A weekend in Northern Michigan with his girlfriend’s family
turned into quite the adventure for Andy Mignery.

Janna Hutz
Michigan tight end Andy Mignery (14) walks off the field much like he walked away from his dream. (TONY DING/Daily)

Mignery had already made a big decision. He just had to execute
it.

The fifth-year senior took his girlfriend, fellow University
student Anna Fisher, to a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, got down
on one knee and proposed to her.

“I was like numb for three days,” Fisher recalled. “I was
completely shocked. I could hardly even cry. I can’t really
describe it. It was just one of those overwhelming feelings.

“I had no idea (he was going to propose) until the second it
happened.”

The same could be said for Mignery’s decision to forget his
dream of playing quarterback and switch to tight end in 2002 spring
practice.

“I woke up one morning and went straight into coach (Lloyd)
Carr’s office and said, ‘I want to make a change.’ ” Mignery said.
“Within 20 minutes, I switched positions, went to (equipment
manager) John Falk and got my pads changed.”

Ranked as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the nation by Prep
Football Report coming out of Hamilton (Ohio) High School, Mignery
did not see much of the field his first three years. And when Scot
Loeffler took over for Stan Parrish as quarterbacks coach and his
status still didn’t improve, he knew it was time to let go.

“I think it was really hard because I know that the coaches
suggested it for a while, and he was determined to have his dream
come true to play quarterback,” Fisher said. “He just wanted to be
the leader; it’s his character. He wanted the spotlight to be on
him, and he just didn’t want to give up on that.

“I felt like (his switch to tight end) was pretty spontaneous
actually.”

Mignery, 23, claims he’s truly happy with the change. But no
matter how much fun he’s having this season at tight end, the
execution of this decision has been a little tougher than getting
down on one knee in front of his main squeeze.

“Mentally has been the most challenging part,” Mignery said.
“From not even thinking about dishing out a hit to trying to put
someone on their back was a tough thing.”

Fisher said Mignery’s father and high school football coach, Ed
Mignery, has been a constant help in teaching Andy how to block. Ed
has even attended Michigan practices to help out Andy.

“He’s kind of like a sensitive, nice guy, but we have to tell
him he has to be mean,” Fisher said. “I think he’s gotten a little
more aggressive.”

Mignery has gained some meat along the way as well, gaining 25
pounds since the switch by dieting on what he calls “buffet style”
food.

“It was fun,” Mignery said. “I could eat just about anything in
sight.”

For now, Mignery is concentrating on helping the Michigan
running attack eat up yardage. With no receptions yet this season,
he’s become more of a blocking tight end than a receiver, as
starter Tim Massaquoi plays on most passing downs.

“He gets really excited about whatever contributions he makes,”
said Fisher, a former pole vaulter for the women’s track and field
team. “He doesn’t let himself look at the whole picture and wish
that he had been the quarterback or the starting tight end.”

Fisher, whose father, Dave Fisher, played fullback for Michigan
in the 1960s, says Mignery hasn’t gotten too carried away with
being a family man just yet. Trips to Home Depot and Bed, Bath and
Beyond can wait until after football season.

“I don’t think (he’s changed much after the engagement),” Fisher
said. “I think he’s been a family man from the get-go.”

Carr impressed with Autzen: Carr had heard all the rumors
about Autzen Stadium’s raucous fans. Now he’s spreading them.

“That was the loudest stadium I’ve ever been in,” Carr said. “I
want to commend our players for the way they handled the crowd
noise before the ball was snapped.

“Our offensive linemen really had to see the ball snapped, and
anytime you have to watch for the ball to be snapped and your eye
is not on the man you’re going to block, you’re at a distinct
disadvantage.”

Brinton done: Michigan quarterback Spencer Brinton
underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last Tuesday.

Carr did not say whether Brinton, who was third on the depth
chart behind John Navarre and Matt Gutierrez before his injury,
would be able to redshirt.

Edwards OK: Michigan receiver Braylon Edwards, who caught
13 balls for 144 yards Saturday at Oregon, was playing the entire
time with a dislocated finger.

Carr said that Edwards’ finger is definitely not broken, but
knows that it was painful.

“If you’ve ever tried to catch a football with a sprained
finger, it’s not an easy thing to do,” Carr said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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