Michigan freshmen already attacking in football

Mark Snyder
Detroit Free Press
Michael Dwumfour, left, and Rashan Gary work out in New Jersey in April. The incoming defensive linemen have “known each other since sixth grade,” Dwumfour said. “He’ll definitely be coming to my dorm room a lot.”

There was a time that freshmen would come into college football and understand their place.

They would defer to upperclassmen at their positions and expect to redshirt as they adjusted to college.

Apparently that’s not in the playbook for this massive 27-player Michigan class.

Already this summer the freshmen are attacking, especially those who arrived in June, not January.

“Honestly that’s what I can say about all of the freshmen, from (safety) Josh Metellus, from (linebacker) Josh Uche, from (safety) Khaleke Hudson, (cornerback) Lavert Hill, (receiver) Dylan (Crawford), (cornerback) David Long,” U-M senior cornerback Jourdan Lewis said. “All of the guys want to work. They go out there and they want to learn stuff. They want to play honestly. They want to play on Saturdays. They don’t want to just watch us, they don’t want to just learn from the bench, they want to be out there experiencing it. That’s something I haven’t seen in a long time in a recruiting class, guys that want to come in there trying to get early starting time.”

All but Crawford are defensive players so Lewis understands they’re coming for his job and the other upperclassmen, but that impresses him.

“They’re way better than me when I was that age — they may be better than me now,” he said. “It’s crazy how mature you see these guys. You see them at camps running 4.3s and stuff like that. When I went to The Opening, we ran 4.6s. These guys are so mature, they’re ready. Their bodies are so ready for a 15-game season, a 14-game season. You can see these guys are ready to play right now.”

The receivers have stood out to him as well, matching up.

“Those guys are physical, those guys are big, they came in looking like college receivers,” Lewis said. “They came in with the mentality that they want to play.”

Defensive lineman Rashan Gary, the nation’s No. 1 recruit, still remains a mystery to many because there haven’t been full team drills as the linemen and skills position players split during the summer.

But his workout reputation is already growing.

“I haven’t got to see too much or experience what he does but he runs like a wide receiver,” U-M tight end Jake Butt said. “I’ve seen him running around a little bit. I saw him put up 26 reps at 225, so that’s always a good thing if you can do that. I’m excited. There’s a lot of hype surrounding him but he seems to have a hard-work mentality. I’m sure he’ll be a high motor guy too.”

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