Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was excited to see fullback Sione Houma at tailback last week, but he seemed more animated saying the senior's name.
Harbaugh, making his weekly appearance Thursday morning on the "Stoney and Bill Show" on 97.1 FM, didn't want to discuss officiating, said again he didn't know anything about tight end Jake Butt's deleted tweet after Michigan State's loss, but he did discuss Big Sean's visit with the team last weekend and Houma's performance against Rutgers.
Michigan used Houma at tailback against Rutgers, and he had six carries for 19 yards. He also had a 32-yard reception on a first-down play, and two players later the Wolverines scored their first touchdown in a 49-16 victory.
"Houuuuuuuu-Maaaaaaa!" Harbaugh responded on the show when asked about Houma. "They're not booing, they're saying Houma."
He said it took some time to realize how well the 6-foot, 242-pound Houma can play.
"When we first got here, it was spring ball, and he was out the whole spring ball," Harbaugh said. "We went to training camp, and he got his ankle rolled up a little bit and he was going on it. He was practicing, toughing it out. He was only 75-80 percent, so you're not knowing.
"And then he gets healthy, and he starts running the ball from the fullback position, he's catching the ball out of the backfield, he's covering on special teams and blocking like the dickens and then, let's play him at tailback. Yeah, let's play him at tailback."
That's when Harbaugh started bellowing Houma's name.
"You watch him in practice and then I just started going, 'Houuuuu-maaaa! They're not booing, they're saying Houma!' thinking everybody around me would get a chuckle out of that. These 18-, 19- 20-year-old guys are looking at me like I've got two heads. Don't you remember that? I mean, every team as you're growing up had a guy, you know, it would be, 'They're not booing, they're saying Bruuuuuce!'
"We've got one. His name is Houma."
Harbaugh believes Houma will continue playing football after this season, his final year of eligibility at Michigan.
"I just think he's a really talented player," Harbaugh said. "I think he's got a bright future in football ahead of him, too."
Earlier in the week, on the "Inside Michigan Football" radio show, lead tailback De'Veon Smith referred to Houma as a "coconut head."
"It never really hurts him," Smith said.
Houma was asked about Smith's description this week.
"I'm just hard-headed, that's what he means by that," Houma said. "Hard-headed football-wise. Me and the linebackers, I'm pretty much using all head (while blocking). I know that's wrong, but it doesn't pain me as much."
Some other highlights from the show:
On rapper Big Sean's visit to Michigan Stadium: "Awesome guy. A real gentleman, easy to talk to. Gracious as could be. You could imagine here we are in the locker room after a great win, and there's Big Sean, and all the fellas wanted to shake his hand or take a picture with him, and he couldn't be more gracious. You're talking about 114, 115 guys and coaches, and spent time with each person. His mom went to Michigan, his grandmother as well, he's a Cass Tech graduate and product, a Michigan guy. You feel like you're around friends and family when you're around Sean. Really fine gentleman."
On quarterback Jake Rudock: "Made appropriate throws, accurate throws, very confident. Made the scrambles, made the exceptional plays. Really pleased. I thought he had an outstanding game."
On the officiating in general and replay system: "From my perspective, that ground's been thoroughly plowed. It's been hoed, it's been tilled, seeded, and we're trying to find a way to block the 3-technique, No. 99 at Indiana (Adarius Rayner), right now. Trying to slow down their offense, which is extremely dangerous. That's my reaction. Thursday, Nov. 12, that's how I feel."
On tight end Jake Butt's tweet after Michigan State's loss to Nebraska (it was later deleted): "No, didn't see it. Don't know anything about it."