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Why Donovan Edwards sees no drop-off from national championship team

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — After Michigan football’s first spring practice of 2024, despite there being a ton of changes from this time a year ago, Donovan Edwards told MGoBlue.com that the team looks the same.

How can that be? Not only did the Wolverines lose head coach Jim Harbaugh and much of the staff, but they also lost star players like J.J. McCarthy, Blake Corum, and Mike Sainristil. Yet, Edwards insists: yes, the team looks the same.

A week after the start of spring ball, Edwards notes that while the coaches and the players may have changed, the standards have been set. It’s a continuation of what Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Ross started in 2021 and it’s just continued from there. Faces may change, but the standards within Schembechler Hall remain the same.

“This team has been built upon the culture and the culture started when I was a freshman,” Edwards said. “And it was Aidan Hutchison, Josh Ross implemented what this team is all about. And then my sophomore year, it was the exact same thing. Junior year, exact same thing. Senior year for me, exact same thing. So nothing’s gonna change for this program. Nothing’s gonna change the culture of this team.

“Yes, there’s different guys, but these different guys are gonna have to be able to understand what it’s all about to be a Michigan man and a Michigan Wolverine. So as long as the camaraderie is high with us, as long as the team chemistry is there, then the sky’s the limit for us.”

Of course, since it’s now the Sherrone Moore era and many playmakers have departed the program, there will be new faces across the board who have to step up as contributors. That may be a challenge, but it’s one that Edwards says the team embraces.

There are multiple players who are stepping up already, but again, because the standard has been set, Edwards is confident that this new-look Michigan Wolverines team will be able to still achieve at a high level.

“I’m excited to have new guys,” Edwards said. “I’m excited to see different faces emerge like Semaj Morgan, I’m excited to see (Tyler Morris). I’m excited to see you know who the quarterback is going to be for us because they’re all going to excel. Because we all have embraced what it is to be a Michigan man, a Michigan Wolverine.

“So that’s why we’ve been flying around, man. Nothing has changed. Coach Moore has continued to lay the ground rules and foundations and the leaders have continued to lead. You know, we call player-led meetings, we call player led team meetings. When something isn’t clicking, there’s a leader there saying, ‘Yo, like, we got to go,’ somebody’s gonna say like, ‘Let’s pick it up,’ or somebody’s gonna say, ‘We’re doing pretty good job,’ and notice the positive reinforcement as well as the negative reinforcement that’s being done.

“That all started in 2021 with the prior leaders before us and we’re just continuing to uphold that.”

Fans will get an opportunity to see for themselves on April 20 at noon when Michigan football hosts the annual spring game at The Big House. The game will be broadcast live on Fox.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire