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February 08, 2007 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, February 8, 2007 - 5A

Duo back to familiar roles

ByJAMES V. DOWD
Daily Sports Writer
Settling back into their old posi-
tions wasn't what Michigan fresh-
man Chris Summers and senior Tim
Cook envisioned for February after
spending most of the season adjust-
ing to new posts.
But in an effort to find the magic
chemistrythatmightlead toaCCHA
playoff title and a run at the Frozen
Four, Michigan coach Red Beren-
son has swapped Summers into a
forward slot and returned Cook to
defense for this weekend's games at
Bowling Green and against Michi-
ganState.
Summers is excited about the
prospects of moving up the ice, par-
ticularly because he will line up with
sophomore Andrew Cogliano and
junior Chad Kolarik on Michigan's
second line.
Summers believes he can help the
pair continue to find the back of the
net by providing protection with his
6-foot-2,185 pound frame.
"(Cogliano and Kolarik) designat-
ed me as the first forechecker," Sum-
mers said. "I'm kind of the body guy
for that line, so I should have a little
fun with it."
In addition to helping out his line-
mates, Summers hopes to add some
points, especially after notching
his first collegiate goal on Saturday
night.
Skating as a forward for much
of last season, Summers scored six
goals in 59 games with the United

States National Team Development
Program's under-18 team. The fresh-
man even found the back of the net
for the game-winning goal at the
World Under-18 Championships in
Sweden. But skating as a defense-
man at Michigan, Summers failed to
light the lamp inthe first29 games of
this season.
Having seen alternate captain
Jason Dest ice last Friday's 7-4 vic-
tory at Western Michigan on Friday
with a score, Summers laughingly
envisioned his first goal coming in a
similar fashion. Little did he know, it
would come just 24 hours later.
"(The firstgoal)waskind offunny
because I was joking about it with
(sophomore Mark) Mitera the night
before after Dest got the empty net,"
Summers said. "I said 'Watch my
first goal be an empty net,' and I told
him I wouldn'taccept it if it was. But
I don't really care how it comes as
long as it goes on theboard."
Regardless of whether or not
Summers can score on a goaltender,
Cogliano considers Summers's speed
and forechecking abilities among
the best on the team. Even with the
adjustments Summers will have to
make, Cogliano is optimistic the
freshman will make a difference.
"(Summers) will definitely cre-
ate space," Cogliano said. "I think
the only thing he will need to get
accustomed to will be getting the
puck on the boards and playing
well in the neutral zone. If he does
that, he will definitely create space
for Chad and I."

The adjustment will likelybe even
smoother for Cook, who always skat-
ed as a defenseman before this sea-
son. The senior has been forced to
switch from defense to forward and
back several times this season, and
he has been recognized by Berenson
for it.
Having skated at forward in
recent games, Cook has picked up
some different habits, but practic-
ing on defense this week helped him
work out the kinks.
"(The adjustment) is not really
that tough because I played defense
my whole life," Cook said. "For a
second, sometimes you will catch
yourself doing something that you
did on forward,but that is gone after
a practice or two. Defense is like sec-
ond nature to me, it's going forward
that's a tougher transition."
Even though Cook's shift will
change the chemistry of the whole
unit, his experience playing with
Mitera and Dest will help ease the
burden.
After playing just 24 games as a
freshman and sitting out the NCAA
Tournament during his sophomore
year, Cook has matured into a reli-
able defenseman. Senior captain
Matt Hunwick believes that Cook's
presence will help solidify the blue
line unit as the regular season winds
to a close.
"(Cook) brings a veteran pres-
ence back to the blue line," Hunwick
said. "He is able to kill penalties and
is reliable on the ice. He just knows
See SUMMERS, Page 8A

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr welcomed 20 new recruits tothe Michigan football team at yesterday's press conference.
'M' nabs top-lOdlass

