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November 06, 2009 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-11-06

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I "S +




FORCIER From page 5B

You're about to see a very underwhelming team that
has one marquee win over a high-profile Midwestern
opponent and one crippling loss to a terrible team from
the state of Illinois.
That's Michigan, right?
Well, the Purdue Boilermakers are in the same boat,
snatching a season-saving win against Ohio State after
losing to Northern Illinois earlier this year. And both teams
need a win Saturday to salvage a disappointing '09.
Michael Eisenstein " Ruth Lincoln
Courtney Ratkowiak a Andy Reid
Last year's Boilermaker matchup was painful, but
the Wolverines' woes in that game look similar to
now. Here's why it's time for Michigan to play with
desperation if it wants to turn its season around.
Tate Forcier is an athlete, a goofball, a little brother and
4 student of the game of football -and after growing
up in a family of athletes, he just happened to wind up at
his dream school.
It's best to know the enemy, right? Read about
members of the opposing team in our weekly Q&A
feature. Up this week is Boilermaker junior wide
receiver Keith Smith.

Sept. 5 vs. Western Michigan: Before this win, it had been a while since
Michigan fans had anything to cheer about during opening weekend.
Sept.12 vs. Notre Dame: Hey, Chuck Weis, how about winning a
rivalry game this weekend? It'd be a new feeling this season.
Sept.19 vs. Eastern Michigan: The Eagles put up a good fight in the first half, but
'a. ,. Michigan again proved there's only room for one football team in Washtenaw County.
Sept. 26 vs. Indiana: Wait, what? Indiana still has a football team? We'll believe it when
we see it. And we didn't see it this year.
Oct. 3 at Michigan State: So the Spartans beat Michigan for the second year
in a row. Whatever. Keep Paul Bunyan. That thing is butt-ugly anyway.
Oct.10 at Iowa: Kinnick Stadium would rank as one of the best in the Big Ten -
', if their fans didn't storm the field after a win against an unranked team.


Oct. 17 vs. Delaware State: As if Michigan students needed more motivation
to skip this game, the Athletic Department scheduled it during Fall Break.
Oct. 24 vs. Penn State: Little-known fact: Joe Paterno is the only active college football
coach who participated in the Revolutionary War. Just kidding. He is really old, though.
Oct. 31 at Illinois: The Fighting Illini showed very few signs of fight in 2009 - that
is, until Michigan made Juice Williams look like a Heisman candidate. Again.
Nov. 7 vs. Purdue: Think the Wolverines still have that hook-and-ladder on their minds?
Expect them to come out swinging with one more win needed for bowl eligibility.
Nov. 14 at Wisconsin: It's still a week away, but we can already smell the beer
sold in the student union and, of course, the cheese curds. Oh, Madison.

Nov. 21 vs. Ohio State: The sweater vest -perfect for when your torso is ice cold but
your arms still need to breathe. Seriously, Tressel, what is up with that wardrobe?

"That's the two years kids
probably need the most super-
vision," he said. "That's when
they can make bad decisions
and stuff. Well, fortunately, he
didn't make any bad decisions,
other than not doing his home-
But Forcier resolved to catch
up, and with a renewed sense of
motivation and a love for foot-
ball, he refocused and chose his
best option - dual-enrolling
at Scripps Ranch High School
and San Diego Charter School,
a home school that allows stu-
dents to have a more custom
Forcier took almost double
the required amount of credits
in his first few years there, Mike
said, because he wanted to sur-
pass his schoolmates in order to
possibly graduate early for col-
lege football purposes.
"We just wanted to put Tate
in the best situation possible,"
Jason said. "Especially if you're
good enough to play as a fresh-
man, (enrolling early) is really
your only opportunity. It ben-
efits you that much more, espe-
cially if you're in a QB battle." ,
But graduating early meant
more than just loading up on
classes. In California, high
school seniors are assigned a
large report in December that
they have to present by May,
when they graduate. It involves
a paper about a specific profes-
sion, creating a resume, shadow-
ing jobs, conducting interviews
and spending a lot of extracur-
ricular time to work on it.
"Basically, it's so kids realize,
'You're becoming a young man
now,' " Suzanne said. "You're 18
now, and you're left to do this
thing all on your own."
It takes most kids all semester
to finish the project. But because
Forcier wanted to graduate early
and move on to Michigan - his
self-proclaimed "dream school"
- he worked day and night, fin-
ishing the project in less than
three weeks.
Bet you can guess what Forci-
er's theme was.
"He chose to do his project
on being a professional foot-
ball player," Suzanne said. "He
picked that because that's what
he knew the most about, and
that s what he wanted to be.'
And he had come a long way
from the seventh grader who
was quickly falling behind and
the struggling Catholic school-
boy. His project was so good
that the school kept a copy as
an example for future students.
Although the Forcier family

