Michigan Football: Harbaugh Says ‘It’s Been Very Competitive’

Chris Balas, Senior Editor

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Photo courtesy of Braylon Edwards

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh joined former U-M kicker Jay Feely on The Rich Eisen Show to talk spring football, an elite Pro Day and more …

By all accounts, spring practice competition has been off the charts with players thriving after waiting their turn.

“Arguably you could say there's 10 starting jobs open on defense," Harbaugh said. "But there are returners like [linebacker] Mike McCray, Chase Winovich, Rashan Gary, Mo Hurst — those are all proven guys on defense.

"The whole secondary will be new."

But it’s talented, and it will be eager to prove. Several guys have stepped up in recent practices.

“They’re hungry young guys who were sitting behind guys for a year or two waiting for a chance to start,” Harbaugh said. “There are heated waters really there through two practices … guys fighting for starting jobs.

“There’s one senior [in the back seven]. Those guys are battling it out. Seven on seven, team drills are very competitive. We’ve got some really good young talent. There are still guys that are proven, but young, hungry guys, as well.”

All of those eyes were on the 19 who worked out for pro scouts at Pro Day. Several of them had already impressed at the NFL Combine.

“Add [offensive linemen] Kyle Kalis and Erik Magnuson to that list of guys that will be looked at … in my opinion, guys who will make a football team,” Harbaugh said. “It’s incredible … everybody on our team is really proud of the work our guys have done, the way guys competed at the combine. They were watching this process as we make the next move in their life.

“The cool thing about our Pro Day was the looks on the faces of the players currently at Michigan. Eyes wide open, jaws down a little bit … they understand that could be them someday. I make the point to them it didn't happen for these 18, 19 guys because they just started training three or four months ago. They’ve been doing it four or five years, so right now start getting yourself ready and in the best shape possible.

“It’s a great example you have when 18, 19 of your guys are moving on to the next level, looking to play at the next level.”


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