Grading the Big Ten bubble

By DANIEL BROMWICH
Daily Sports Editor
As the crucial portion of the con-
ference season approaches, each
basketball game takes on greater
significance and has larger NCAA
Tournament implications. The Big
Ten, perennially one of the stron-
ger conferences from top to bottom,
is going through a down year. The
conference might see just four teams
make it to the Big Dance. There are
two elite teams (Wisconsin and Ohio
State), one good team (Indiana), a
handful of average teams and three
doormats (Northwestern, Minneso-
ta and Penn State). We'll elaborate on
those average teams with the Michi-
gan Daily's (a little past) Midseason
Report Card:
ILLiNOIS: After opening the con-
ference season with a rough stretch
that included losses at Michigan, at
Michigan State and home against
Ohio State, Illinois coach Bruce
Weber seems to have righted the
ship withthree consecutivevictories
and abighome win against then-No.
24 Indiana. The Illini's conference
record currently stands at 6-5, good
enough for fifth place. We'll find out
a lot about the team that was picked
in the preseason to finish third in the
Big Ten when it travels to Blooming-
ton on Saturday for a rematch that

could be its toughest contest for the
rest of the season. GRADE: B TOURNA-
MENT CHANCEs: 45 percent
INDIANA: Coinciding with Indiana
head coach Kelvin Sampson's arrival
in Bloomington has comea return to
prominence for the Hoosiers. Samp-
son brought his tough defense, no
nonsense attitude With him from
Oklahoma, and the Hoosiers have
once again become a team to fear.
At 6-3 in the Big Ten, Indiana boasts
impressive victories over then-No. 2
Wisconsin and then-No. 24 Michi-
gan State, albeit both at home. With
three of their final six games against
the bottom-feeders of the Big Ten,
the Hoosiers look to be in good
position entering the last month of
the season. GRADE: B+ TOURNAMENT
CHANCEs: 75 percent
IOwA: Many pundits counted the
Hawkeyes out after they entered
conference play 8-6, and promptly
lost three of their first five confer-
encegames. Butconsecutive impres-
sive wins at Michigan and at home
against No. 25 Indiana have them
back in the Big Ten race. While
most still don't consider it a serious
contender, Iowa currently stands
at fourth in the conference, and
with the conference-leading scorer
in senior Adam Haluska, it has an
outside chance to sneak into the

Tournament despite its disappoint-
ing nonconference results. Though
the Hawkeyes face tough games at
Wisconsin and at Michigan State,
the schedule also features contests
against Penn State and Northwest-
ern. GRADE: B- TOURNAMENT CHANC-
ES: 40 percent
MICHIGAN: Yet again, the Wolver-
ines have teased and teased their
fans. And yet again, they seemed
primed to fall short at the end. After
startingthe year 16-4, Michigan has
dropped four consecutive games,
and should be relieved to host Min-:
nesota this Saturday at Crisler Arena.
But after their date with the Golden
Gophers, the schedule toughens up,
with games sati Michigan State, at
home versus Indiana and then back
on the road to Illinois. The Wolver-
ines also close the season with home
games against Michigan State and
Ohio State, and without a "signa-
ture" win that they can point the
NCAA Selection Committee toward,
it seems Michigan coach Tonmy
Amaker's squad will come up short
yet again. GRADE: C+ TOURNAMENT
CHANCES: 30 percent
MICHIGAN STATE: After losing
three starters to the NBA Draft, the
Spartans boast the Big Ten's closest
resemblance to a one-man squad.
See REPORT CARD, Page 8A

By SCOTT BELL
Daily Sports Editor
After months of anticipation,
prognostication and unknown
player destinations, college foot-
ball's Signing Day finally arrived
yesterday.
And despite a few ups and
downs, the Wolverines' class has
taken form, and is once again one of
the nation's premiere groups.
The Michigan football team's
class of 2007 is headed by a pair
of five-star recruits. Quarterback
Ryan Mallett and cornerback
Donovan Warren both chose the
Wolverines over numerous other
suitors.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr pre-
sented these players, and 18 oth-
ers, who signed National Letters
of Intent yesterday to become the
newest members of the Michigan
football team at a press conference
yesterday afternoon.
"I like their character, I like their
potential and I look forward to the
opportunity to coach them when
they get here," Carr said.
Rivals.com ranks the group
as the nation's 10th best and first
among Big Ten teams.
Ohio State and Illinois followed
Michigan in the Big Ten's class
rankings, according to Rivals.com.
"We're trying to bring kids here
who have outstanding character,
who academically can compete,;
who have the athletic skills and the
competitiveness it takes to survive
in an environment like this," Carr
said. --- - -
The top-10 class could have been
even better had a few breaks gone
Michigan's way.
Five-star cornerback/wide
receiver recruit and one-time
Michigan lean Ronald Johnson
signed a letter of intent with South-
ern Cal yesterday. Earlier in the
recruiting season, four-star safety