took some flak for putting their
kid in home school, it's becom-
ing a more and more common
occurrence for many football
recruits around the country,
including Florida poster boy Tim
The home-school route also
allowed Forcier to have a more
flexible schedule. He used the
time to work out with his train-
er, former NFL offensive guard
Marv Marinovich, a man who
Mike said is like a grandfather
to Forcier.
He also used it to take official
and unofficial visits to schools
and build up QBForce.com, all
of which helped him get the
name Tate Forcier out into the
college football world. And that
has been a key to the Forcier
family's success,'Jason said.
"Most recruits don't real-
ize this, but you're your own
product, and you're your own
brand," he said. "Tate Forcier is
his own brand, and his quarter-
backing is the product. If you're
good enough for them to find
you, why not go advertise your-
self a little bit? Pepsi and Coke
still do it, and everyone knows
what Coke is."
It may not have been the most
normal childhood - with the
family of star quarterbacks, the
home school, the self-promot-
ing website - but that hasn't
affected Forcier too much.
"He's just a regular kid," Jason
says with a shrug.
Even when he was five or six,
Forcier has displayed the swag-
ger that has become synony-
mous with his style of play.
"When we were in Pop War-
ner, he'd say, 'My brother's
going to kick your butt and run
all over you,' and stuff like that,"
Jason said. "But that was just
him being really proud of us."
But behind the confidence -
which Jason carefully explained
is what cocky people fleetingly
attempt to emulate - is a regu-
lar college kid.
He declined to doan interview
for this story, because, accord-
ing to a member of the Ath-
letic Department, he thought
the attention should go to an
upperclassman or "someone
who deserved it more."
When he goes to class, he
pulls a hoodie or a beanie over
his head. Because of his small
stature, he can slip through the
Diag without getting noticed.
He volunteers every Thurs-
day at Motts Children's Hospi-
tal after practice, as do many

Michigan athletes.
And when the scare-tactic
movie "Paranormal Activity," a
surprising hit among the college
crowd, came out, he went with
some friends only to find out
that it was sold out.
"He's not the type to go up to
the manager and say, 'Do you
know who I am? I'm the Michi-
gan quarterback,' or whatever,"
Jason said. "He'll go home and
check another time or make
other plans. He doesn't think
he should be getting special
treatment or anything. He's just

another regular kid."
But for Jason, who over-
shadowed Tate for so long, it's
a humbling experience to see
his brother lead a come-from-
behind drive against Indiana or
be worthy of the lead photo on
"It's like, I'm almost in that
position now, where I'm always
happy to gloat about him, pretty
much" said Jason, who lived
with Forcier in Ann Arbor for a
few months before moving back
to California to find a job. "I joke
around with my friends that I'm

like Drama in Entourage. ... I'm
just happy to see him come full
Now one of the most recog-
nizable names in college foot-
ball, not much has changed for
Tate Forcier since the days he
threw his baby bottle across
the room. It's just that, instead.
of his family being impressed
by his arm, it's a national audi-
ence that is watching him throw
touchdown passes.
After all, he is, and always will
be, a quarterback - as simple
as that.

Freshman Tate Forcier played football, basketball and baseball as a young child.

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Freshman Tate Forcier has led the Wolverines to late-game coieback wins over Notre Dame an Indiana.

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