‘Every day is a battle in there.’ How the MIchigan defense tests Rimington finalist Olu Oluwatimi in fall camp

‘Every day is a battle in there.’ How the MIchigan defense tests Rimington finalist Olu Oluwatimi in fall camp
‘Every day is a battle in there.’ How the MIchigan defense tests Rimington finalist Olu Oluwatimi in fall camp

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Getting into his sixth year, Virginia transfer center Olusegun Oluwatimi is a young, outdated guy, in that he’s exceptionally experienced, but in a way, he’s finding out every thing anew.

Coming to Ann Arbor from Charlottesville, the Rimington Award finalist has had to master a new playbook, an totally new offensive system, and do so while heading up towards gamers like Mazi Smith — who The Athletic named as university football’s biggest freak — and rising players like Kris Jenkins. Though there are a ton of unknowns, at minimum to the admirer base and media, on the defensive entrance, Oluwatimi feels like the tackles reverse him are encouraging make him a improved player in fall camp.

“It’s a challenge, Mazi’s a massive, powerful person,” Oluwatimi explained. “He’s fast, also really athletic. But it is not just him — we acquired Jenkins, he’s a doggy. Cam Goode as grad transfer, Mason Graham as a youthful dude, George Rooks. I indicate, the list goes on and on. So every single day is a fight in there. I gotta provide it, or I’m gonna get my butt kicked. So yeah.”

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While points have slowed down for Oluwatimi in fall when compared to spring ball, it is continue to a little something of a problem.

Followers are anxiously awaiting to see him in motion, but there is a amount of confidence he delivers to the offensive line. On the other hand, the defensive entrance carries on to be a problem as it not only replaces some vital players — these as Aidan Hutchinson, David Ojabo, and Dax Hill — but also defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. But Oluwatimi isn’t concerned about what that aspect of the ball will do once the season arrives. The way he describes it, it is not terribly diverse than what we observed a year in the past.

“Man, Mentor Minter and his protection,” Oluwatimi mentioned. “They’re really fantastic at disguising protection, disguising blitzes and points of that character. So it puts a worry on what I’m attempting to stage out, who’s coming, or protection or distinct things.

“During the spring, I’ll say bullets are flying a whole lot extra quicker, just mainly because I’m understanding — new gamers participating in in entrance of me too. Now, I bought hundreds of reps heading in opposition to Mazi and Kris and all that. So, it’s been slower now. So now I can stress about much more what that total protection is doing. But, you know, Mentor Minter does a great position of preserving us on our toes.”

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From a particular standpoint, it wasn’t a believed-of problem for Oluwatimi to occur to Ann Arbor and create himself as a chief. It just sort of took place obviously.

Of study course, he’s hoping that Michigan will superior help him access his aspiration of acquiring to the NFL, but the staff ambitions ended up a component of his determination. Echoing what large receiver Roman Wilson stated about the anticipated trajectory of the program, Oluwatimi came to Ann Arbor to support the Wolverines win a championship — not to merely have a so-so season. And he’s relying on the encounter of these who assisted propel the maize and blue in 2021 to tell his individual stage of perform.

“First, Michigan football has a conventional of profitable. So me coming in this article, I gotta match that common and try to exceed it,” Oluwatimi mentioned. “So from that standpoint, I want to acquire. And then, also me just being a competitor, I never want to engage in this game and be a loser. So, I want to earn every single video game on our timetable, and gain a national championship. So, final yr is previous 12 months and the men that ended up here final 12 months, they are certainly they are gonna pull on people encounters to deliver everybody with them this calendar year. I was not a component of that. But I will certainly do my part to assist us get.”

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Tale initially appeared on Wolverines Wire