Three days after being rushed to University Hospital after sustaining a neck injury during practice on Friday, Michigan freshman defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins returned to the practice field Monday.

Pipkins watched practice later in the day on Friday, without a neck brace, from the sidelines, The Detroit News reported.
The cause of the injury was not given.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke’s said in an Athletic Department statement released Friday that Pipkins had movement of his extremeties and was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons.

Barring any lingering effects of the neck injury, Pipkins is expected to vie for significant time on the interior defensive line as a freshman, where he will serve alongside redshirt junior Quinton Washington as the primary backups to senior nose tackle Will Campbell.

ASMUSSEN ALL IN: The Associated Press released its preseason top-25 poll on Saturday, and Michigan, as expected, was ranked No. 8 in the initial poll.

What wasn’t expected was to learn that Michigan, had earned one voter’s No. 1 selection. That voter was Bob Asmussen, an Illinois beat writer for the Champaign News-Gazette.

“I don’t think I’m famous — infamous, maybe,” Asmussen told AnnArbor.com.

Asmussen decided on Michigan in late spring and stuck with his choice. He made a few headlines in early June by releasing an early top-10 and making Michigan No. 1, followed by USC, Oklahoma and Alabama.

He stayed true to his hunch when his selection for the AP poll came around last week.

“First of all, Brady Hoke has done a great job,” Asmussen told AnnArbor.com. “I think when he came in there, it could have been a disaster. And instead, he managed that season last year. So, I’m impressed with the way he’s turned that thing.

“I think they have extreme momentum going into the year, coming off the bowl and they played well down the stretch last year. I like that, and I think that’s important to this team because, they obviously lost their way under (Rich Rodriguez).

Asmussen said he admired Hoke’s strong coaching staff, and he said that the Wolverines’ talent has improved since Hoke took over the program.

“I like what he does, I like the staff he has there. So start with the coaching. I think it’s fantastic, and everywhere (Hoke’s) gone, he’s done this. He’s been good, and now he actually has the bodies to help him win a national championship.”

Asmussen expects Michigan to defeat No. 2 Alabama in the season opener on Sept. 1 in Arlington, Texas.

FIVE FOR MORRIS: Warren De La Salle senior quarterback Shane Morris has been on Michigan football fans’ radar for a long, long time. Morris committed to the Michigan football program on May 10, 2011, as a high school sophomore.

The 6-foot-3, 183-pound recruit earned the coveted five-star ranking in Rivals.com’s newest rankings, released Monday. Only one quarterback — USC commit Max Browne — remains ahead of Morris in the rankings.

Rivals.com ranks Morris as the No. 1 player in Michigan and the No. 17 player in the country.

Morris opens his senior campaign with a featured showdown against Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, across the street from Michigan Stadium, at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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