Spring practice picks up for Wolverines

March 29, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In a year with no winter, it isn't surprising that March is giving us perfect football weather.

That's good news for the Michigan Wolverines, who are facing their toughest stretch of the spring schedule.

While it is nothing like the workouts they will face in preseason practice this fall, they are on the field for three straight days due to a high-school coaching clinic.

"We've got over 500 high-school coaches here, some of whom have had great success at that level, and we'll be talking about football a lot over these three days," coach Brady Hoke said Thursday. "With them here, we change the schedule around a bit."

The Wolverines were scheduled for a padded practice Thursday, a helmet-only session on Friday, and then a more intense workout on Saturday that would include a scrimmage.

"The coaches want to see drills, and we'll give them that on Friday," Hoke said. "A day like that is all about fundamentals, which is something you can never work on enough."

Hoke's father passed away earlier this week, but a Michigan spokesperson asked that the media at Thursday's news conference not address the matter and respect the family's privacy. That allowed the coach to stick with the details of what has been a quiet week in the program.

Hoke said that no players have left the program and did not mention any injuries. He briefly touched on some position battles -- especially on the defensive line, his favorite group -- but was careful not to provide any headline material.

It was business as usual at Schembechler Hall, other than the players having to practice three straight days. Hoke certainly didn't feel sorry for them.

"You always want to have fun, but winning is the fun part of football," he said. "Preparing to win isn't fun."