8A - Thursday, November 10, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
McGary and Robinson III
officially sign with Michigan
Redshirt junior linebacker Kenny Demens (25) shrugged off a hamstring injury in Michigan's loss to Iowa last Saturday.
Hamstring can't slow
Demens at linebacker
By MICHAEL FLOREK
It looked like a normal play in
a normal game, when Iowa wide
receiver Keenan Davis caught
the ball on a crossing route
with redshirt junior linebacker
Kenny Demens giving chase on
the Hawkeyes' first drive of the
game. Davis easily pulled away
from Demens for a 44-yard gain.
It was one of just thrge play of 40
or more yards that the Wolverines
defense has allowed this season.
Three hours later, the play was
largely forgotten about due to last-
Three days later, it made sense.
Demens wasn't supposed to
be the man to chase him all the
way to the sideline. But defensive
coordinator Greg Mattison .gited
Demens's ability to run as one of
his strengths. He wasn't expected
to run down receivers, but stl, he
got dusted. 19
Tuesday, Maftison reugled the
answer to Demens's lack of burst:
he had played the whole game
with a hamstring injury. Agcord-
ing to Michigan coach Brady
Hoke, Demens had been playing
with the ailment for a while.
"I venture to say there's a lot of
players that would have tapped
out right there," Mattison said
of Demens playing against the
lot of gi
it that w
son are t
es. "You could see as he Fitzgerald for the middle line-
ing to the football, that backer spot. According to Matti-
vas not there. He played son, it didn't talk long for Demens
smething that maybe a to separate himself.
uys wouldn't have played Now, Demens rarely rotates
out. As the quarterback of Mat-
ite the big play early, tison's defense Demens has four
continued on. Junior or five pre-snap checks he could
'e end Craig Roh said make before every snap. Starting
that he "had no idea" his 16th game this Saturdayalong-
was injured. Hoke knew, side two freshman linebackers in
didn't make a difference. Jake Ryan and Desmond Morgan,
Demens has taken over the reins
of the defense.
"At this point you hope he
le guy is built doesn't look new at all," Mattison
said. "It was a learning process
ke a tank ... for him and I think it was a learn-
.ing process in the spring but he's
can come in gotten better and better."
,,l It was true Saturday. By the
di hit people. end of the game, Demens had
recovered from the long play.
He finished with 11 tackles, the
highest total on the team.
ln't feel the pain, let's put And with two and a half min-
ay," Hoke said. utes left, Iowa had a 3rd-and-1. A
ns's 62 tackles this sea- first down wouldlikely end the
the most on the team. But game. As Hawkeye running back
oportantly, Demens has Marcus Coker took the handoff,
d in 34 straight contests, Demens and Ryan charged into
in every game since he the backfield and hauled him
ed his freshman season. down for a one-yard loss, setting
hadn't a game started up the Wolverines' final drive.
dway through last season. "The guy's built like a tank,"
a new coaching staff Roh said. "He's big guy, and he's
into the season, Demens stout and he can come in and hit
camp battling senior J.B. people. I love how he plays."
By BEN ESTES
Daily Sports Editor
The early signing period for
the basketball class "of 2012
began Wednesday, and for the
first time in a while, Michigan
has one of the elite classes in the
The Wolverines landed a con-
sensus top-10 class in the coun-
try, ranked as high as No. 4 by
Rivals.com and No. 6 by ESPN.
com. Power forward/center
Mitch McGary - who commit-
ted to great fanfare last Thurs-
day - and forward Glenn "Tre"
Robinson III faxed in their
National Letters of Intent to
Michigan on Wednesday. Guard
Nick Stauskas is expected to
send his on Friday.
It's the program's best class
since the 1999 group of LaVell
Blanchard, Jamal Crawford,
Kevin Gaines, Gavin Groninger
and Leland Anderson arrived in
"It's a top-10 class in the
country (to Scout.com), so obvi-
ously that signifies that it's one
of the best around," said Scout.
com recruiting analyst Brian
Snow. "Mitch McGary (is) one
of the premier players. You got
Glenn Robinson, who's one of
the best athletes and someone
who's really on the upswing
with his game, and then also
Nick Stauskas, a big-time shoot-
"You combine all three of
them, it's a heck of a class for
(Michigan coach) John Beilein."
