Expectations are as high as they’ve ever been at Michigan. Sometimes, that kind of hype can force a player or coach to back away from the spotlight, trying to disregard all the attention a program is receiving.
For Michigan, though, there’s no backing away from those expectations. Jim Harbaugh is embracing the challenge. Players are excited about the outlook. There’s a lot of confidence oozing out of Ann Arbor.
Even running back Tru Wilson sees a big difference this August from his teammates and coaching staff.
“This camp just feels different,” Wilson said. “There’s just a different feel in Schembechler Hall about the season and this group of people in this building. We have the right people to do something special this year.”
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By most media outlets, Michigan is the favorite to win the B1G and challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Most of that has to do with Josh Gattis running the offense, the return of Shea Patterson at quarterback and the key pieces back from last year’s 10-win team.
This isn’t the first time the Wolverines have faced high expectations, though. There were hopes in 2016 and 2018 Michigan would win a conference title and maybe contend for a national championship. Both times, UM fell short.
So there’s a bit of a wait-and-see mindset heading into this season. But the staff and the players seem to be confident in their abilities and aren’t worried about the lofty goals everyone has set for the program this year.
That’s not a bad thing for Michigan.