ANN ARBOR, Mich — When it comes to true freshmen on Michigan’s 2018 team, there have been two players these pages have been excited about: one we’ve written about extensively in Aidan Hutchinson, and the other being hard-hitting linebacker Cam McGrone.
We’ve heard the praises sung about Hutchinson throughout fall camp. He’s been mentioned by Jim Harbaugh, Rashan Gary, Jon Runyan Jr. But little has been mentioned about McGrone, who was a five-star per 247Sports.
Now, of course, there’s something of a learning curve when it comes to college football compared to high school. Especially because in the first few weeks of fall camp, the first-year players who didn’t enroll early have to get acclimated to the classroom as well as their newfound surroundings on a D-I football field.
According to his position coach, Al Washington, McGrone is settling in nicely, but still has work to do to be caught up to speed (of course, through no fault of his own — just positionally).
“He’s a young kid – eager, eager to learn,” Washington said. “Eager to assume the role (of) being a big time backer in our defense. Very impressed with his approach and his effort on a consistent basis. Because it’s a lot – being a freshman coming into a new environment, and then being a leader of 10 guys when you’re not sure exactly what you’re doing all the way yet. There’s a lot of effort that goes into that, and he’s approached it the right way.”
While we know McGrone will be playing linebacker, which of the four positions in Don Brown’s defense will he partake?
The hard-hitting backer with a penchant and nose for the football has started out learning the same two positions that Devin Bush Jr. — the closest composite to his style of play — did in his first year with the program.
“MIKE/WILL, in that world,” Washington said. “Being a linebacker on defense, period, knowing the game, usually those guys are your quarterbacks of sorts. Kind of the heartbeat of the team, defense. I think he’s approached it the right way.”