UM bowl practice leads to position tinkering
Orlando, Fla. — Bowl practices always have been an opportunity for coaching staffs to move players to different positions, and that has been the case for Michigan.
Last week, UM coach Jim Harbaugh said freshman quarterback Zach Gentry has worked at tight end, while defensive lineman Reuben Jones has played at inside linebacker.
And freshman receiver Brian Cole has been practicing at safety. During a team dinner Monday night at Buffalo Wild Wings, sponsor of the Citrus Bowl in which Michigan will face Florida on Friday, buck linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone praised Cole’s bowl practice performance.
“It’s going well,” Jenkins-Stone said. “He’s been coming on bringing a lot of havoc. He’s been doing well.”
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Cole from Saginaw Heritage is a versatile athlete.
“Everybody gets their time to play,” Jenkins-Stone said. “We’ve been doing a lot of scrimmaging for the younger guys. Everybody’s been getting some time at their new positions. Everybody’s been doing well. Coach Harbaugh is changing people’s positions and putting people where he feels it would be best for the team.”
Although these moves have not been revealed to be permanent, Jenkins-Stone feels good about Cole’s chances on the defensive backfield.
“Coach Harbaugh feels he can make that happen,” he said. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to fill a void in the secondary.”
Ready to go
Quarterback Jake Rudock reiterated on Monday after practice that his left shoulder is good to go. A few weeks ago after a practice in Ann Arbor, Rudock said he was back to throwing about a week after he took a big hit from Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa in the regular-season finale on Nov. 28, and said he would play in the Citrus Bowl.
Back in his native Florida, Rudock said he has healed.
“We’re, what, four weeks out now?” Rudock said after practice at West Orange High. “Obviously, right after I felt really bad but now I feel really good. I’m doing everything I can, playing football as normal, don’t have the same restrictions, which is a good thing.”
Rudock grew up in south Florida and attended St. Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale. He will play his final college game in the same stadium where he played his final high school game.
After starting the 2013 and 2014 seasons at Iowa, Rudock was a graduate transfer to Michigan. He helped lead the Wolverines to a 9-3 record and a bowl appearance.
Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno said Monday it obviously took time for Rudock to find timing with the receivers and to gain a full understanding of the offense.
“(He) probably feels more comfortable when the call comes in and probably can process it quicker with the time he spent doing it,” Drevno said.
Plates and plates of chicken wings were served to Michigan players Monday night at Buffalo Wild Wings, sponsor of the Citrus Bowl.
Center Graham Glasgow said because he was hungry, he would demolish a huge number of boneless wings.
“If they allowed me I probably would be able to take down 80 or so,” Glasgow said. “I’m so hungry. Maybe my eyes are bigger than my stomach. That’s my approximate guess.”
He said he has eaten 40 at one time, but said he could polish off 80.
“Eighty is a pretty high number, but I’ll stick with it,” he said.
Big Disney fan
Royce Jenkins-Stone is 6-foot-2, 240 pounds which makes him a “big” Disney fan. In reality, he is a huge fan of Disney characters and is excited about the team visit to Disney World on Tuesday.
“I haven’t gone in such a long time,” Jenkins-Stone said. “I used to collect the pins. It’s like a necklace with all the Disney characters on it. I used to trade with people.”
His mother is bringing the necklace for her son when she travels to Orlando.
“I’m going to wear them and trade them,” Jenkins-Stone said enthusiastically.