Ann Arbor – Defensive lineman Chris Wormley and tight end Jake Butt were chosen as co-captains for this season in a vote of the Michigan players last Friday.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said they are admirable selections.
“They both have that quality of building up other guys around them and making themselves smaller,” Harbaugh said. “When you do that, you make yourself very big, indeed, in the eyes of everybody, in the eyes of the whole world and in the eyes of the people on your team.”
Butt has always prided himself on being a leader.
“For as long as I can remember I’ve been the captain of most of my teams,” Butt said. “Two-year captain of football and basketball in high school. It’s not something you really have to change to do if you’re a leader – you lead by example. For me it just starts with being the hardest worker you can possibly be. You want your leadership to come from example first.
“Since I got here, if they called for somebody, ‘Hey, we need someone to step in and do it,’ and usually guys would look around and wait. I’ll just be the guy that kind of runs in and does it. They needed a guy playing left tackle on scout team my first spring here, they were looking around, I’ll just run in there and do it. It started off small like that and then as you mature and as you gain respect from your teammates, you can grow into a little bit more of a vocal leader.”
Wormley said that while he and Butt were voted captains, all the seniors share in the leadership roles.
“I think what’s different from any other year is that we have a lot of guys who could be captains on this team, a lot of guys that are leaders,” Wormley said. “I don’t think we need meetings (all the time). Everyone knows the expectations, everybody knows what it takes to be a Michigan football player and what their job is.”
Freshman offensive lineman Ben Bredeson has been praised during camp for his progress and is pushing for playing time, maybe even starting, at left tackle.
Sophomore Grant Newsome had been penciled in at left tackle after Mason Cole moved from that spot to center. But Bredeson, highly recruited out of Wisconsin, has made an impression.
“He’s very close,” Harbaugh said, adding that he expects Bredeson to play, even if he does not start. “He’s acquitting himself very well right now.”
Michigan did not release a depth chart on Monday in its game notes for the season opener Saturday against Hawaii.
High praise for Long
Freshman cornerback David Long impressed Harbaugh in a big way during practice Sunday.
"David Long covered a go route at yesterday's practice as good as it can possibly covered," he said. "From press coverage to competing at the point of the catch, it was as good as it can be covered. He's going to be an outstanding football player."
Beating the rivals
Wormley was asked if he returned for a final year of eligibility at Michigan in part to right the Wolverines’ losing ways against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State.
“When you come to Michigan you want to beat the teams like Ohio State and Michigan State and Notre Dame, and when you don’t do that that it kind of eats at you a little bit,” Wormley said. “Me being from Ohio, I’ve grown up around the rivalry, I’ve seen the ups and downs. Coming back and beating those two teams was definitely a major factor.”
Harbaugh said prior to camp that Jabrill Peppers and even cornerback Jourdan Lewis could play three ways this fall.
Lewis said he has not yet practiced on offense. Harbaugh said Monday that Peppers, a hybrid linebacker and kick returner, has practiced on offense. He can play any of the skill positions.