Mike Wroblewski: UM’s ‘self-made’ linebacking upstart

Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Michael Wroblewski, who grew up in St. Clair Shores watching the Wolverines, earned a scholarship after a tryout under former coach Brady Hoke.

Ann Arbor — For as long as he can remember, Mike Wroblewski has been a fan of Michigan football. A dream was born while Wroblewski, who grew up in St. Clair Shores and attended U-D Jesuit, would watch the Wolverines with his father.

Wroblewski is now very much in the linebacker mix and rotating through at middle linebacker this spring along with Mike McCray and Devin Bush Jr. It’s a pretty amazing realization considering he earned a spot on the team during a tryout under former head coach Brady Hoke in 2013.

After he made team, he redshirted, then tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. But he continued to work and make impressions, so much so he was awarded a scholarship at the end of preseason camp last season.

“It’s been a long road,” Wroblewski said Wednesday after Michigan’s first spring practice in pads. “It was a huge goal, a huge vision for me and worked toward that.”

Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown has taken notice and said last week after the first practice that after watching Wroblewski last year to this year, he “can’t believe it’s the same guy.”

“Talk about a self-made football player,” Brown said.

After listening to Wroblewski making all the calls for every position group last week in the first practice, Brown, though, had to tell him to zip it.

“Finally it’s like, ‘Robo, you need to shut up and let those guys make those calls themselves,’” Brown said. “That’s how well he knows the scheme.”

Wroblewski, who played in nine games last season, calls himself a “loud” person which is ideal for a middle linebacker. He said he knows the defense so well because it’s a continuation from last season, which was Brown’s first as defensive coordinator.

“We didn’t add anything crazy the first couple of practices,” Wroblewski said. “A lot of the stuff we’re doing I’ve got over for a year.

It is hard for him to say what was bigger and better — making the team or calling his parents before last season and telling them he had earned a scholarship.

Regardless, in his mind, nothing is really different. He still has that huge goal and huge vision he’s had since he was a little kid.

“It doesn’t change the work ethic,” Wroblewski said of the scholarship. “You still work as hard as you can. It’s nice to have, but you’re still going to come in with a hungry attitude.”


Twitter: @chengelis