The Wolverine

June/July 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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34 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2017 G rant Newsome won't be playing any football this fall. In the big picture, that's not a crushing blow for the thoughtful, 6-7, 318-pound sopho- more offensive tackle. It's especially easier to take when put in perspective. Newsome can walk the sidelines this year, on two legs, sans prosthetics. That wasn't a guar- anteed outcome at one point. Newsome acknowledged to report- ers in Rome that his knee injury — suf- fered against Wisconsin last year — could have cost him his leg. Instead, he forfeited the final seven games of 2016 and all of 2017. "I suffered a pretty serious knee injury," he said. "I was fortunate the doctors caught the severity of it early enough on, were able to get me into surgery that night and saved my leg." Newsome actually walked off the field that afternoon at Michigan Sta- dium. His mom was in the stands that day, and he didn't want to worry her about the injury. He had no idea about the severity of what he'd suffered. Michigan doctors directed him to the hospital, though, and that proved a crucial decision. Newsome admitted he experienced a sinking feeling while more tests were done on him over the course of four hours. "By the time the doctors came in and said, 'We need to take you in for emer- gency surgery,' the writing was on the wall at that point," he said. "I'm just really fortunate our doctors were able to catch it." Six surgeries ensued over the course of his 40-day hospital stay. They were spaced out, Newsome said, because some things had to be taken care of before others were addressed. He nearly lost the leg, he admitted. "It was pretty close," he said. "I'm not going into too much detail, but …" Now, he's just working his way back, and enjoyed Rome on two legs. "I'm really fortunate with how ev- erything happened," he said. "I'm just trying to work through the lasting ef- fects of the injury right now." SPRING FOOTBALL ENDS, PROJECTION GAME BEGINS Michigan football didn't produce a depth chart coming out of spring workouts — as expected. That doesn't mean some early conclusions can't be drawn about what was seen and talked about regarding the Wolverines. Plenty can happen between now and Sept. 2, when Jim Harbaugh's crew squares off against Florida in Ar- lington, Texas, to kick off the 2017 foot- ball season. But if the season were to begin today, we're making projections on how the Wolverines might look on the field. Redshirt junior quarterback Wilton Speight goes to fall camp the leader of the pack, spring game struggles not- withstanding. That doesn't mean the efforts in that one make no difference. They're just part of a much bigger picture, one Harbaugh, quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton and offensive co- ordinator Tim Drevno scrutinize daily. Redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters' overall effort this spring appears to have elevated him past fifth-year senior John O'Korn for the backup spot. That will always be in flux, but Peters continues to progress. Sophomore running back Chris Ev- ans played little in the spring game, be- cause he'd proven a lot. He's No. 1 in our estimation, followed at this point by junior Karan Higdon, fifth-year se- nior Ty Isaac and redshirt freshman Kareem Walker. Bear in mind, all will play at this position. At fullback, fifth- year seniors Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi supply a nice one-two punch. The outside receiver spots belong to sophomore Kekoa Crawford and freshman Tarik Black, with freshman Donovan Peoples-Jones next in. Red- shirt junior wideouts Drake Harris and Maurice Ways are providing depth at this point, and keep an eye on walk-on sophomore wideout Nate Schoenle, who was not just a one-day wonder during the spring game. The slot receiver position has been claimed by sophomore Eddie Mc- Doom, with sophomore Nate John- son drawing snaps there as well. Sus- pended junior wideout Grant Perry, if he returns, has much work to do to catch up. Redshirt junior tight end Ian Bunting comes out of spring atop that posi- tion group. Redshirt sophomore Ty- rone Wheatley Jr. is the No. 2 at this point, although he needs to become a better blocker to solidify his standing. Sophomores Nick Eubanks and Sean McKeon are battling it out for No. 3. The offensive line could shape up as follows: senior Mason Cole at left tackle, sophomore Ben Bredeson at left guard, fifth-year senior Pat Kugler at center, sophomore Michael Onwenu at right guard and redshirt sophomore Jon Runyan Jr. at right tackle. Redshirt junior Juwann Bushell-Beatty dropped behind Runyan a bit this spring, and   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Grant Newsome Opens Up About Injury Newsome endured six surgeries over the course of a 40-day hospital stay, after he suffered a very serious knee injury last fall that nearly cost him his leg. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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