For a full breakdown of the
cruiting class, visit our blog
at michigandaily.com.
... ............
Jerimy Finch committed to play at
Michigan, but later reneged on his
decision. He signed with Florida
early Wednesday morning.
Despite the setbacks, Carrseems
satisfied with his newest class,
especially those at the top.
Mallett is slated as the nation's
No. 2 quarterback by both Rivals.
com and Scout.com, and is listedby
both websites as a top-five overall
player. Notre Dame commit Jimmy
Clausen is listed as the nation's top
quarterback by both recruiting ser-
vices.
Mallett, a Texarkana, Texas,
native, received numerous national
honors following his senior year,
includingthe GatoradePlayerofthe
Year award for Texas's top overall
player. Mallett is currentlyenrolled
in classes at Michigan.
Warren, Mallett's teammate
in the Army All-American game,
chose Michigan over a number of
interested West Coastschools, even
recruiting juggernaut Southern
Cal. The five-star cornerback drew
rave reviews from Carr, including
the honor of being called "the real
deal."
"When he visited last year dur-
ing the season, he impressed me as
a guy that was really goal-oriented,
a guy that was not afraid of com-
petition," Carr said of Warren. "I
think he has all the skills it takes."
Carr doesn't intend to redshirt
Mallett and saidthat ayearofttute -
lage and preparation under quar-
terback Chad Henne as the team's
backup would be a great experi-
ence for the freshman. The loss of
senior All-American cornerback
Leon Hall from an already depleted
secondary could mean immediate
playingtime for Warren as well.
The Wolverines also reeled in a

handful of four-star recruits.
Toney Clemons (wide receiv-
er), Martell Webb (tight end),
Ryan VanBergen (defensive end),
Michael Williams (defensive back)
and Austin Panter (linebacker) will
all enter the program this year with
high hopes.
Three other prospects have
joined Mallett as early-enrollees
at Michigan. Fullback Vince Hell-
muth, safety Artis Chambers and
Panter, a junior college transfer, are
all currently taking classes at the
University.
"Certainly the weather has been
colder than Ryan Mallett would
have (liked)," Carr said. "We
told him it never got less than 40
degrees here."
Despite the inclement weather,
this year marks the most early-
enrollees that Michigan has ever
had in a single term.
Last season, Justin Boren and
Carlos Brownjoined the team early,
while two years ago, Kevin Grady
did the same.
Carr cited the opportunity to go
through winter workouts ,andmeet-
ings and the chance to participate
in spring practice as advantages of
coming early.
The members of Michigan's
incoming class hail from 10 differ-
ent states. Just five players came
from within the state of Michigan
(none of which were in the state's
top nine according to Rivalst.com),
with California close behind, pro-
ducing four new members of the
Maize and Blue. Ohio, a traditional
pipeline state ferMichigan ceruit-
ing, produced no recruits for this
year's class.
"I don't think a boundary line
means much," Carr said. "You find
football players wherever you can.
... The most important thing is that
the guys that you take are guys that
you have evaluated carefully and
believe very strongly in."

"U 0'""
Univrsity Of bMichigan Symposium
Energy Science,
Te cnology and Policy
FACING THE CHALLENGE
Keynote Address by
Samuel W. Bodman, U.S. Secretary of Energy
February 13-14, 2007,8:30 AM -5:00 PM
Horace H. Rackham Graduate School
915 E. Washington, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Details and Registration at
www.mmpei.umich.edu/symposiunl .htmnl
Organized by the Office of the Vice President for Research and
the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy institute
Sponsored by DTE Energy

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