Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Former Michigan All-American defensive lineman Chris Hutchinson arrived in Dallas Friday to get ready to attend the Wolverines’ season opener against Florida.

Hutchinson arrived with his wife and three children – two daughters who attend Michigan and son Aidan, a Michigan commit and four-star defensive end for Dearborn Divine Child.

Hutchinson is an emergency room doctor at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak but he grew up near Houston. He played at Cypress Creek High, and his mother and brother still live in the Hurricane-stricken city.

“I was actually just getting the lowdown from one of my buddies that live by my mom’s house and I was like, ‘What is it really still like?’ And he said they are still evacuating from Katy (just outside Houston). The reservoirs are overflowing so they have to pump out or the levies will break.

“I grew up in Cypress, like 15 minutes from (Katy). My mom had just had knee surgery and I just talked to her Sunday, and she was like, ‘We’re fine. We never flood here.’ Monday morning I get a text from my brother saying he was going to evacuate mom. He had to park the car at a grocery store and walk four blocks after the police barricade and walk her out. It was only ankle-high, but it got to her front porch.”

More: UM vs. Florida: View from the other side

Hutchinson said his mother has since returned to her home.

“She’s at the high point of her neighborhood, but the 15 streets behind her were feet, stories underwater,” he said. “My buddy is a good ol’ Texas boy who has a big, jacked up pickup truck, and he’s rescuing people. My brother, through their church, was getting pillows, clothes and food and doing what they can do. Where my family and friends are, they’re relatively good in northwest Houston; everything drains to the southeast. Southern Houston is still underwater.”

Hutchinson said when he picked up his rental car in Dallas, nearby gas stations had no gas.

More: Wolverines raring to prove youth is no ‘problem’

Hutchinson, who was named Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year 25 years ago when the Wolverines won the Rose Bowl, is cautiously optimistic about Michigan’s season.

“I hope they’re going to reload, but when you don’t return that many starters and you’re that young, this could go in any number of directions,” Hutchinson said. “When you look at how our quarterback (Wilton Speight) played last year and how he kind of struggled a little bit at the end of the year, it’s like, which quarterback are we going to see? Is he going to make some steps forward or not? We’ve got a whole new receiving corps. We have a bunch of freshmen out there, and they’re talented, but you need some experience.”

And his thoughts on the defense?

“I hope that D-line lives up to their ability,” he said. “You hear about this kid (Rashan Gary) and what he’s able to do physically, but I didn’t see it last year. I’m still waiting to see it. You can run fast and jump high, but you still have to play football.”

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE