University of Michigan Football Players
Junior/Sophomore Strong Safety Julius Curry
On safety Cato June ... "Cato is looking really good. His knee is almost 100 percent. He has all it takes to have a good spring and a good season."
On the new turf in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse ... "I like it a lot. At first it took me a minute to adjust to it. I was wearing turf shoes at first, then I started wearing cleats. It's working pretty good as far as cleats. You have to worry about getting your knee caught in certain ways, but it's a lot easier on your back."
On who he feels will step up this year ... "I think, of course, Cato June and wide receiver Ron Bellamy are going to do excellent jobs. Chris Perry and Walter Cross will have a lot on their hands, and I think they're going to do a pretty good job. Young guys, there are a lot of young guys on the offensive side of the ball. The defense is getting a little bit older now, the cornerbacks are becoming juniors, and we'll be seniors. I think the defense will be a lot more mature, and the offense will mature as the season goes on."
On his brother Marcus ... "My brother is going to play cornerback this year. That's going to be a big challenge for him. He'll need to have a good spring, and hopefully this season he'll do a good job."
On the defensive struggles last season ... "It's motivated us a lot. We were within three plays of a national championship last year. We just don't want that to happen this year. We want to go in there and know that you can go in and take the lead and keep the lead. That's one of the things that we always talk about, is the defense keeping the lead once the offense puts us up."
On Drew Henson's performance in 2000 ... "Drew just came in and took over the show basically. In the Illinois game, I was kind of surprised because I didn't know he was going in and then seeing what he did in the two-minute portion of the game. Basically I didn't know he was going to be back like he was, seeing him dive on his first touchdown back, that was pretty exciting. Drew's going to be Drew, he's going to perform when he needs to perform. He's a guy you can count on."
Junior Quarterback Drew Henson
On the offensive line ... "I wouldn't expect for them to drop off at all. Michigan recruits some great offensive linemen. After guys leave, it's up to the next guy to step up and assume that role. As we get into spring ball, it might not be perfect, but that's what practice is for. I'm excited to see these guys and what they can do. It goes back to 1997 -- all these guys that were leaving this past year were young and so that's not a concern in my mind."
On David Terrell ... "I talk to David a couple times a week usually. He's doing well. He's in town for Pro Day, but he's in the next step of his life. In college, as high profile a school as this is, you're still sheltered in many ways, and he's had to take that next step. I'm pulling for him, and he knows he's got all of us behind him. I know he's going to do great and make himself a lot of money."
On the Heisman Trophy ... "I think a lot of kids growing up have goals, and that's the ultimate individual honor in college football, in college sports at all. It's not something I've seen anyone worry about himself. Usually those teams who are in the national championship race are the ones with the front-runners come November or December. Look at the finalists from last year. Not only did they put up big numbers, they were teams in the running for the national title. Without your teammates, without a successful season, that's not going to be there. Rather than me worrying about that, I'll go into each week trying to win games. If we can do that, those things will be there in the end."
On possibly adding a game to the schedule ... "I think it depends on the situation. If we got to play a home game, most everyone would be for it. That's not my decision, that's Coach (Lloyd) Carr's and the athletic department's. As far as playing, everyone loves to compete and that's just another game we get to play. It's usually in front of a national audience and the weather's nice and that's a great time in Ann Arbor to play. So from our perspective we'll play anybody, but things have to fall into place for that to happen."
On the new turf in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse ... "It's easier on your back for conditioning everyday. The other stuff was classic AstroTurf, and it was pretty hard. For us to be in there almost every day running and throwing, you're not as sore when you're done."
On what he will be concentrating on ... "Just continuing to be efficient with the ball, always taking care of it. We were able to do that very well last year, but it's something you can never relax in your mind. You always have to carry the football and continue to work on fundamentals and accuracy. For me this spring, just assuming more of a leadership role is important. I'm one of the oldest guys this year, and there'll be some young guys who, as we begin, need someone to stand up and make sure they're in the right position. That will probably be the thing in spring ball that I try to focus on the most."
On his receivers ... "It's just a matter of me taking the normal reads as I always have; there'll just be another guy out there. I don't make a conscious effort about who I'm throwing to, so it won't be hard to make that adjustment."
On receivers Ronald Bellamy and Tyrece Butler ... "Dave (Terrell) was the ultimate -- he was physical and he was fast. These guys bring a ton of athleticism also. I think Ronny is going to have a great year for us. I wish I could've gotten the ball to him more last year because he's got a world of talent. Butler's coming off the knee injury, so we'll have to see how he does with that. I assume he'll be fine, he's been working hard. We've got some freshmen in though that I think will be there come fall. In a sense I think we'll be deeper in the receiving corps than we have the last couple of years. I've been throwing so many balls at David, I think we'll spread out the reception a little more this year. I think it will keep the guys fresher because they can run more people.
On getting used to a new center ... "You'd think it would be tough, but Jonathan Goodwin played center all last spring, in case Dave (Brandt) did get hurt in the fall that Jonathon would be able to assume that role. So Jonathan probably moving over to play this year, I've already practiced with him a long time, so I don't think that will be a problem. For me the only adjustment is I have a different guy to take the snaps from, but that's another thing. Practicing right now will get those kinks out so it isn't an issue in August."
Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423