Wolverines in shock and awe over glitterati in Big House

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Former Michigan player Charles Woodson, left, and his two sons hang out with Michael Jordan on the field before the game.

Ann Arbor — It was a mini-Mount Rushmore of sports at Michigan Stadium for the season opener last Saturday with Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter and Charles Woodson on the field together.

Jordan was the honorary captain and watched the Wolverines debut their new Nike Jordan Brand uniforms bearing the “Jumpman” logo. They are the only football program in the country to have this association.

Michigan has come a long way two years removed from a losing season in terms of national appeal and fan frenzy.

"Honestly, it’s crazy. It’s really mind-blowing,” receiver Grant Perry said Monday, adding the players were dazzled when Jordan walked into their team meeting room last Friday night. “Wow, it’s the GOAT, it’s Michael Jordan. I’m sure the recruits love it, too. It’s not every day Michael Jordan comes to your school or Derek Jeter or Charles Woodson. I’ll never forget it.”

Michigan players enjoy rap session with Michael Jordan

Ryan Glasgow, a senior, said it is remarkable to see how many of these famous athletes are drawn to the Michigan program these days. He did not have to think back too far in his career, the 2014 season, when the Wolverines were 5-7 and the team sometimes endured booing at home.

“I hope it is the norm people want to be associated with this program,” Glasgow said Monday. “I know when we went 5-7 people were running for the hills. Now it’s pretty cool to see people gravitating back.

“When you go through that 5-7 season when people don’t want anything to do with you, you know it’s about the team and the guys in your room. Everything else is great, but at the end of the day it’s just about the guys you play with and the coaches.”

He still remembers the booing.

““I was on that field, and looking back on that, it feels so long ago, but it’s something that sticks with you,” he said. “Those fans that were booing are the same ones that are cheering right now. So, it’s just the guys you go out there with, the guys you train with all year round.”


Twitter: @chengelis