Junior Hemingway has had injury and illness bugs hit him in his short time with the Michigan Wolverines. After starting out the 2008 season with some promising production, Hemingway fell victim to a case of mononucleosis which cost him the rest of his season. Healthy as ever now, Hemingway is thrilled to get on the field for a redemption tour in 2009.
“It is great man!" he declared, "I can’t wait to get out there. Last year it was kind of tough because I was shaken up a lot. I had a good camp, but it was on and off because of injuries. But this year I think it’s going to be a good thing to be out there healthy and to help the team.”
Hemingway was awarded with some of the best news he’s gotten as a Wolverine, when he was granted a medical redshirt and given his lost year of eligibility back.
“Aww, man that was probably the best thing I could ask for. I’m really happy it happened for me.”
Heading into the 2009 season, many Wolverines are looking for redemption so-to-speak to prove that the 2008 disaster was only an aberration on an otherwise stellar history for the Maize & Blue. Hemingway notices the difference this time.
“I’d probably have to say this would be the hardest that we’ve ever worked. I think the performance on this field this year is going to be way higher. We’re coming together as a team, and I think that’s a great thing.”
Coming together as a team is really what is giving Hemingway the feeling that this years version of the Wolverines is ready to roll and produce big things.
“Just us coming together and how we’re bonding. It’s also how we’re practicing, the way we work everyday, the way we look after each other, it’s just we’re all brothers. I think that’s the way it needs to be for us to be successful, and I think the way we have come together is a big plus for us.”
Part of that bonding and family feeling is the upperclassmen taking care of one of the youngest teams in Michigan’s history. While Hemingway only has the eligibility of a sophomore, he is heading into his third season in Ann Arbor, and outside of Greg Mathews and Laterryal Savoy, is the most seasoned receiver the team has. It’s a role Hemingway takes upon his shoulders seriously.
“I just have to show them how to work. Any questions that they have or if they’re having trouble with anything, you have to help them out, even if you’re on the field you still have to be able to help out. I think that’s what we have to do as underclassmen in order to help out these younger guys.”
With the season officially less than two weeks away, Hemingway and the rest of his teammates are ready to get 2009 underway, with 2008 long gone in their rearview mirrors. While it is a motivational factor for them, Hemingway insists the focus is entirely on 2009.
“It’s in the past. We’re looking for newer and bigger things this year. We use it as motivation for this year. I’d probably have to say this is the hungriest we’ve ever been, because of what happened last year. We need to get back to where we were, and this is going to be that team.”