Receiver Eddie McDoom says Michigan isn't thinking about next season. Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Ann Arbor — Michigan players are not listening to those who, because of the Wolverines’ youth, think they should be successful in the 2018 season.
The Wolverines have five returning starters, and many national pundits have pointed to that as a reason the program may be a year away from something big.
“We’re not looking for next year, we’re looking for now,” sophomore receiver Eddie McDoom said Friday night after practice. “That’s our mindset. Freshmen, every player.”
He was asked if the players are taking personally that people might believe Michigan is a year away. McDoom said he and his teammates pay no attention to that line of thinking.
“We don’t even think that way,” McDoom said. “We think we’re going to win it this year. That’s the mindset. You come in every season, and you want to win. There’s no next year. No, it’s this year. We’re going to come in and grind, and we’re going to come in fighting. Our goal right now is to win the national championship, the Big Ten and be the greatest team we can be.”
Michigan practiced Friday and Wednesday at Michigan Stadium. Typically, the Wolverines practice at the Glick Field House and the adjacent outdoor field.
“It’s a nice change of pace when you get to practice in that beautiful arena,” offensive lineman Ben Bredeson said. “It gets things a little more fired up I would say.”
Bredeson has personal draw to Barcelona
Bredeson, along with several teammates, including offensive lineman Jon Runyan Jr., took part in a three-week study abroad program in Barcelona in May.
He said news of the terrorist attack this week in Barcelona hit home. A van drove on a sidewalk on the busy Las Ramblas promenade and killed 13 people.
“We talked about that, the guys who were all out there,” Bredeson said Friday. “It’s a very popular area in Barcelona and very historic. We learned about it a lot. We walked down that street. That hit home. That was sad. When I heard about it, my heart goes down a little bit for that.”
He said he and Runyan immediately contacted their “host mom” in Barcelona.
“She’s doing fine,” he said.
Big Mike is back
Michigan sophomore offensive lineman Michael Onwenu apparently has dropped some weight — his position coach Tim Drevno said this spring he was at 372 pounds and was working to shed some pounds — in the offseason, but that hasn’t affected his strength.
Ryan Glasgow, a starting defensive lineman last season who has moved on to the NFL, often talked about the immovable object that is Onwenu.
That hasn’t changed as he challenges for a starting spot on the line.
“He’s incredibly powerful,” Bredeson said. “We watch him squat over the summer, just the weight he can move, everybody’s eyes turn and watch him when he squats. He’s got that strength and power behind him. When he gets somebody rolling, you’re not stopping him. If you’re a linebacker and you try to blitz at him and want to take him head on, you’re not going to go anywhere.”
James, Josh — he’s a Ross
Freshman linebacker Josh Ross has been referred to as “James” by coach Jim Harbaugh and several teammates during interviews this preseason camp.
Certainly, that’s understandable since his older brother, James Ross, played for the Wolverines. James’ nickname at Michigan was “Biggs”
“We just call him Little Biggs,” sophomore linebacker Devin Bush said this week, referring to Josh. “He likes that.”
His teammates can’t stop talking about his physical play.
“He’s got a hard head. He’s got a big head, too,” Bush said. “I think it was Khalid (Hill) or an O lineman, but as soon as he touched them, they just buckled.”