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August 04, 2008 - Image 15

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-08-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Monday, August 4, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com




Threet leads in
quarterback race

The quarterback job is red-
shirt freshman Steven Threet's
job to lose. The Georgia Tech
transfer is more of a pro-style
quarterback than Pat White,
who ran Michigan coach Rich
Rodriguez's offense the last three
years to great success at West Vir-
ginia. Threet has a powerful arm
and could open up Rodriguez's
offense the way Shaun King did
under Rodriguez at Tulane in the
ldte 1990s. Threet doesn't have
anywhere near the running abil-
ity of White, but if he can be accu-
rate on his deep throws, he will
give defenses another element to
watch that White doesn't.
Redshirt sophomore Nick
Sheridan was in the running with
Threet coming out of spring prac-
tice, but he offers very little that
Threetdoesn't. Both are similar in
skill-set, but Threet is bigger and
has a better arm. Sheridan, the
son of former Michigan assistant
Bill Sheridan, may have a slightly
higher football IQ, but Threet is a
heady player, too. After battling
injuries, Sheridan had no schol-
arship offers coming out of high
school and, barring Threet strug-

gling to pick up the offense, prob-
ably doesn't have the pure ability
to win the job.
Freshman Justin Feagin is
the wild card. Feagin is the dual-
threat quarterback who fits the
latest incarnation of Rodriguez's
evolving spread offense. But can
he pick up the scheme in less than
a month? Junior running back
Carlos Brown, who played some
quarterback in high school, may
have had a chance to be the dual-
threat quarterback. But an injury
kept him out for most of spring
practice, so he doesn't have a leg
up on Feagin as far aslearningthe
offense. At this point, it may make
more sense for Brown to focus on
running back, leaving the dual-
threat possibility to Feagin. If
neither wins the starting job,
either could still play quarterback
as part of a package the Wolver-
ines use a few times per game.
Redshirt sophomore David
Cone doesn't have the arm
strength of Threet, the football
savvy of Sheridan or the athleti-
cism of Feagin or Brown. He's
chasing the pack.

Fifth-year senior Morgan Trent has developed into one of the nation's best cornerbacks after moving from wide receiver.
Trent and Warren lead secondary

Fifth-year senior Morgan Trent
and sophomore Donavon Warren
comprise the Big Ten's second-best
cornerback combination, trailing
just Malcolm Jenkins and Donald
Washington at Ohio State.
Trent has quietly become one of
the nation's premier cornerbacks.
He's very speedy and has devel-
oped excellent coverage skills after
moving from wide receiver.
Warren played very fundamen-
tally sound as a true freshman last
year. He showed immense talent
playing a finesse game but could

have some problems with more
physical receivers.
Junior Stevie Brown will likely
be the starting free safety. He has
enough ability, but he must prove
his football IQ is high enough to be
a successful starter.
Senior Brandon Harrison is a bit
small for a strong safety, but he can
hit with the best of them.Fifth-year
senior Charles Stewart is tied with
Harrison on the depth chart, but
Harrison's knockout blows should
earn him the job.
Freshman Boubacar Cissoko,

fifth-year senior Doug Dutch and
possibly Stewart are battling for
the nickel and dime back spots.
How ready is the undersized Cisso-
kothis year? Dutch has more expe-
rience, but hasn't done much on the
field for the Wolverines. Stewart
has bounced around the secondary,
looking solid at times, but never
good enough to secure a spot. All
three have definite weaknesses,
but they aren't too glaring consid-
ering the best of the three will be
Michigan's third cornerback.

For more on Michigan's quarterbacks and defensive backs and break-
downs of the other position groups, see www.michigandaily.com.
Check back during throughout the week for updates from the

From Page 14
racing, but who knows what will
happen? It's like when you haven't
been on a golf course in a long
time, and you just go out there and,
wham, in the first couple holes
you're playing better than you ever
have before."
So Harris was more than happy
to take a break from his training
to make the trip to a small meet in
Toronto. His parents, Albert and
Darlene, had just come back from
watchingAdam's older brother, A.J.,
play in a Canadian Football League
game for the Edmonton Eskimos.
They went back to Michigan for just

long enough to pick Adam upbefore what's amazing about the guy. I
returning to Canada. really had two or three times when
During Harris's warm-up there'd be kind of a dead period
stretch an hour before the race, when something was supposed to
the meet was canceled because of happen that didn't happen, and I'd
a severe thunderstorm. It was the say, 'I just don't know if I can see
last chance Harris had to run com- this happening.' But he just kept
petitively before the Olympics. going."
Harris could have gotten dis-
couraged. For that matter, the daily THE CHAMPAGNE FLOWS?
grind of intense workouts to pre-
pare himself for a goal that, accord- LaPlante just couldn't pass up
ing to LaPlante, had "less than a the opportunity to at least offer a
50 percent chance" of happening glass of the bubbly to Harris after
could have gotten to him. But did word came from Guyana that his
he ever worry about not competing citizenship had been accepted. On
in the Olympics? July 23, about a week after Harris's
"You. could probably see it in disappointment in Toronto, his
my face, but you never saw it in , spot on the Guyanan national team
him," LaPlante said. "I mean, that's became official.

Harris kindly declined the invi-
tation to celebrate.
"He acted like he knew it was
going to happen the whole time,"
LaPlante said. "I think in his mind,
he deserved to go. He ran the mark,
which is what he wanted to do. He
wanted to run for Guyana."
Harris understands the oppor-
tunity in front of him - not just the
unique experience that competing
in the Olympics can give to an ath-
lete, but also what his time in Beijing
will meanfor his future in track.
Few collegiate athletes get the
chance to compete internation-
ally before graduation, so running
against the best talent in the world
will be a great help if Harris choos-
es to pursue a career in sprinting

once his days at Michigan are over.
Not only that, but the colors Harris
chose to represent will have a pro-
found impact on the types of events
he'll be able to book in the future.
"Years from now, when he gets
in these track meets, the meet
promoters'- usually, the top eight
guys in the world are American -
they don't want eight Americans,"
LaPlante said. "They want a runner
from Jamaica and Finland and so
on and so forth."
But for now, Harris is solely
focused on his time in Beijing.
"I actually have no idea what to
expect, because I haven't raced in
so long," Harris said. "I'm just look-
ing to go over there, run mybest and
hopefully get a (personal record)."

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