Saturday, Mar 17, 2018
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Wolverines notebook: Edwards still knows how to draw a crowd

ANN ARBOR - Braylon Edwards attracted plenty of attention while wearing a Michigan football uniform.

The Wolverines' record-setting wideout regularly found a way to draw the applause of Michigan supporters with his performance on the field.

He typically commanded special attention from opposing defenses during a stellar college career wearing maize and blue.

Yesterday, Edwards, who is expected to be selected in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft, still proved to be an attention-grabber at Michigan Stadium even without grabbing a single pass.

Wearing white pants, white shoes, a white tank top underneath a pink long-sleeve shirt, the 6-3, 208-pounder, was hard to miss while standing on the sidelines watching his former teammates hold their final spring practice before an estimated crowd of 10,000 on hand.

"Only Braylon," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said of Edwards' Miami Vice-like attire. "Those days are over [for me], but I used to dress like that."

Edwards, who led the Wolverines in total receptions (97), receiving yards (1,330) and touchdown receptions (15) last season, is considered one of the top receiver prospects in this year's draft. He recently met with San Francisco 49ers officials, who have the rights to the No. 1 overall pick.

Edwards isn't concerned with where he's pick in the first round as long as he's selected.

"It is what it is and I've always imagined myself to be in this situation," he said.

Edwards, who drew plenty of applause from the crowd when his name was announced over the public address system early in the workouts, spent part of the time signing dozens of autographs for fans.

Fellow wideout Jason Avant was also pleased to see his former teammate on hand. He also offered a few thoughts about Edwards' attire.

"I love his outfit," said Avant, with a hint of sarcasm. "But it's good to see him here because he just brings a confidence to the crew."

SHOWING PROGRESS: Matt Gutierrez threw the football with the kind of zip during passing drills yesterday that had him penciled in as Michigan's starting quarterback around this time a year ago.

However, his junior season was derailed by a shoulder injury that required surgery Oct. 25.

His recovery from the setback is ahead of schedule. Initial prognosis on his recovery didn't have him back on the field throwing the football during spring workouts.

"It's been a tedious process coming off of surgery," Gutierrez said.

The 6-4, 232-pound senior said he's not at full strength. His goal is to keep working hard and ultimately put himself in position to compete with Chad Henne for the starting job.

"I just show up and work hard and try to get better every day," Gutierrez said.

PRESSURING THE PASSER: Michigan's defense struggled to put pressure on quarterbacks last season and it played a significant part in the Wolverines dropping their final two games. Carr believes the hiring of defensive line coach Steve Stripling, who previously coached at Michigan State, will help rectify that problem.

"Steve is a very strong fundamentals guy and there have been great improvements along the line," Carr said.

"I think that [the defensive line] will be one of the strengths of the team.

"What Steve brings - he's an excellent pass-rush guy. We were young and not as strong as we needed to be last year."

CENTER OF ATTENTION: While Henne seems certain as the starter at quarterback, it remains uncertain who will serve as his center.

Carr said it's "unsettled" who will fill the spot next fall. Offensive linemen Rueben Riley and Alex Mitchell appear to be favorites to contend for the job.

CARR CATCHES TD: The final play of spring workouts involved a wide-open Carr catching a pass in the back of the end zone from quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler.

Carr, 59, pulled in the pass before stopping his momentum with a semi-tumble.

"Great catch, wasn't it?" he said. "The only thing I could think about was if I dropped it I'd hear about it."

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