August 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Michigan tight end Jake Butt on target for return by Big Ten play

Ann Arbor -- Michigan sophomore tight end Jake Butt is five and a half months removed from tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, but he’s getting closer to a return.

Coach Brady Hoke has projected Butt returning by the Big Ten season. Michigan’s conference opener is Sept. 27 at home against Minnesota.

Butt said he’s working on blocking fundamentals and running routes and is cutting well.

“I’m putting myself in a good position to come back as soon as possible,” Butt said Sunday at Michigan’s media day. “I’m definitely working hard, so when I come back, it’s a quick, smooth transition.”

He said he’s running and cutting as he normally would.

“I feel great,” he said. “With how good I feel now, I’ll feel better in a week, in a month.”

Butt said he was told an ACL requires six to nine months to heal. He and the medical training staff want the tendon and meniscus to heal.

“The last thing I want or they want is a re-tear of the injury,” he said.

Uniform gets high marks

Michigan last Friday unveiled an all-blue uniform with maize striped numbers and maize shoes for its night game against Penn State at Michigan Stadium.

“They’re cool,” offensive lineman Kyle Kalis said. “I like the fact it is dark and mysterious.”

Punter Will Hagerup gave it a thumbs up.

“I’m not being political -- I actually think they’re really cool,” Hagerup said. “They’ll look good when the whole team is out there.”

A compliment, probably

De’Veon Smith was asked about the influence of U-M running backs coach Fred Jackson, who is entering his 23rd season at Michigan.

“He has a lot of years on me,” said Smith, a sophomore. “He’s been coaching longer than I’ve been alive.”

Smith was born in 1994.

... Hoke on running back Derrick Green, who has dropped 20 pounds since arriving on campus last year: “A year ago he looked more like me.” (Laughter). “I don’t know why you’re laughing.”

Green is listed at 5-11 and 220 pounds.

Mason Pomoransky, 7, and his brother Matthew, 4, from Sarnia, Ontario, get autographs of Michigan's Ben Braden (71) and Blake Bars (62) during Youth Day. / Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News