Notebook: Avery out two weeks following knee surgery

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In happier times, Avery was a hero against Ohio State. He'll miss two weeks with a knee injury. Buy this photo

By Matt Slovin, Managing Editor
Published August 26, 2013

The Michigan football team will be without one of its safeties for about two weeks, coach Brady Hoke announced Monday.

Senior Courtney Avery underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Saturday. Hoke said Avery, one of the four captains the Wolverines selected Sunday, is in good spirits after the procedure to repair some cartilage.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Avery said, “especially it being my senior year. I wanted to spend every second out there on the field. But that’s not how it worked out. You roll with the punches.”

According to the depth chart the team released Monday, sophomore Jarrod Wilson will start at free safety to begin the season. Avery was a favorite to be named the starter before the injury. The depth chart also has redshirt sophomore Blake Countess and junior Raymon Taylor as the starting cornerbacks.

When asked if he could be back by the Notre Dame game, on Sept. 7, Avery said he’s “just taking it week by week.”

Avery is in the process of a transition from the cornerback position to safety. He said assignments have been the biggest challenge to his new role.

“At safety, you have to see the whole range of the field and make a lot of adjustments,” Avery said. “You have to be the quarterback out there.”

WALK-ONS NO MORE: Three roster members were given scholarships by Hoke on Sunday.

Fifth-year senior wide receiver Joe Reynolds, redshirt sophomore left guard Graham Glasgow and redshirt sophomore fullback Joe Kerridge were the lucky recipients, though if you ask Hoke, little was left to fortune.

“They set a standard for work ethic,” Hoke said. “They set a standard for toughness and their love for their teammates and their love for Michigan.

“When you have the opportunity to do that as a coach, you always feel good because it obviously helps out their families. More than that, they earned it.”

RUN IT DOWN THEIR THROATS: With the switch to the pro-style offense, the running backs will certainly have a more smash mouth mentality than in recent years under the spread system. But how much will their workload change?

Hoke said Monday that if starting tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint, a fifth-year senior, can receive between 18 and 30 carries per game, it would be “productive.” He added that the coaching staff has yet to narrow down a more precise amount of touches for Toussaint.

The depth chart lists six running backs, including two true freshmen, and Hoke said if all of them travel, all will be expected to contribute. They might not all get carries each game, but they will all see the field in one way or another, perhaps on special teams.

NOTES: Sophomore wide receiver Dennis Norfleet will handle the team’s kick and punt returning duties to start the season, according to Hoke. During his freshman campaign, Norfleet returned 35 kickoffs for 827 yards, with both totals good for second best in program history for a single season. … Hoke said that the decision to have four captains, rather than three, was made solely based on the results of the vote. … Hoke also said that he thinks redshirt junior linebacker and captain Jake Ryan is still on schedule for an October return, which Ryan confirmed.