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October 27, 2010 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-27

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 7A

Walk-on DeBlois shows
promise early in season

TOREHAN SHARMAN/Daily
Sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson underwent an MR I for a nagging shoulder injury Results showed no structural damage
Robinson ready to play,
Bolden a question mark

CASANDRA PAGNI
Daily Sports Writer
As he stepped off the ice for a
post-practice interview on Monday,
a couple teammates teased fresh-
man forward Derek DeBlois about
keeping a level-head on his shoul-
ders.
"Don't forget where you came
from, man," they joked.
But talking with DeBlois reveals
pretty quickly sees that the "stay
humble" commentswere only made
in good fun. Less than one minute
into the conversation with DeBlois,
any questions of his early success
and development were immediately
attributed to teammates, linemates
and the upperclassman leaders on
the team.
DeBlois, who walkedon to the No.
4 Michigan hockey team this season,
is beginning to show those around
him why he is ready to fill a role.
Saturday's game against then-No.
10 Nebraska-Omaha marked just
the third regular-season game that
DeBlois has skated in, but the Rhode
Island native has wasted no time
makinghis opportunities count.
Playing on the Wolverines'
fourth line with senior right wing
Scooter Vaughan and senior center
Ben Winnett, DeBlois' two assists
on both of Vaughan's goals led the
freshman to the first multi-point
game of his career on Saturday.
"It's great playing with both
(Vaughan and Winnett). They're
seniors with great leadership,"
DeBlois said yesterday. "They tell
me what to do, put me in the right
spots. It's good to go out and play
hard because good things happen
when we put it on net. We were for-
tunate to get a couple lucky bounc-
es, and I was able to get a couple
assists (Saturday)."
With so much veteran talent
taking the ice each game this sea-
son for the Wolverines, Michigan
coach Red Berenson can take the
time to develop all of his freshman

JED MOCH/Daily
Freshman forward Derek De~lois had two assists in two games thispast weekend
in the Wolverines' two-game split with Nebraska-Omaha.

Tea
im
dl

m has focused on tormake
damage,
proving defense "An
was goo
uring bye week Mic
day may
Penn
JOE STAPLETON Bolden
Daily Sports Editor able," b
Paterno

In the first five games of the
Michigan football team's season,
sophomore quarterback Denard
RtJbinson looked unstoppable and at
times otherworldly. In the last two
games, however,
he has come back NOTEBOOK
to earth along
with the rest of the Wolverines.
And while this is partially due to
better competition, it has come to
light that Robinson has been deal-
ing with a nagging shoulder injury,
one that took him out of Michigan's
game against Iowa on Oct. 16 in
4nn Arbor.
The injury sidelined him and
paved the way for sophomore quar-
terback Tate Forcier to enter the
game and lead what was almost a
Wolverine comeback, one that fell
just short.
But Michigan coach Rich Rodri-
guez wants to emphasize: Forcier
played because Robinson was
iojured - not because the offense
was lookingstagnant.
-"Ifinditamusingthatpeopleeven
question that we have a quarterback
controversy," Rodriguez said at the
Monday press conference. "Denard
Robinson's our starter."
Luckily for the Wolverines, Rob-
inson said during Monday's press
conference that he's "100 percent"
after the bye week and hiscoach
has said he'll be ready to go against
Penn State.
Yesterday during the Big Ten
teleconference, Rodriguez gave
more information on the matter,
saying the team had an MRI done
on the sophomore's shoulder and
found it to be healthy.
"We did allthe tests with the MRI

ence th
not play
The it
terbacki
of injur
suffered
"The'
they'vev
of all the
SHOR
weeksa
an,
dar
wa
nities fo
more ti
their tea
ForF
that area
defense.
With(
the coun
with aq
terback,
time for
needed:
"We"v
whole s
ing ant
defensiv
during N
"It may
the field
improve
they sho

