Michigan cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich said Wisconsin will be the toughest challenge so far for the back end of the defense. Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Ann Arbor — Michigan coaches have not scaled back on their praise of freshman safety Dax Hill.
Hill has a long reception on a fake punt this season, but he’s been getting prepared to make a significant contribution on defense.
“Wow, he’s going to be something else,” Mike Zordich, who coaches the corners, said Wednesday. “Once he gets it, lights out.”
Zordich said the delay for most freshmen getting on the field sooner is because they’re lagging behind just a bit coming out of preseason camp. They have to juggle the bridge program — academics — with camp, and although Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh tries to accommodate their schedules, they sometimes miss practice time.
“He’s so talented, so extremely talented,” Zordich said. “Very little wasted motion. For him, like the rest of these guys coming in here in June, just getting settled in with the school, setting in with ball, learning the system — once all that gets under the belt, a guy like Daxton Hill is going to be very dangerous.”
Thomas’ quick recovery
Cornerback Ambry Thomas this week detailed his 35-pound weight loss after being diagnosed with colitis, his 30-day hospital stay and his rapid recovery that had him on the field before anyone thought possible, especially his doctors.
Zordich didn’t think Thomas would be back until the Big Ten opener at Wisconsin on Saturday and said Thomas was worked into the game plans for this week before he accelerated his return. Thomas had an interception in the season opener.
“Hats off to him,” Zordich said. “He’s had a hell of a recovery, and to spend as many days as he had in the hospital, just have everything intact — it really didn’t even look like he missed a beat. We worked him in slowly, but man, once he was allowed to go full go, he picked up right where he left off in the spring.”
Camp Randall rocks
It’s difficult to find someone who hasn’t enjoyed watching a game at Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium. Even opposing coaches and players admire the raucous crowd.
“Great atmosphere,” Zordich said. “It’s a hell of a place. Great fan base.”
It is no secret Badgers fans often enjoy a beverage or two (or more) before, during and after games there. It was suggested to Zordich that perhaps because it’s an 11 a.m. kickoff in Madison, maybe Wisconsin's fans will have less time to indulge.
“That I can’t answer,” Zordich said laughing. “But I would think they’re probably pretty used to 11 a.m. games. They do pretty good for themselves.”