Michigan

The Detroit News - - Col­lege Foot­ball -

sed) the ca­ma­raderie from the staff and more than that be­ing around the play­ers and have an op­por­tu­nity to their lives in a pos­i­tive way.

“I’ve had great op­por­tu­ni­ties. The last op­por­tu­nity was a great one. We made some won­der­ful friends and learned a lot. This is another op­por­tu­nity for us to get a lit­tle bit bet­ter and there again, just be in­volved in help­ing some guys grow.”

McEl­wain made it clear that pass-game co­or­di­na­tor Pep Hamil­ton is di­rect­ing things on of­fense.

“I came in to learn and learn what Pep’s teach­ing and help him in any way I can,” he said. “He’s kinda run­ning it. We’re just here to help him.”

But that’s be­ing mod­est. Of course, McEl­wain is con­tribut­ing.

“I hope I am,” McEl­wain said. “More than any­thing, just try­ing to un­der­stand kinda what and how, and then maybe over the years of do­ing this, maybe there’s a thing or two that maybe can help our guys play fast. But like I said, I’m not rein­vent­ing it. It’s an of­fense that’s here and I’m just try­ing to learn it.”

McEl­wain cer­tainly had a pre­view of the group he took over when he coached Florida against Michigan in last year’s sea­son opener in Texas. He al­ready knew most of the Wolver­ines’ per­son­nel in the re­ceivers’ room.

“We knew the tal­ent that was there,” he said. “Tarik (Black) got us on a big one. We knew a lot about Donovan (Peo­ples-Jones) go­ing into it. Re­ally like the way Tarik is at­tack­ing it as well. They’ve been very at­ten­tive and fun to work with.

“There’s a lot of tal­ent there. Good young tal­ent. The thing I re­ally en­joy is be­ing in that room with him. For us, one of the fo­cus ar­eas has been abil­ity to, No. 1 get open, es­pe­cially against all the press cov­er­age that you see. They’ve worked on hon­ing their skills and try­ing to do what we’re try­ing to teach them to do and yet we’ve got a long ways to go. But at the same time, it’s re­ally a fun group of guys. It’s great to be around them.”

He cited the ag­gres­sive ap­proach of the Michigan bas­ket­ball team, which played in the na­tional ti­tle game, when it came to go­ing af­ter re­bounds this sea­son. McEl­wain wants Michigan’s re­ceivers to go af­ter 50-50 balls with the same type of ag­gres­sion.

“We’ve got to come up with those and give our of­fense an op­por­tu­nity to change field po­si­tion,” he said.

UM re­ceivers have been work­ing this spring on get­ting sep­a­ra­tion so they can work to get open. They be­gin ev­ery prac­tice, McEl­wain said, with in­di­vid­ual re­lease drills against the sec­ondary.

“Just try­ing to help our guys put some things in their tool­box to help them be suc­cess­ful,” he said. “So far I’ve seen a lot of progress.”

McEl­wain was asked about the quar­ter­backs and the com­pe­ti­tion go­ing on at that spot, but he shifted his an­swer quickly to the re­ceivers. He wants the fo­cus to be the re­ceivers mak­ing the quar­ter­backs look good.

“Doesn’t have to be per­fect,” he said “That’s kind of been the point of em­pha­sis. That’s a po­si­tion you have an op­por­tu­nity to truly af­fect the game in a pos­i­tive way. You have an op­por­tu­nity to change field po­si­tion dras­ti­cally with your play. That’s what we’re hop­ing within the sys­tem that’s built to be able to do.”

His ex­pe­ri­ence so far at UM has been pos­i­tive, but when McEl­wain was asked jok­ingly how he is en­joy­ing the spring weather, he had noth­ing to say.

“I’ll plead the Fifth on that one,” McEl­wain said, smil­ing.

Another com­mit for UM

Jack Ste­wart, a three-start of­fen­sive line­man from Con­necti­cut an­nounced Mon­day he has com­mit­ted to Michigan.

Ste­wart is Michigan's ninth com­mit­ment to the 2019 class and sec­ond in the last few days. Four-star corner­back Te'Cory Couch flipped his com­mit­ment from Ten­nessee to UM Sun­day.

Ste­wart, a 6-foot-5, 280-pounder, is an of­fen­sive tackle and the sec­ond of­fen­sive line­man in the class.

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