sure there was no structural way." '
," Rodriguez said. Roh said he has seen marked
d there wasn't any, so that improvement in making the right
d news." reads, breaking on balls faster and
igan's opponent this Satur- learning the defense asa whole.
not be so lucky. The coaching staff has been
State quarterback Robert making adjustments, evidenced by
has been listed as "prob- the switch of sophomore defensive
ut Nittany Lions coach Joe lineman Will Campbell to offense
said during the teleconfer- and freshman offensive lineman
at Bolden most likely will Quinton Washington to defense.
Rodriguez said he hoped the
njury to the freshman quar- open week would allow some of
is just the latest in a string the freshmen defensive backs to
ies the Nittany Lions have improve and catch up to where they
i. need to be, given that most will
y've had a shell of what probably be playing on Saturday
wanted to play with because given the team's depth issue in the
e injuries," Rodriguez said. defensive backfield.
RING UP THE DEFENSE: Bye "Particularly the freshman
are usually good opportu- defensive backs," Rodriguez said.
"They've gotten in there a little
bit but where we're at depth-wise
we got to play more guys and I'm
There wasn't hoping the open week will help get
those guys more ready to play."
iy (structural DAVEY O'BRIEN AWARD SEMI-
FINALIST: Despite the fact that
mage), so that Robinson'sproduction has slowed
gW in recent weeks, the football team
S .6.d news. announced on Monday that he is a
semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien
award, given to the nation's best
quarterback.
)r coaches to spend a little Robinson is one of 16 semifinal-
me on certain aspects of ists, joining fellow Big Ten quarter-
im that isn't working. backs Kirk Cousins, Terrelle Pryor
Rodriguez and Michigan, and Ricky Stanzi on the list.
a would be almost the entire Robinson also remains a con-
tender for the Heisman Trophy,
one of the worst defenses in though another speedy quarterback
try goingup against a team has stolen the spotlight.
questionable mark at quar- Auburn's Can Newton has been
the week off could provide dismantling SEC opponents, run-
the defense to get a much- ningmore than200 yards and three
tune-up. scores against Arkansas twoweeks
ire been making steps this ago and doing nearly the same in a
eason, we've been improv- win over then-No. 6 LSU on Satur-
d improving," sophomore day.
'e lineman Craig Roh said Robinson, for his part, thinks
Monday's press conference. Newton has been spectacular.
not show itself exactly on "Cam Newton played a great
I but we're slowly making game," Robinson said on Monday.
ments it's just how quickly "He was outstanding. Great guy,
ow up on the field in a big great player."

forwards, since he isn't counting on
them to score a ton of goals in their
rookie seasons.
But DeBlois already has three
assists to his name - two from
Saturday and one from an Oct. 9
matchup at Bowling Green - and
he has played in both of Michigan's
marquee matchups against then-
No. 9 New Hampshire and Nebras-
ka-Omaha.
"I think (DeBlois) mayhave been
a little bit of an unknown coming in,
compared tosome of the other high-
profile freshmen," Winnett said
yesterday after practice. "But it's
always nice to see a walk-on come
in and not really expect a whole lot
but work really hard and then end
up gettingup rewarded for it.
"You see kids like (junior for-
ward) Luke Glendening come in as
a small role as a freshman and look
at him now as a junior, he's grown
so much as a player. Someone like
(DeBlois) has the maturity and the
outlook that I think he can do the
same sort of thing."
Glendening has been an obvious
role model for DeBlois, as the two

played together at the Hotchkiss
School in Connecticut, along with
freshman defender Mac Bennett.
The familiar faces undoubtedly
helped his transition to Michigan.
In 47 games at Hotchkiss, DeBlois
tallied 25 goals and 37 assists.
While DeBlois admits he still
needs to "get stronger" to match
the physicality that persists in the
college game, he has made great
strides in preparing to become
a competitive collegiate player.
Berenson called DeBlois "recep-
tive" and "hungry ... to do the right
thing."
"Every game he's played, I've seen
some good things from him, wheth-
er it's his work ethic, his position-
ing - he's very aware," Berenson
said. "He knows what he should be
doing, trying to do the right thing.
He's been pretty patient with the
puck, and he made that nice play to
Vaughan onVaughan's firstgoal.
"I like his puck touches and I like
his work ethic and it's just a matter
of him growing along as the sea-
son goes on ... right now, he takes
advantage of his ice time."

Heralded 'M' recruiting class
expected to make big impact

Bernstein, Rossi,
Buzzi and Franks
make Blue's best
class in history
By ALEX STEINHOFF
For the Daily
The Michigan men's tennis
team's 2010 recruiting class is one
of its best in program history. Col-
lectively, the group ranked third
in the country. And having already
recorded eight wins together at
the Cliffs' NCAA Tennis Classic in
late September, the group is look-
ing forward to making an even big-
ger impact when the spring season
kicks off in January.
Because of the team's small size,
the four freshmen have had to step

in and contribute early. Three of the
four could easily see plenty of time
come January, and for this team to
excel, the recruits need to assert
their presence.
"I'm pretty confident and pretty
hopeful," Michigan coach Bruce
Berque said. We have nine players
and four of them are freshmen, so
we're going to need them to have a
pretty big impact. Most of them are
going to have to be contributing in
the line-up in every match we play."
"This is the most mature and
hardest-working class we've ever
had," Berque added.
For Shaun Bernstein and Justin
Rossi, both considered blue-chip
recruits, as well as Alex Buzzi and
Barrett Franks, the superlatives are
unimportant.
"No. 3 in the country doesn't
have too much of an impact on how
we think we're going to do," Bern-

stein said. "For now it's just focus-
ing on improving and hopefully
gearing up and getting ready for the
season."
Coming off a season in which
Michigan fell short in the Big Ten
Tournament and in the NCAA
Regionals, this class hopes to push
Michigan over the hump. Although
it is unknown whether any of these
freshmen will push veterans Evan
King and Jason Jung, these fresh-
men know they will have to work
hard to make a lasting impact on
this team.
At the Cliffs' NCAA Tennis Clas-
sic, Bernstein recorded three wins
in singles, while going 1-1 in doubles
with sophomore Chris Cha. Rossi
also notched two singles victories as
well as one victory in doubles with
fellow freshman Barrett Franks.
"I think we can make big things
happen this year," Rossi said.

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