Michigan defensive end Chase Winovich will return to Michigan for his final year of eligibility.
Winovich tweeted his decision on Wednesday a day after posting a single-word tweet that read: “Bittersweet”. He mentioned several times the last month that he had been going back and forth considering both options— leaving to prepare for the NFL Draft and returning to Michigan.
“After much deliberation, I have decided to forego the NFL and come back to Michigan for one last season,” Winovich tweeted. “It’s my absolute honor to represent this university for one more season after everything it has done for me. Time to work.”
He had a breakout season this past year with 77 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He also forced two fumbles and recovered two.
More recently he became known for his spearheading a fundraiser for the ChadTough Foundation, urging donations to reach $15,000 — his jersey number is 15 — and he would dye his hair orange in honor of the late Chad Carr. Winovich dyed his long blond hair bright orange after more than $200,000 was raised to aid research into the rare pediatric tumor that took the life of Chad Carr, the grandson of former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.
In the days leading up to the Outback Bowl, junior-to-be defensive end Rashan Gary said he wants to become the nation’s top defensive end duo with Winovich.
“It's something that we always strive to, starting off, like when I first got here,” Gary said last week. “That's the first person I linked up with and had workouts with and went around campus with. That just stuck in my head — 'He's a defensive end, I'm a defensive end. Let's make this thing happen. Let's make the best defensive end duo happen.’
“That's something we've always kept in mind and something we always keep striving for.”
Winovich told reporters last week in Tampa before the bowl game that he was still considering all options.
“It’s obviously a tough decision,” Winovich said. “If you guys ever hypothesized if you were in my shoes, what would you do, come back and risk injury?
“It’s a violent game. I see people get hurt all the time. I see managers get hurt. They break arms and stuff, and they’re not even on the field with us. I’m just having fun and enjoying the moment with my teammates playing a lot of football here and getting ready for this game. Once that’s over with, I’ll ultimately be forced to make a decision.”
He said the decision has been difficult because there are advantages that come with choosing either options.
“It alternates,” Winovich said. “A lot of fluctuation. There’s so many pros to both. There’s not a lot of cons to either. Michigan has been so great to me. It’s not even about the money. I didn’t get in this game for the money, I’m not going to leave for the money it’s just a matter of opportunity. NFL has been a dream of mine, so we’ll see.
“You’ve got to ask yourself, I mean, I think we’re in that trajectory, but am I there yet? Are we there yet? That’s the question you’ve got to ask yourself. There are other positives, like if I come back, good chance I’d be a captain. There are so many reasons to be a leader for these young kids. In my eyes, I know what it takes to win. I love coach Harbaugh, the coaching staff, coach (Greg) Mattison, coach (Don) Brown. I could go on and on. There are a lot of reasons.”