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September 10, 1998 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

1(~- The Michiga4 Daily - koff~'98.-Sept~?nb~r 1O-12~98 a * Septembe~12, 1998 Kftfto

10&- The Michigan-Daily .-- VWCoff. "98-7'-SeptefnWr 20-124998





September x-12, 1998 -- Kkko!

w - w l IW w 1w



Twice Michigan's leading tackler, linebacker Sam Sword
is motivated by more than football

Fresh new faces

Sure, you know

who Drew Henson is. But he's not the only Michigan fresh

n 39

Position: Fullback
Height: 6-0
Weight: 250
Hometown: Houston
Watch him because: Thrust

By Mark Snyder
Among the 107,000 fans who pour into
Michigan Stadium each Saturday sit
large number focused solely on the
immense size of the combatants.
The bone-crushing hits, fierce tackles and
jarring blows are a product of collegians-
turned-machines with a single-minded pur-
pose of destruction.
Relating to the 250-pound monstrous ath-
letes can be difficult for the average 100-
pound freshman female attending her first
football game.
And seeing Sam Sword on the street isn't
much different. Aside from his endearing
smile, he stands an imposing 6-foot-2 and
tips the scales at 242 muscular pounds. But
once Sword leaves the field, his dominant
frame withers away.
Much like a Doberman whose soft under-
belly brings out his disarming nature, Sword
carries a weakness.
For much of his college career, he has con-
tributed his time and effort to the Big
Brothers/Big Sisters program at Michigan.
The commitment on his part extends only as
far as he wants it to, but he has found a pair
of boys from whom he can't turn away.
The concern for others, genuinely a part of
his nature,'emerges whenever he begins to

talk about giving back to the community.
"Anytime I can do something to help a little
kid, I want to help," Sword said. "Whether it's
the DARE program, or Big Brothers, it's a
great experience. I had older brothers to look
up to and I just want the same thing for James
and his little brother Justin."
(James became Sword's "little brother"
after Sword entered the program.)
For Sword, though, it's not just charity
work. He sees it as enjoyment and time spent
with friends - albeit with friends who are a
few years younger than him.
It was a college-aged friend of Sword's who
referred him to the program and now two kids
- ages eight and 14 - have close ties to one
of college football's top linebackers.
"I think (community service) is very impor-
tant," defensive coordinator Jim Herrmann
said. "These guys need to give back because
they are fortunate to be where they are."
The roots of Sword's community involve-
ment come from Project Outreach, an on-
campus program run through Michigan's psy-
chology department. But even if such a con-
nection didn't exist, Sword said would have
sought out an outlet in the community.
"We try to talk about their academics and
about leading a positive role in their life," he
said. "I thought it would be a good thing to
give back to the community. I know how it is
not to have anyone to look up to. If I can do

Evan into early action after
Coleman Demetrius Smith's injury.
Position: Running Back
Height: 6-0
Weight: 205
fUIIIA~LUwII. FUI I VY i iii igiui AlIIU

mometown: rriwasningion.md.
Watch him because: Runs 40-
yard dash in 4.5 seconds and
bench Dresses 330 pounds.


James, being hoisted by Sam Sword, and Justin pose for a picture with their "big brother." When he's
not annihilating opposing ball carriers, Sword's spending time with the two youngsters, whom he met

Position: Kicker/Punter
Height: 6-1
Weight: 175
Hometown: Cardiff, Calif.
Watch him because: Kicked
Hayden 58-yard field goal in high
Epstein school state title game.

