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Michigan's Onwenu a 'mountain of a man'

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Michael Onwenu (6-foot-3, 375 pounds) can be a contributor on either side of the ball.

Ann Arbor — There’s been so much talk at Michigan about three-way player Jabrill Peppers, and cornerback Jourdan Lewis perhaps joining him, but earlier this week, coach Jim Harbaugh said freshman offensive lineman Michael Onwenu is practicing both ways.

Harbaugh called Onwenu, out of Cass Tech, one of his “favorites.”

“He can be a contributor on either side of the ball, I think he’s that good,” Harbaugh said this week.

Nose tackle Ryan Glasgow on Friday marveled at the freshman’s size.

“He’s a mountain of a man. He’s a big guy,” Glasgow said.

At the most recent weigh-in, the 6-foot-3 Onwenu tipped the scales at 375 pounds, according to Glasgow.

“I think that’s the heaviest on the team by about 50 pounds,” said Glasgow, who’s listed at 299. “That’s a pretty wide margin on a college football team.”

When Onwenu has practiced with the defense, he has shown them looks as an offensive guard in individual drills.

“You’re just like, ‘This kid is huge,'” Glasgow said. “And he picks up on everything really quickly. If you can play offensive and defensive line both as a true freshmen, and you’re rolling through depending on the day whichever side of the ball they want you to play, that’s pretty impressive.”

Onwenu’s size apparently does not limit him.

“He moves extremely well for a guy who’s the biggest guy on our team,” he said. “It’s pretty impressive.”

Big and fast: UM freshmen make vets take notice