mike morris is among the most popular candidates for a breakout season with Michigan football in 2022. After a backup season Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabothe senior became the veteran defensive line leader for the Wolverines.
Same Jim Harbaugh set high expectations for Morris, saying in March that he “could be the next Aidan HutchinsonOjabo. »
Morris isn’t looking to replace Hutchinson – “no one can replace Aidan”, he explained – but he wants to play an expanded role in defense.
“I really haven’t been able to do a lot of the things I wanted to do because of Aidan Hutch,” Morris said this week on In the trenchesa Michigan athletics podcast.
“I accepted every role I got and loved every role I got because I was able to benefit the team. But I feel like now I can play a role. more important in defense and dominating in that aspect. I’m really looking forward to it.
Here’s what else Morris said about “In the Trenches”:
On repeating as Big Ten Champions:
After the season, we all had to watch and realize that the guys we relied on last year won’t be there. They won’t be on the sidelines with us; they will not be with us. So a lot of guys had to step in, myself included, with that. You just had to realize that. In the spring, we attacked it in every way. We have built leadership. We have built great team values. Everyone was vocal; everyone was present; everyone was striving to be the best player on the team and themselves so we could win another Big Ten championship.
If it is the same defensive system with Jesse Minter in charge:
It’s a bit like that, yeah. It’s a bit different terms, it’s a bit different but it’s definitely the same thing. I would say it’s the same thing. We get the same parts, but only small terms that are changed to help us.
Building on his 2021 performance:
It really is. I’m really excited. I really haven’t been able to do a lot of the things I wanted to do because of Aidan Hutch. I accepted every role I got and loved every role I got because I was able to benefit the team. But I feel like now I can play a bigger role in defense and dominate in that aspect. I can’t wait to be there.
Where he feels most comfortable defensively:
That’s the thing. I feel comfortable anywhere on the line. Probably not the nose, or the zero. I would say that I would not feel very comfortable there. But I feel very comfortable with the threes, the shadow, the heavy five, the crash nine. I feel comfortable with everything. Probably the most comfortable in defense. I love the defensive end but I’m not averse to playing even nose if the team needs me.
If he prefers to play on the left or right side of the defensive line:
I don’t really look at it that way. I just go where they tell me to go and play like that. Whether I’m on the left side or the right side, it doesn’t matter. I didn’t think about which side I felt more comfortable with.
By filling the shoes of Aidan Hutchinson:
These are his shoes. No one can fill Aidan’s shoes. I’m not going to pretend he wasn’t an incredible, incredible player, an incredible athlete. I wouldn’t say I’ll fill his shoes. I want to create my own shoes and stand on my own two feet and not try to live up to his legacy or live up to his standards. I want to live up to my own standards and do my own thing.
On what he learned from Hutchinson:
There is so much. Probably the business side of it. He always made sure everything was in line so he could be the best player he could be. He was always taking care of his body, stretching a little. He even showed me some stretches I could do to help with my flexibility. Eat well. I always talked to him about how he ate, what he ate. Taking care of your body like he did is something I learned from him and just his determination to say “I’m going to outdo everyone and I’m going to show you that I’m outdoing everyone and then I’m going to also outperform in the field.
On what he sees in young players on the defensive line:
I see a lot of untapped potential. … Lots of potential that needs to be nurtured and needs growth. I see a lot of amazing future players who can be amazing if they’re willing to be amazing. I can’t wait to see where they go in the future because the talent is there, the athleticism is there. All. They have all the tangible and intangible assets. They just need to put it all together and it will come. Hopefully that will come.
While playing at Ohio State in Columbus this fall:
I can not wait to be there. The coaches tell us all the time how it was when they went down to Columbus, I think it was in 2018. What they had at the stadium. They had all sorts of stuff – all sorts of very graphic stuff from our players. I’m really looking forward to it because I want to see what we’re made of when we go there. Everyone says it’s a tough place to go. I want to see it for myself and I want to see what we’re made of when we go out there and hope to win.
On her goals before fall camp:
I want to be more flexible. I want to have a physical presence there. I am already big. I want to get my lean mass up there. My higher lean body mass, the flexibility to work on that and become a versatile monster on the court. No matter where the coaches put me, I can dominate.