emerged.
Anthony Thomas assumed a role
rarely reserved for Michigan freshmen,
and he compiled yards in a hurry, top-
ping 100 yards twice during the season.
Finishing second to Howard with 549

6-0ot-2, 229 pounds.
Now, with loward's next carry com-
ing for the Denver Broncos, Thomas
needs to become a greater force.
-ANithonv has had a vcry go0od spring
and I believe he is a little bit quicker
than he was back in the fall," Carr said
last week. "Throughout the course of
last year, he gained some valuable expe-
But for all of Carr's compliments,
last Saturday's spring game did little to
reinforce Thomas' ascension to the fea-
tured-back status.
Williams carried the ball early and
often, keeping most of his runs to the
outer edges of the field, due to the tight
ends out with injuries. Nonetheless. he
racked up 77 yards on 13 carries, burst-
ing through holes early and often.
The absence of the tight ends did not
allow an accurate reflection of the rtin-
ning game, Carr said, but that should
change once August and two-a-day
practices roll around.
"We had four tight ends out today,"

While the traditional fullback role
was vacated by New England-bound
Chris Floyd, Ray Jackson and
Demetrius Smith should adequately fill
the void, Carr said.
"I like the guys we have even though
we do not have a lot of people at that
position right now:' he said. "Demetrius
Smith has his weight down the furthest
it has been since he arrived here.
Another young guy is Ray Jackson,
who I believe will be an outstanding
football player at Michigan. At 217
pounds, Jackson can play fullback as
well as run the ball effectively."
Jackson's blocking talents slid to the
background on Saturday as lie
announced himself as a tailback con-
tender wvith his running exhibition. Late
in the fourth quarter, he scampered for
a 64-yard run after a short pass, giving
the offense an unexpected surprise and
Carr yet another backfield option.
Draft results were any indication,

Glen Steele - were selected in tile fi
five rounds, leaving significant holes
fill. And Carr said predicting an it
based on the 15 spring practices ou
be presumptuous.
"At this point, it's way too early
tell:' lie said. "You find out a lot ab
your senior leadership and resolve dt
ing the hot summer months. But the t
will come.
While captains for the fall haver
been announced. Jon Jansen-- a
captain last year - is returning for 1
senior season.
only a few of the incoming recru
were in attendance at the spring gar
-- Detroit's Larry Foote among the
-- prospects for the following recro
ing year flooded the field before t
game, some with their parents.
"Recruiting is a ineverendi
process," Carr said. "A number of t
incoming guys were here so they c
see who they're going to be corm i
against" for playing time.

Clarence Williams got most of the work during Saturday's spring game, bouncing
several runs outside for long gains.

Purdue looms for Griffin,
Wolverines this afternoon

Continued from Page 19
series is that it's a different team for
them and a different team for us,"
Griffin said. "But, when it comes
down to it, we're going to be hyped up
for it. It's going to be a sweet victory."
The games against the lawkeyes
are especially important because the
winner of the regular-season crown
hosts the Big Ten Tournament. While
last year Michigan didn't need a home
crowd advantage to win the tourna-
ment, Griffin said it will be great to
play at home.
"Every time we've gone to lowa,
the weather has been terrible"Griffin
said. "So not only were we playing
against them, we were playing against
the weather, too. This year we have
our best team ever, so I have a really
good feeling."
The final stretch of the 1998 regular
season will be filled with milestones
for various Wolverines.
With today's games, Miclhigan
coach Carol Hutchins will be coach-

ing in her 800th game. Should
Mlichigan win the first gname of the
doubleheader, she'l Il have her 550th
career victory.
Griffin is currently sixth on the
NCAA Division I consecutive w in
list. She is 90-16 at M ichigan and 25-
0 this season. With wins either today
or next weekend. she will clinch first
place on the Big Ten all-time victor'v
list. The record of 97 wins, held by
Northwestern's Lisa Ishikawa, was set
in 1987.
After the weekend series with lowa,.
the Wolverines will have the week off
to refocus their energy toward finals.
lThen, on Mav 2, they'll begin their
final Big Ten series against
Griffin will be a noticeable absen-
tee in Saturday's games in Madison.
The pitcher will be walking with her
fellow classmates at commencement.
But Griffin expect,; to be back in the
pitcher's circle SuInday for the final
Hi g Ten aigame of her career.
"We've had so many good teams
since I've been here," Griffin said.
"It's been really fun and competitie.
Thhat's why I came to Michigan. All I
have are great memories.-

Continued from Page 19
Wolverines swept Northwestern this
past weekend.
Michigan State "put things into
perspective, Griffin said. "Maybe it
was a good thing to lose so We could
regain focus."
The quest of'learning from a loss'
is a theme in most cliches. While
many teams claim to have learned
lessons from defeats, much of what
they "learn" doesn't show up on the
field the next game.
That can't be said for the
Wolverines, and Northwestern can
attest. Michigan held the Wildcats -
Xw ho came into the series in sole pos-
session of second place - to just
fout' runs in the three-game sweep,

Sara Griffin is
25-0 this seas
on the mound
and is nea
the Big TeO"
record for '
victories by a
while scoring 17 runs of its o
Lesson learned'? For now, yes.
"I think we bounced back
Hutchins said. "We got back tq I
ing Michigan softball, whi
invoes solid defense and a ilot
Being the second-ranked team
the country helps a team avoid t
reporters that cover it - a cliche
two often keeps the media at bay.
But are these cliches accurat
Will Michigan take things one gat
at a time? Learn valuable lei,
each time out, etc.
While cliches may be aborii'
effortless way to avoid talking
detail, a team that actually lives
the often-used quotes is more like
to be a champ - and not just


4$T Op
The University of Michigan-Dearborn
invites you to be a guest student for the

1998 summer

semester. We

have three

options to accommodate students who are
home for summer vacation.

Full Term
Half Term I

May I 1 -August 29 (14 weeks)

May I 1

- July 3 (7 weeks)

Half Term II July 7 - August 29 (7 weeks)


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