through the Big Brother program.
something to help them down the right path,
or say something, then I feel like I've done
my job."
Despite having a steady moral compass in
place off the field, the mild-mannered Sword
becomes a force between the sidelines.
Standing and surveying just behind the
defensive line, No. 93 has gone about his
business for three years on the field, making
crucial plays at critical moments.
In fact, Sword's presence may have directly
impacted Michigan's two most important situ-
ations last season.
The first came late in the fourth quarter of
the Notre Dame game. The Irish were driving
for the winning score with three minutes to
play and Michigan's first loss seemed a dis-
tinct possibility. It was time for the Michigan
defense to prove its mettle.
Sword, playing the game
of his life with a whopping
13 solo tackles, led a
defense which stuffed Notre
Dame tailback Autry
Denson repeatedly, with the
final halt coming on fourth-
and-two to secure the victo-
Sword's 15 total tackles
were a season high for
Michigan, but more impor-
taut, they helped keep the
Irish offense at bay.
The play that Michigan
fans will remember, though,
was the final play of
Michigan's closest contest
last season. After a valiant
second-half comeback gave
Michigan a 28-24 lead over
Iowa, the Wolverines could
not wait for the clock to
expire. The Hawkeyes were
at Michigan's 26 yard line
when Sword made the
game-ending interception,
sealing the win.
"I knew what route (Iowa
receiver Tim Dwight) was
running by watching film,"
Sword said. "I wasn't really
expecting to intercept the
ball, I was just trying to
knock him off course.
"If I hadn't watched film,

I wouldn't know the route."
That experience - the positioning, the
studying and the preparation - are crucial
elements of Sword's on-field development.
That growth has turned him into a leader who
"could easily have been a captain this season"
according to Marcus Ray.
Sword tosses around quotes like "study
your opponent" and "knowledge is power" as
if they were tailbacks in his path.
"I've tried to become a student of the
game." he said. "I've talked to a lot of play-
ers. I talked to (former Wolverine) Steve
Morrison about what I have to do to take my
game to the next level.
"He told me not to worry about how strong
you are or how fast you run, (because) the
more you know, the more laid-back you can
be (on the field)."
Dispensing advice is not part of Sword's
reserved personality, but as a senior he relish-
es the opportunity to share with others just
as he was taught.
"Being a leader, that's a responsibility unto
itself having been here four or five years," he
said. "It's a great feeling to know that it's
your turn to show the young guys.,,
For the younger players, following in
Sword's path will not be as easy as they might
expect. After leading the Wolverines in tack-
les the past two seasons, Sword is on the
brink of an historic achievement.
Throughout Michigan's storied legacy, only
former Butkus Award winner Erick Anderson
has led the team in tackles three straight sesi-
This season, Sword along with team-
mates Dhani Jones and Clint Copenhaver
is a candidate for the Butkus.
"Sam is one of the top two or three line-
backers in the country," said co-captain Ray.
"His game speaks for itself."
But from the man who knows Sword best
- fifth-year senior (and fifth-year roommate)
Juaquin Feazell - comes insight into the
gentle giant, a man who "keeps things in per-
"Sam is really humble," Feazell said. "He's
not in search of all the glory in being a great
For Sword, satisfaction comes from hang-
ing out with kids half his age.
Just remember Sword the next time you see
the linebacker lay out an opponent on the
field, he has a soft spot off it as well.

Position: Running Back
Height: &1
Weight: 185
Hometown: Encino, Calif.-
Watch him because: Runs 100-
meter dash in 10.55. Rushed for
6,352 yards with 77 touchdowns.

34 .w


Position: Linebacker
Height: 6-2
Weight: 215
Hometown: Detroit
Watch him because: Attended
Larry same high school as Willie
Foote Mitchell (Detroit-Pershing).

