ANN ARBOR - While the designated captains won't be voted upon until August and announced prior to the start of the season, Devin Gardner explained that the Michigan football team has a new way of naming its leaders this season.
And it has a new catchphrase, one that was repeated in some way or form several times after Saturday's spring game at Michigan Stadium.
"No one is entitled," Gardner said.
Given that, the Wolverines have looked to make their leadership a little more inclusive.
"You have to earn that and I feel like there are leaders in other classes. We all felt like that. We had a meeting with Coach Hoke and we picked a leader from every class. I feel like that a big deal. It helps when a message that the seniors are trying to get through will get through to the other classes with their leaders."
Gardner didn't name names - and he wasn't asked. But it exhibits a point, that leaders of all levels and classes are necessary - that there's more than just senior leadership. And given the Wolverines' shortcomings over the last two seasons, no one should be entitled.
In short, Michigan's defense had a much better day than its offense, a unit that Hoke said is still trying to grasp what new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is installing, an offense and a mindset noted for its quick tempo and Nussmeier's high-intensity style of coaching. In fact, Gardner used the word "insane" when describing Nussmeier.
“Most of the time defenses are ahead of the offenses, especially in the spring and especially in the fall camp,” Hoke said. “I think part of that is familiarity and some of it is that we have some older guys on defense who will play a lot of football. The other part of it is the overload, offensively, that you get from a new system and the verbiage in what different route combinations mean or run-pass things at the line of scrimmage. It takes a little time.”