Ann Arbor – It was the most heated moment during Michigan’s four spring practices in Florida.
Fullback Henry Poggi mixed it up with linebacker – and roommate – Ben Gedeon, and the two had to be separated during the skirmish. But that moment is exactly why playing fullback fits Poggi’s personality.
“I was like, ‘Man, we’ve been in helmets this whole time and Ben’s been chirping at the line a little bit. I’ll just give him a little bit extra this play,’” Poggi said after practice Tuesday. “Kinda had to do it. Maybe next time we’ll pull out some wrestling moves.”
Poggi said it was all his fault.
“I take the blame, but it’s all in good fun,” he said. “We immediately joked about it. I didn’t know he was serious when he was mad at me at first. I thought he was kind of kidding around. Then he got up and I got my butt whooped. We’re still friends.”
He assures he won’t pull a move like that again, unless, of course, he can get away with it.
“I won’t say I like taking cheap shots on my friend – that was kind of a bad move on my part,” Poggi said. “But I definitely like running downhill on other people.”
Poggi and Khalid Hill will be expected to replace Sione Houma and Joe Kerridge at fullback this fall.
Making the move
Zach Gentry, who arrived as a quarterback, is making a smooth transition to tight end. At 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, he isn’t where he needs to be physically, but tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh said he will get much stronger through the offseason.
Harbaugh has plenty of options at tight end, beginning with Jake Butt, the Big Ten Tight End of the Year last season, and they all fill different roles.
“I think all those guys are going to play this year,” Harbaugh said, and he was including Gentry. “I think in certain roles, all of them will play this year.”
Gentry has made a strong effort at his new position.
“He’s a smart guy,” Harbaugh said Tuesday. “His background as a quarterback helps because he sees the game from a big picture. And he’s really studying hard. He’s taken to it really well, I would say exactly how I expected because that’s kind of his nature.”
There had been some idle speculation that perhaps Tyrone Wheatley Jr. could bulk up a bit more and play on the line. There was never any discussion about that.
“None,” Harbaugh said. “I’m not letting anybody come near him unless Tyrone asks for that.”
Draft for game
Michigan is expected to hold a “draft” on Thursday to field teams for the final spring practice, which will be the spring game at Michigan Stadium on April 1 at 6 p.m.