Michigan has enjoyed two really good practices after taking a light Wednesday to get everyone back healthy, head coach Brady Hoke said Friday. Guys continue to compete for starting jobs prior to next weekend's opener with Appalachian State.
"Those two practices were very spirited," Hoke said. "We had some humidity, which was good because it was really the first time. Yesterday we were inside, which was good because it was nice and hot in there. We worked through that a little bit.
"The mindset is awfully good, there's competition and challenges every day, which is really good for us."
They're healthy, too. Sophomore safety Delano Hill still hasn't been cleared with contact, but he's feeling better and will be evaluated by doctors once more to see if he can play in the opener. Sophomore tight end Jake Butt has come a long way, Hoke said, but is still on the same timetable (Big Ten season) recovering from knee surgery.
The team will break fall camp tomorrow with some kicking and scout team work at Michigan Stadium.
: Leadership has "really been throughout the team," Hoke said.
"We voted four guys out of each class representatives by class, and it's been really a positive," he said. "I can see it just in the whole team, how they've treated each other, come out and competed. It's really been a good camp. You've got to finish it."
Redshirt sophomore Kyle Kalis is still battling at guard and is back healthy after missing time with a sore back, but he's not guaranteed a starting job.
"He has a chance to start. We're still going through that a little bit with him," Hoke said. "He practiced the last two days, which is positive. Between him and the way we are running it over there - we've got [sophomore] Kyle Bosch and [redshirt junior] Joe Burzynski working some out there. But getting Kyle back is a plus. It gives you more people we can play with."
Freshman Jabrill Peppers will be the punt returner, while junior Dennis Norfleet will remain deep on kick returns.
"No. 1, we're putting a lot of our best guys on the field," Hoke said. "That's a plus. We've had some in the last three years be decent, some we haven't fielded the ball as well as we should sometimes. All through every special team we want improvement."
Ryan Glasgow and Willie Henry have separated themselves at nose tackle and three-technique, Hoke said.
"Ryan Glasgow has had a really good fall camp, Ondre Pipkins, Bryan Mone. There are four of them at the nose who have all played well. Ryan would be the starter.
"At the three, Willie Henry, Chris Wormley and Matt Godin and Tom Strobel have all done a really nice job. If we started today, Willie would be the guy up first."
The cornerback competition continues to be heated.
"If we went out today it would be Ray Taylor and Blake Countess," Hoke said of the upperclassmen. "[Sophmore] Jourdan Lewis had a good fall camp, Channing Stribling, though we need a little more consistency. Delonte Hollowell has had a good fall camp."
The linebacker group has really worked well together, Hoke added.
"[Sophomore] Ben Gedeon, all of them. [Redshirt freshman] Mike McCray has had a good fall camp," he said. "He's got to be a little more consistent, but I like what we've seen of him so far. Jake Ryan did a really god job asserting himself at the [Mike] position."
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