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October 03, 2002 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-03

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October 3, 2002

PORactga TSil


Fraser gives student
athlete new meaning



By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Writer
He can't be faulted for leaving the
He did leave the team for himself.
But he didn't leave to make some
agent rich.
Brad Fraser, a senior defenseman,
left the Michigan hockey team last sea-
son to improve his academic standing.
"I'm doing pre-med now and I am
going on to chiropracting school after,
so there was a lot of work to be done,"
Fraser said. "It was hockey or school
that had to give, and school was more
It's been more than eight months
since Fraser's departure on Jan. 15.
But with his grades improved and his
tougher classes now out of the way,
the future chiropractor is looking to
reclaim his spot on the team and help
win a national title in his final year.
But it won't be easy for Fraser, who
is currently trying out for the team as
a walk-on and is watching redshirt
freshman Reilly Olson, freshman
Danny Richmond and junior forward-
turned-defenseman David Wyzgowski
impress coaches.
"Midway through the summer, when

I really gave it a serious thought about
coming back, I picked up my training
and tried getting myself acclimated to
these kinds of (practice) situations,"
Fraser said. "Unfortunately, the only
way to keep tempo with these guys is
to play with them, and I didn't get a
whole lot of chances to skate with
these guys."
Fraser will make his return to com-
petition tomorrow in the Blue/White
game at Yost Ice Arena. He will be one
of five walk-ons trying to impress
coaches enough to get the chance to
play. Yesterday, Fraser did get one
opportunity that none of the other
walk-ons have had: He played in a full
practice. Normally walk-ons play in
the first hour of practice, but do not
return for the second hour after the
Coach Red Berenson explained that
it was pain in sophomore Nick
Marten's foot - caused by a tight pair
of skates -- that allowed Fraser to play
more so that Martens could rest when
he needed to. Although it wasn't the
way he would want to get back in the
everyday swing of things, Fraser did
enjoy the full day.
"It's not back to normal yet by any
means, but it did feel good here being

Blue's 'Killer B's'must
make sting recognizable

After taking last year off to concentrate on his studies, pre-med senior Brad Fraser
is trying to earn back his spot on the Michigan hockey team.

out for the entire practice," Fraser said.
Although the Michigan coaches
don't usually support players leaving

the team early, they understood Fras-
er's unique situation.
See FRASER, Page 9A

Lentz bear crawls his way into M' lineup

They've got a catchy nickname.
Just not a lot of catches. While
that may not seem like much of
a problem to most folks, for the
Wolverines' "Killer B's" - receivers
Calvin Bell, Ron Bellamy and Tyrece
Butler - that's a stigma they've been
fighting their entire careers.
They had so much promise. So
much hype. But for one reason or
another, so few results.
The three upperclassmen have com-
bined for just 52 catches in their seven
total years of experience coming into
this season.
Just like a bee without a stinger, an
intimidating reputation can only scare
people for so long before they realize
the most potent thing it can do is buzz
around your ear.
But this year, the Wolverines may
need their "Killer B's" the most -
especially if they're serious about
smelling the roses in Pasadena.
When they're catching balls, it
means star sophomore Braylon
Edwards isn't doing it all by himself.
And if they're legitimate threats, it
means teams won't be as likely to dou-
ble-team Edwards, giving him a
chance to make plays.
And more importantly, it will mean
John Navarre is spreading the ball
around and checking off his primary
options. That's essential to the "new
offense," according to Bellamy, and
that's when it works the best.
You can expect Edwards and tight end
Bennie Joppru to be consistent every
game. But as shown so far this season,
when Butler, Bellamy or Bell show up,
the Wolverines have a significantly bet-
ter shot to win. It's as simple as that.
BUTLER: He was Michigan's savior
in the Wolverines' dramatic, last-sec-
ond win over Washington on Aug. 31.
The junior caught six passes for 85

yards, most of which came on critical
third down plays. And his heads-up
fumble recovery after sophomore
Edwards dropped the ball on the final
drive made the game-winning field
goal by Phil Brabbs possible.
Edwards may have been flashy and
gotten the attention. But Butler won
the game.
BELL: While the junior has the most
career catches of the three "B's" with
27, Bell is more known for running
Michigan's token reverse than being on
the receiving end of long bombs. But
Bell has benefited the most from But-
ler's case of the dropsies against Notre
Dame and Utah. As a result he saw a
majority of the snaps in Champaign.
The slot specialist caught five balls
against Illinois and showed his play-
making ability by accumulating most of
his yards after catching crossing routes.
BELLAMY: This was supposed to be
his turn in the receiving "cycle." And
after three years of fans asking, "What
the heck happened to Ron Bellamy?"
the senior finally made some big plays
against Illinois last Saturday. His
touchdown on a fade route - his first
score since last year's Penn State game
- not only gave him confidence, it
may have also given Navarre some
needed assurance that Bellamy's a
legitimate target.
"As a receiver, you never know when
your number will be called," Bellamy
said. "On Saturday, my number was
called pretty often and I made plays."
If the Wolverines have aspirations
for Pasadena instead of central Florida,
the "Killer B's" have to prove their
mettle - and show they still have
some sting left in them.

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor

Michigan redshirt freshman guard Matt Lentz put
plenty of mileage on his father's 1985 Chevy pickup
truck as a teenager.
But he didn't do it behind the wheel.
After each time Lentz's high school football team
lost a game, his father, Fred, made Matt push his 5,000-
pound truck from his farm in Ortonville to the street
corner and back - equivalent to nearly a mile round-
trip. Matt said it wasn't so bad since the "drill" helped
him learn how to keep his head low and gain leverage.
But it didn't help that in his junior season, his team
went 2-7. 1
"Everything he did was with football in mind," Matt
said of his father. "Every now and then he'd tap on the
brake to make sure I was still going."
Joked Fred: "If he can push that pickup, he shouldn't
have a problem moving any lineman."

Lentz has utilized unique training methods such as
doing bear crawls, bailing hay and pushing trucks to
become Michigan's strongest player - and an impos-
ing force on the offensive line. Along with fellow red-
shirt freshman and "small-town boy" Adam Stenavich,
Lentz has seen his playing time increase over the past
few weeks as he's shared responsibilities with fifth-
year senior Dave Petruziello. The boost of confidence
from coach Lloyd Carr has the two younger lineman
hoping to build a foundation for the next great Michi-
gan offensive line.
But Lentz said his main adjustment has been learn-
ing how to properly take a step back during pass block-
ing - especially since Michigan has been more apt to
throw in the "new offense." His high school team fea-
tured three other 300-pound kids, and Lentz said the
game plan was simple: Run, run and then run again.
"We passed the ball maybe three or four times each
year," Lentz said. "It took a while to stop leaning for-
ward when I pass blocked."

But Carr said both Lentz and Stenavich have grown
leaps and bounds in just a short amount of time.
"They're both very talented guys, and they're both
smart and tough," Carr said. "Physically, they have the
tools to play the position.
Both have improved dramatically since spring prac-
tice. We've had a lot of great lineman and a lot of great
lines, and those guys fit the mold of the people who
played before them. It's just a matter of time."
While Lentz said the quiet, mild-mannered Ste-
navich bears closer resemblance to comedian Rodney
Dangerfield than to an offensive lineman, Lentz admits
that he still gets razzed by teammates about his back-
ground and clothing style.
Lentz said he's often called "farmboy" because of
his heritage and his comfortable outfits, which consist
of a red hat, old jeans and boots. His family's 27-acre
lot in Ortonville - 10 miles north of Clarkston -
included a mid-sized home, a barn and a stable for the
See LENTZ, Page 9A


Joe Smith can be reached at



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