Michigan coach Brady Hoke addresses the media on Tuesday. Hoke discusses the injury to Russell Bellomy, Brian Cleary being the new backup, Shane Morris redshirting or not, a full spring scrimmage, and more.***Video Included***
The Michigan football team suffered its second major injury during spring camp, when backup quarterback Russell Bellomy tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee last Friday.
Bellomy, who was entering his redshirt sophomore season, was the favorite to backup redshirt junior quarterback, Devin Gardner, heading into next fall.
Now, the Wolverines will look at other options at quarterback, as Bellomy is ruled out indefinitely.
“I think the impact is how you feel No. 1.--We feel terrible for him,” said Michigan coach Brady Hoke. “The impact far as your depth always hurts you when anybody gets out of the lineup. As far as that’s concerned, will move forward and keep developing Brian Cleary and those guys who are behind Devin.”
Redshirt junior linebacker, Jake Ryan, who led the team in tackles last season, tore his ACL the first week of spring practice.
With Bellomy no longer an option, the Maize and Blue will look to redshirt freshman walk-on, Cleary, to take most of the second-string snaps at quarterback this spring.
Hoke had positive things to say about his newly anointed freshman backup.
“He’s taking a lot more reps, I can say No. 1,” Hoke said on Cleary’s play since the injury. ‘So that’s a big part of it. He’s different from that, probably nothing.
“He’s very intelligent. He’s smart. Runs well. Has a good arm. I’m not going to say he’s throwing bullets. But I mean he’s got a good arm, good accuracy.”
However, Hoke said there a few things he would like to see improved in Cleary’s game.
“(I would) like to see him a little more accurate, a little more patent in the pocket. Those kind of things,” Hoke said.
Sugar Shane Time to Shine?
Now that Bellomy is no longer considered an option at the backup going further, incoming freshman, Shane Morris, may have the inside track to be the Wolverines’ backup quarterback. Furthermore, redshirting the five-star recruit may no longer be an option.
“I think that you’ll find out as the season goes on,” Hoke said on Morris redshirting this fall.
Hoke said he hasn’t talked to Morris since the Bellomy injury happened last week. However, he has confirmed offensive coordinator, Al Borges, has talked to Morris on the phone.
With the injury, Morris will most likely be the backup QB come fall. Although, it shouldn’t create any more pressure then he already had, said Hoke.
“I think those expectations have already been put on Shane,” Hoke said.
With no other scholarship quarterback on the Michigan roster, Hoke said there is more awareness to keep Gardner healthy.
“You’re always a little uneasy,” Hoke said on possible injuries. “You’re a little concerned. We got to keep Devin healthy. We got to do a good job of developing the other guys.”
With the loss of Bellmoy and Ryan, the serious injuries have hit the Wolverines this spring. Although, Hoke said that it’s not from lack of conditioning or training.
“We do all kind of preventative stuff,” Hoke explained. “The first year we didn’t have anybody. So, it kind of comes and goes.”
Due to the lack of depth quarterback, Hoke said there is a possibility, there will be no full scrimmage in the Spring Game on April 13.
Running Backs Standing Out
“I think Justice Hayes has had a very, very good spring football. He missed a couple days. But I mean he has played hard. He’s learn the offense better. I think he’s pass protecting better. He’s big, so he’s a little more physical. I think Drake (Johnson) has done a very nice job, being a bigger a back, and running physical, seeing holes. And then Thomas (Rawls) having some big runs. And he’s finished runs.”
Thoughts on Safeties
“Jarrod Wilson, I think he’s done a really, really good job. You know, Jarrod is very sharp, smart and physical. He plays the field well. He plays the ball well. I like how he’s played. I think Marvin (Robinson) has shown glimpses in there. Jeremy Clark, you know we got good competition in that area.”
Michigan B-Ball Success
“I think it’s great!” Hoke said. “and it’s great on how hard John (Beilein) worked and that staff in six years. And how they’ve recruited. That team has shown, his team has shown a lot of character.”
Hoke said he doesn’t plan a trip to Atlanta for the Final Four.