It's the best class Beilein has
landed in his coaching career.
Beilein's never had a reputation
as a great recruiter. Many were
uneasy about his ability to land
top talent when he was named
Michigan's coach in 2007. In
the past, Beilein had signed
more unknown, low-rated
recruits who seemed to fit his
But he did sign Darius Mor-
ris in 2009, who was ranked No.
77 by Rivals.com, and sopho-
more forward Evan Smotrycz in
2010, ranked No. 59. This class
especially breaks the mold and
helps ease the concerns about
Beilein's recruiting ability.
"If someone asked you before
(this class) if they'd be beating
out North Carolina, Duke, Ken-
tucky for kids, you would've
Michigan coach John Beilein received two Letters of Intent on Wednesday and
expects a third on Thursday from Nick Stauskas.
looked at him like he was crazy,"
Snow said. "For me, it's really a
pleasant surprise for Michigan
fans that Beilein is recruiting at
such a high level because he's
proven throughout his head
coaching career that he can 'X'
and 'O' with the best of them,
and he's one of the best in-game
coaches in the country."
The crown jewel of the group
is McGary, a consensus top-5
"Mitch possesses a unique
blend of size and skill with
a motor to run, rebound and
compete, which will serve
him well at this level of col-
lege basketball," Beilein said
in a statement. "Mitch loves
the University of Michigan and
loves playing basketball and
will bring energy and enthusi-
asm to our team."
But the other two recruits
are no afterthoughts. Robinson
III - the son of former Purdue
and NBA star Glenn "Big Dog"
Robinson - is ranked No. 34 by
Rivals.com. Like his father, he's
an explosive athlete, but also
has the ability to hit outside
shots. With his ability to finish
above the rim, the 6-foot-6 Rob-
inson could be the Wolverines'
best dunker as soon as he steps
on the court next fall, and Snow
said he's a potential McDon-
"The combination of (Rob-
inson's) explosiveness and
unselfishness, along with his
expanding skill set, makes him
a perfect fit for Michigan Bas-
ketball," Beilein said.
Stauskas is more of a tradi-
tional Beilein player, as he's
known as one of the best out-
side shooters in the class of
2012. But the Canadian - who
attends St. Mark's prep school
in Southborough, Mass. -
also is athletic for his 6-foot-5
frame, and can get into the lane.
Snow said that all three can
earn immediate playing time
next year and said McGary
would immediately be Michi-
gan's best player. Stauskas
seems to be a perfect fit for a
role similar to senior guard Stu
Douglass's, and with Robinson
III's explosive athleticism, he
should be an asset off the bench.
Combined, the class of 2012
adds to a Michigan team that
should again be highly ranked
when the three recruits step
onto campus next year.
"You have to say this is an
excellent class for (Michi-
gan)," Snow said. "Michigan
fans, Michigan coaches, (and)
Michigan players all have to be
thrilled with what's coming to
Having already secured four
verbal commitments for 2013,
it appears the Wolverines are
already done recruiting for that
class. That means that Beilein
and his staff can already begin
to concentrate on players in the
class of 2014.
Hopkins embracing new role, Hoke reacts to Paterno situation
BykEiN RAFTERY Oak,Z
Daily SportsEditor games
Trailing Notre Dame, 24-7, at
the start of the fourth quarter,
Stephen Hopkins lined up in
the I-formation behind junior
quarterback Denard Robinson,
as senior running back Michael
Shaw ran in motion. The Wol-
half a yard - it NOTEBOOK
whom the ball was going to.
Robinson took the snap and
immediately handed it to the
6-foot, 228-pound running back.
Hopkins put his head down and
tried to bulldoze his waythrough
the Fighting Irish defense. But
before he made it back to the line
of scrimmage, the ball was loose.
Somehow, the ball bounced
right back to Robinson, who
dashed left and scampered into
the end zone from two yards out
for the score. Just how the Wol-
verines drew it up, right?
Though Hopkins lucked out
against the Fighting Irish, his
inability to hold onto the ball
helped land him a spot on the
In just eight carries this sea-
son, he's fumbled twice.
