Winter Garden, Fla. — For some, it’s time to move on as their eligibility expires, but for others who have a chance to take the leap to the next level of football, it’s best to stay.
That’s how Michigan defensive lineman Chris Wormley feels.
Wormley, with his team here practicing for Friday’s Citrus Bowl against Florida, has one year of eligibility remaining and while the Wolverines’ tackles-for-loss leader this season opted to submit paperwork to the NFL Advisory Board, he already knows his plan.
“I’m staying, there’s no reason for me to leave now,” said Wormley, who added that coach Jim Harbaugh encouraged him to submit his name. “Another year to get better, another year to show the NFL my talents, and I’m here to play for Harbaugh one more year and play with the teammates I’ve been playing with the last four years.”
While Wormley knows he will be back, he said he wanted to get a baseline from the advisory board regarding his talent and also wanted feedback on areas to improve.
“You want to see where you rank among the guys leaving this year to get a range where I’m at and a judgment (and) see where I can grow as a player,” Wormley said.
Linebacker James Ross III said he will play in the NFLPA postseason game, and linebacker Desmond Morgan said he will train for Michigan’s pro day and “see if a team will give me a shot.” Morgan and Ross will play their final games Friday.
The Citrus Bowl parade is Wednesday and former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, who arrived Tuesday in Orlando, will be the grand marshal.
Carr coached his last game for Michigan after a 13-year Hall of Fame career as head coach in the 2008 Citrus Bowl. The Wolverines defeated Florida that year.
Players who won’t be back in Michigan uniforms next season said they are taking in these last few days of practice and making mental notes.
“I think about it, definitely,” Ross III said Tuesday. “I know this is the last opportunity to practice with my teammates.”
Co-captain Joe Bolden said it hasn’t sunk in yet that his college career is ending.
“I’m sure it will be — when I’m pulling up the pants, putting on the jersey and strapping the helmet for the last time — pretty emotional but exciting at the same time,” Bolden said. “It’s another opportunity to play football for a great university and for awesome teammates.”
Linebacker Desmond Morgan said the finality of his college career is setting in, and he expects the full effect will hit him after the game.
“We’re so focused on the game that it hasn’t really hit me,” he said.