CHICAGO — A month prior to the start of the season and two weeks before the Michigan football team’s fall camp opens, senior wide receiver Darryl Stonum is already fighting for his job.
Stonum received the second drunk-driving charge of his collegiate career this summer. Both the courts and Michigan coach Brady Hoke gave him a sentence: two years probation and an indefinite suspension from the football team, respectively.
At the opening of Big Ten Media Days in Chicago on Thursday, Hoke refused to make a decision on Stonum’s suspension. The first-year coach is still waiting to see how his receiver is acting.
“I wanted to wait and go all the way through the summer and see how he’s handling some of the things he needs to do,” Hoke said.
The staff has considered redshirting Stonum, but Hoke wants wait and see “how it all plays out.” He also added that he had no timeline for the decision.
For a few more weeks, Stonum’s indefinite suspension remains just that: indefinite.
TAKE THE LEAD 2, THE BACKFIELD: As Michigan focuses its attention to the field, Hoke’s not worried about the one receiver who may not to play as much as he is concerned about finding one running back who can separate himself from the pack.
Senior Michael Shaw, junior Vincent Smith, redshirt junior Michael Cox, redshirt sophomore Fitzgerald Toussaint, sophomore Stephen Hopkins and incoming freshmen Thomas Rawls and Justice Hayes are all vying for the starting running back position.
Hoke wants one to be the lead back.
He says he should know two to three weeks into camp who the main guy is but will substitute guys in during different situations throughout a game.
“You like to have a guy 19 to 20 carries a game, and then you may have a big back on short yardage,” Hoke said. “It just depends how all that separates itself.”
DOUBLE THE PLEASURE, DOUBLE THE OHIO STATE FUN: Hoke may have to talk about the team only known to him as “Ohio,” twice as often.
With the league split into two divisions, Michigan and Ohio State may play against each other in back-to-back games, once in the last game of the regular season and once in the Big Ten Championship game.
While Hoke wants to keep part of the Michigan vs. Ohio State tradition alive, he’s accepted the possibility of seeing his rivals twice in the same season.
“That game always needs to be played in the last week of November,” he said. “I mean, that’s tradition. I think there’s certain traditions you don’t mess with. To be honest with you, if we play them two weeks in a row, we play them two weeks in a row.”
NOTES: Hoke reiterated that both redshirt junior J.T. Floyd and fifth-year senior Troy Woolfolk are healthy and will participate in fall camp … Hoke didn’t specify why incoming freshman linebacker Kellen Jones was not on the team’s roster, stating, “He’s just not enrolled in the school.” Hoke also added that he didn’t know of any other players who wouldn’t be on the roster … Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany called both Michigan and Ohio State’s NCAA violations “embarassing.”