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Published: Saturday, 3/13/2010

Clay grad Kovacs likely to receive scholarship by fall

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

It didn't take long for Jordan Kovacs to ascend to the top of the depth chart. Consequently, he is now atop the waiting list for a scholarship.

A walk-on starter at safety last season for the University of Michigan football team, Kovacs, a Clay graduate, is expected to be awarded a scholarship before the start of next year.

UM coach Rich Rodriguez maintained throughout the season that it's his intention to include Kovacs among his scholarship players. That process has seemingly progressed this offseason.

"He'll have the first one available in the fall, and it looks like one will be available," Rodriguez said. "I'm hoping it will be available for this summer because he's earned one."

Kovacs was the feel good story in an otherwise forgettable season for the Wolverines. The son of a former walk-on at Michigan, Kovacs tried out for the team last spring after failing a physical the year before.

He quickly moved up the depth chart because of injuries and poor play in the secondary, and finished the year second on the team in tackles with 75.

QB OR NOT QB? It's hard to know what to make of Rodriguez' prediction of Denard Robinson's future.

Rodriguez said the sophomore speedster will "always" be involved at the quarterback position yet Rodriguez later said the

coaching staff expects to field its best 11 players on offense. Some may debate that Rodriguez' plans for Robinson, a diverse athlete, and for UM's offense, are conflicting.

"I think the biggest thing that's going to happen is [Robinson and sophomore quarterback Tate Forcier] are going to continue

to learn the offense," Rodriguez said.

"Learning as a freshman is a bonus, and they learned some but not nearly what they can learn in 15 practices in the spring and 29 more in August."

INJURY REPORT: Spring practice begins Tuesday and those not participating because of injuries are Brandon Herron, Mike Martin, Vincent Smith, and David Molk. Additionally, receiver Junior Hemingway will probably be held out for the early part of spring ball.

"Thankfully, none of them will be out for summer workouts," Rodriguez said. "They'll all be ready to go in the fall."

SAME FACES: It is believed that linebacker Brandon Smith is the only member of last year's team to have transferred. That's a very small number in relation to other Division I programs and in comparison to recent years at Michigan.

Smith is now at Temple.

"I think guys are understanding their roles a bit and understanding what the staff wants out of them," Rodriguez said.

"At the end of the day our coaches are there to teach and to serve. I think the players more than ever know that."



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