That is, until Michigan coach
Brady Hoke and his staff decided
to use Hopkins in a different role
- as a fullback. k
Hoke and offensive coordina-
tor Al Borges noticed something
in Hopkins they felt *ould fit
perfectly in their system and
would allow them to play Hop-
kins without taking time away
from the other running backs.
"He's a good lead blocker,"
Borges said. "He has tailback-
type skills, so he has good feet,
but he has some toughness."
The sophomore out of Double
as he c
Texas has played in five tion)," Hoke said. "Some of them
at fullback this year and is fight it, but he's been great.
e starter, in front of fifth- "He's jumped in with both
nior John McColgan. feet."
ugh Hopkins may not And this time, he didn't drop
s big of a role on the stat the ball.
he may be more important PENN STATE WHISPER-
an ever. INGS: With the recent allega-
opkins's) role has become tions at Penn State and prior to
(since switching to full- the announcement of coach Joe
Hoke said. "On the kick- Paterno's dismissal, Hoke knew
turn team, he's done a he'd be asked to comment about
good job blocking there, the situation in Happy Valley.
's become more of a factor He came prepared.
vely." "I'm going to make a brief
statement just regarding every-
thing up at Penn State," Hoke
said at the beginning of his press
We have the conference on Wednesday. "One
thing I can tell you, we have an
most respect utmost respect for what coach
Paterno's done on the field.
"It's really a situation that's
: sd obviously unfortunate, but it's
one that doesn't affect us. We've
got to worry about Michigan
and the decision that we make in
getting ready for this week and
transition from running going to Illinois and winning a
fullback is one that's not football game."
mbraced - the back must Asked later in the press con-
n playing in the spotlight ference about the Nittany Lions'
king in the trenches, earn- situation, Hoke simply said,
ying time with toughness "We're not going to talk about
icking, often going unno- that."
the public eye. Senior defensive tackle Mike
much of it is a buy-in," Martin also said the team
said. "If you're still remains focused solely on what
ng in the back of your Michigan needs to do this week
you're still going to be to beat Illinois, but he did offer
ack, you can't be a full- one comment on Paterno's
That doesn't work in our impending retirement.
"The Big Ten trophy is the
rding to Borges and Stagg-Paterno trophy," Martin
Hopkins has bought in, said. "So I think that says it all
will continue to pay divi- and how much (Paterno has)
for Hopkins and the team given to college football."
ontinues to grow at full- The trophy is currently
named after Paterno and the
some guys, I think they legendary University of Chicago
roblems with (the transi- coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. How-
y'6 .S NHS .1r 'f '. ^ [ .,,
FILE PHOTO/Daily F$
Joe Paterno leaves Happy Valley as the winningest coach in college football history.
ever, members of the Stagg fam-
ily have recently voiced concern
over having their name attached
to Paterno's, and it is possible
that the name of the trophy will
BURNED: Freshman Delonte
Hollowell, a defensive back
out of Detroit Cass Tech High
School, played in his first career
game last Saturday against
He played on special teams
and recorded his first career
Until that point, it appeared
that Hollowell, who weighs just
164 pounds, would redshirt and
work on gaining weight for next
According to Hoke, Hollowell
was just too good in practice not
to play in games.
"He's such a pain in the butt
all week, to be honest," Hoke
said. "On the scout team, how
he competes, doing everything
we ask him to do - he's got very
good quickness. He's athletic,
he's not big, but he's very intel-
"We got to a point and we
looked at some depth issues we
felt we had, and it was an oppor-
tunity for him to get five good
games under his belt, and the
experience is going to pay divi-
dends this year."
BARNUM'S BACK?: After
missing Saturday's game against
the Hawkeyes with an ankle
injury, redshirt junior offensive
lineman Ricky Barnum should
be ready to play on Saturday
against the Fighting Illini,
according to Hoke.
"He did some things (in
practice Tuesday)," Hoke said.
"We'll see. He'll play, but we'll
see how healthy he is."
Even if Barnum isn't 100-per-
cent healthy, his presence would
greatly help an already-limited
offensive line - the Wolverines
have just six linemen with expe-