There were 1,400 in attendance Michigan’s annual football bust held Monday at the Laural Manor in Livonia.
The seniors receive their “M” rings from coach Brady Hoke and make speeches, and then awards are presented.
The only bit of news was Hoke mentioning that Nathan Brink will not use his final season of eligibility because of injury. Brink had earned a scholarship this season.
Here are some of the speech highlights:
Senor center Elliott Mealer
“As many of you know my story, my father wasnt able to be here, but he’s been a tremendous support for me just as my mother has. I’d like to close with a quote that he always gave me growing up. He always used to tell me if you don’t have good dreams, you have nightmares. That was something I always kept in mind. With him being gone, it’s helped me since no matter what the situation is to always have a positive attitude because that’s the only way you can look at things.”
Senior receiver Roy Roundtree:
On the Michigan vibe: “I would like to thank coach Hoke and this amazing coaching staff I have enjoyed since Day 1. They really established how important it really was to be a Michigan Man. And I didn’t have that at first or got that vibe from my last coach. Once this coaching staff came in, I really felt what being a Michigan Man was.”
On his Purdue commit: “Even though I was committed to Purdue I was like, ‘Man, I get that offer, I’m coming to Michigan.’ My mom always watched Michigan, and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, the winged helmets look good on me.’”
Roundtree got emotional talking about U-M assosciate AD for counseling Greg Harden: “Mr. Greg Harden, thank you, cause man you pushed me. I came here as a freshman acting up. I really didn’t tell my parents what was going on, and you always had a positive influence on my life, and I want to say thank you because, without you man, I don’t know if I’d still be at Michigan. You really pushed me to the limit. You made me see the right light to get to where I’m at right. You made me face the toughest battles that I overcame. And with that said, I graduated and I’m in grad school.”
Safety Floyd Simmons:
On sideline activity: “I want to make a shout out to (cornerback) JT. Floyd. His last name is Floyd so on the sideline I like sit next to him on his right side so it says Floyd Simmons, but no one ever gets a picture of it.”
Steve Wilson, who earned a scholarships this season as a defensive back, after Hoke drew boos from the crowd when he announced that Wilson had been accepted at Michigan State University’s medical school “I asked if he was going to be a veterinarian, and he said no. He’s going to be a doctor, and he’s going to be a damn good doctor when he’s done.”
Wilson chimed in:
“For the record, I got accepted to Michigan State, but I only want to go to Michigan.”
Hoke introduced four-year starting safety Jordan Kovacs as a guy who looks like an accountant. Kovacs has 331 career tackles and was second team All-Big Ten.
Kovas gives thanks and poked some fun: “I’d first like to thank coach Rod Rodriguez for allowing a slow, unathletic and undersized kid play at the University of Michigan. That was really nice of him to let Drew Dileo play football here”
“I’d like to thank you guys and thw rest of the fans as I developed from a young, slow, insufficient football to an old, slow insufficient football player.”
“It’s been a privilege to play for them (this coaching staff) the last two years. There are many things I’m proud to call myself, I’m proud to be a Michigan football layer, I’m proud to be a walk- on, I’m proud to be a Sugar Bowl champion, I’m proud to be a captain of team 133, but more than anything, I’m proud to call myself a Michigan man.”
Denard Robinson was the final senior to speak
He knew he was falling in Kovacs’ shadow and joking said, ‘Why Kovacs, why?”
Thanking the OC: “I want to say thanks to coach Borges for him to deal with me, because I know there were many of nights he went home to wife talking trash about me saying I was giving him headaches. I know he bugged you a lot abut me.”
Robinson mentioned he will be the first in his family to graduate from a four-year college.
On what it’s like here now: “I never would have thought I’d be up here giving a speech. I remember sitting in the front row and just looking at the seniors, ‘Like, man, that’s not going to be me. I feel I’m going to leave in three years. I’m doing football and I’m great at it.
“Now I’m here and actually proud to be here. It’s been an honor to play for Michigan and wear the winged helmet. It’s Michigan for gods sakes.”