- Ariel Bond/Daily
BY JOE STAPLETON
Daily Sports Editor
Published April 18, 2010
While most of the 35,000 sets of eyes huddled in the cold at Saturday's Michigan football spring game were focused on the quarterbacks, one player was making his debut at a position that was far more troubling for the Wolverines last year.
Saturday’s spring game meant the much-anticipated public debut of redshirt freshman Cameron Gordon at safety, where he was moved from wide receiver this spring.
For weeks, the reports out of practice had indicated it was a smooth transition. At one point Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said it was one of the better personnel moves the staff had made.
Before the game, Gordon was recognized as the team's breakout player of the spring. And during the game, he seemed comfortable at the safety spot — not spectacular, but he didn’t seem to blow any coverages.
“I feel like I transitioned over to a new position in a good way,” Gordon said. “Playing offense last year, that’s where I wanted to stay at, but I felt like I had to help the team.”
Gordon played on both sides of the ball his entire high school career. He didn’t practice as a safety last year, but the position isn’t entirely unfamiliar to him.
Gordon's continued progress should be a huge help for a Michigan team that had its share of troubles at the safety position last year.
“I did good in the spring ball, could have been better,” Gordon said. “Still got things to learn, hopefully when camp come along with more practices I can keep on moving forward.”
Punting problems: Marty Bodnar, Michigan’s ticketing director who was one of the many athletic department staff members lining the sidelines during Saturday’s game, ended up being the unintended target of many of the Michigan specialists' punts during the punting drills.
He dropped two of them, but the fact that the balls were even going near him doesn’t bode well for the Wolverines' punting unit next year.
“We didn’t have too many that landed in the white lines,” Rodriguez said. “Which is concerning.”
In fact, sophomore quarterback Tate Forcier looked like the team’s best punter on Saturday, at one point booting the ball 53 yards.
Rodriguez was impressed, but not quite ready to name Forcier the starting punter just yet.
“He’s a pretty talented punter,” Rodriguez joked. “But I’d rather Tate work on some other things.”
Luckily for the Wolverines, incoming freshman Will Hagerup, the nation’s highest-recruited punter with offers from Florida, Tennessee and Ohio State, will arrive in the summer and is expected to take over the punting duties.
Spring Awakening: Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Roy Roundtree really likes spring games.
Last year, Roundtree was one of the more impressive offensive players in the game, catching three touchdowns — one of them a 50-yard bomb from then-freshman Forcier.
This year, Roundtree duplicated last year’s strong showing, catching balls all over the field from sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson.
The wideout caught two touchdowns, one being a 97-yard sprint to the end zone.
“Once I caught it, I just thought to myself, ‘I gotta score,’” Roundtree said. “There’s nobody in front of me, nobody beside me so I just knew I had to run.”