looking to make a name for himself this year.
"It w
By Mark Snyder recruite
In the early morning hours on the first day of summer workouts, lot like
Lloyd Carr strolled the makeshift football field beyond the Alumni Stee
Field fence surveying his troops. riencei
But these Wolverines were not the veterans he knew from last sea- ship as
son's national championship team. No, they were freshmen - green Cato
athletes on the green grass - seen by their coach for the first time in No. 2 je
their new threads. Woodso
In one corner of the modified gridiron, the new lineman hit tack- June
ling dummies with a vengeance, eager to expend their nervous energy. said Mi
Another spot contained the new wideouts - David Terrell and Som
Marquise Walker - catching footballs on elastic extending from a Carr, al
chain-link fence. fill theg
Even the tailbacks - - Walter Cross and Justin Fargas - scooted sumre
through the agility run, burning energy in the distance. role wa
But Carr's focus kept shifting back to the middle of the field. In "Whi
this circus's center ring, flanked by quarterbacks coach Stan Parrish, said. "H
stood Drew Henson, known outside the Michigan lockerroom as "the fullback
future" and inside of it as one of three backup QBs. (about a
The difference is, unlike the other game-breakers Michigan not sit o
recruited for this title defense, Henson enters with the pressure to For
compete - now system
Earlier this summer, Henson was drafted by the New York Yankees nationa
and spent a few weeks with their Rookie League team, cashing in on betwee
a S2.5 million signing bonus. "In
His extravagant high school numbers (56 touchdowns and more have to
than 5,600 yards in his career) compounded his billing, but Carr is "Th
determined that the newfound millionaire will remain one of the guys. in our n
"I promise you I'm going to treat him like any other guy on the of cours
team," Carr said. "We're going to treat him exactly like one of the those ar
other guys. We'll treat him very, very well and try to develop him to being re
the best of his ability."
The far reaches of those abilities have impressed a vet-
eran coaching staff in the short time since practice began in
mid-August. Now, after weeks of observation instead of
hearsay, Carr's words of caution have turned to outright
"Drew has made excellent progress, Carr said.
"Without question, he's the most talented quarterback that
I've been around. It's just a matter of continuing to com-
pete and continuing to prepare. He's going to play some
this year because he's not "just another guy.' He's got
everything you want."
But despite Henson's skills, it's his fellow freshmen
who will have a more immediate impact, as junior Tom
Brady is currently the Michigan starter under center.
Wallowing in the immense shadow are Fargas, Cross,
Walker and Terrell - skill position players eager to prove
ty' 1 arenot hV pLavers in the freshman drama.
infirtun ae1r fir bans to keep 1argas in view, the new
vide scorebharbls will be vital accessories. Fargas' light-
ning feet are well-documented he won the California
100-meter dash as a junior i a lightning P0.;8 :.; Ah'
explosive power is a efreshing addition N Michtsarn's
already overflowng bckield
"The thing about Fargas is that he can knock it out of
the park," Carr said. "lie's a guy who brings a dimension
we haven't had in a while."
'The absence of a breakaway back an advantage not
seen at Michigan since Tyrone Wheatley's departure-
sparked the interest in Fargas, who decided on Michigan in
the final hours before signing day.
At Michigan, the air game is traditionally an after-
thought. But with Brady's powerful arm and large targets
Terrell and Walker toeing the line of scrimmage, opening
up the offense remains a possibility.
But as Carr repeats time and again, the bit players are
the ones who come together to create a champion. And
these freshmen are trying to contribute in any manner pos-
Dave Petruziello came to Michigan expecting to catch Justin Fargas has
passes, but Carr put a quick end to that, transferring the ing running backs.
larger-than-expected Petruziello to the defensive line, ever, holding him t

was a very, important m
d him we felt he was ar
We have an opportunit
Glen Steele."
le and those who depar
in addition to their imr
well as on the playmak
June, the freshman co
ersey, has large expecta
on, should see the field
has spent the fall prac
chigan needs "a good a
ne departures were expe
ong with recruiting coo
gaps. But when fullbacl
rwith a season-ending]l
s about to expand.
hen Demetrius got hurt,
4e got a lot of playing ti
k, I've got to step up. (C
an expanded role) but I'
on the bench."
all the freshmen, this s
and how things are do
1 champion, starting p
days past, the numbers
play them," Carr said.'
e first freshman I remer
ickel defense right fron
se Woodson came and h
e extremely talented gu
eady to start in the first

Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-4
Weight: 210
Hometown: Brighton
Watch him because: Made more
money this summer than you will
make in your life.
Watch h
Cato No. 2, bu
June 'o'c' m
Position: Deft ve e
Height: 6-4
Weight: 260
Hometown: Mentor, Ohio
Watch him because: Recruited
as a tight end but was
switched to the defensive line, R


i Cornerback
wn: Washington, D.C.
im because: Wears
at is a computer sci
: Wide receiver
wn: Richmond, Va.
him barp Min tha

watch him ecause: Kuns e
David 40-yard dash in 4.32.
Terrell Averaged 20 ppg in basketball.
----------------------------------- -----
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 6-3
Weight: 195
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Watch him because: Caught 181
receptions for 3,352 yards - Marquise
all-time New York record. Walker

been touted as a speedy
Notre Dame bottled the
o 15 yards on four carne

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