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February 2, 2005Lloyd Carr didn't only talk recruiting Wednesday, he touched on a number of rumors and topics that have circulated on message boards and radio shows in the last few months. He confirmed one bit of bad news when he announced that linebacker Lawrence Reid would not return for another year due to an injury. Carr also went in depth on who may or may not participate in spring ball.
"Lawrence played the last half of the season with a lot of discomfort, a nerve problem, and the doctors have advised him not to play," Carr reported. "He will not be competing any longer. He'll stay in school, finish up his degree next fall."
Matt Gutierrez will not be cleared to participate in scrimmage-type situations, but has started to throw and will be cleared for some spring drills. Jason Avant, meanwhile, is back and ready to go after missing the Rose Bowl with a knee injury.
Freshman defensive tackle Will Johnson has overcome a knee injury to show a lot of promise, and could play an important role next fall, while fullback Roger Allison was "extremely impressive" for the first three quarters of the season last year before having problems with his shoulder.
"We have to see how that responds right now, but he's a very talented guy," said Carr.
In other news, Carr said he also expected to talk to Jim Presley about his potential return to the team, and confirmed Joey Sarantos would not be back for a fifth year. Clayton Richard will not play spring football, and still faces a decision as to whether or not he'll return in the fall (Carr said he "absolutely" wants him back in the fall).
As for other injuries, Carr confirmed several will miss spring ball.
"We've got a number of guys that won't be practicing, and if they do it will be limited practice," Carr said. "Leo Henige, of course, had knee surgery, and it's been 15 weeks. He'll be cleared for some drills, but he will not have contact. Tim Jamison is also a guy we are excited about, but he will not have contact this spring."
Carr also noted Adam Kraus, expected to battle for the starting center job, will miss spring practice after having surgery to repair his shoulder, but should be back and ready to condition in July. That could make it difficult for him to break the starting lineup. Starting right tackle Jake Long had shoulder surgery four weeks ago and will miss the spring, but Carr expects he'll be fine (and better off, since he'll no longer be playing with discomfort).
Center/long snapper Pat Sharrow will miss the spring with a freak foot injury (no activity), and Jeremy Van Alstyne, who suffered a foot injury against Ohio State, will also sit out.
"A year ago we were very fortunate that we had very few guys miss spring practice," said Carr. "Now it's going to catch up with us because we're going to have more than most years."
Carr said he'd have a tough time pulling for one team over another during Sunday's Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Eagles. U-M alum Tom Brady, of course, quarterbacks New England (and will be shooting for his third championship), while Jon Runyan and Dhani Jones start for Philadelphia.
Ty Law, too, is a member of the Patriots, though he's on injured reserve and won't play.
"I like 'em all," said Carr. "Obviously, for Tom to have an opportunity to do something I don't know how many guys have won three - Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw - so he has an opportunity to make a mark, leave a legacy, and I think regardless of what they do in this game, he's established himself as a guy who's going to be in the Hall of Fame someday, and that's an unbelievable statement considering his very short time in that league.
"Jon Runyan, he and Dhani, for them to have an opportunity to win a Super Bowl is special. I'll be watching it, and I'll be cheering for all of them. It's too bad they all can't win that ring."