Nice work, good info.
An Interview With Nathan Brink's High School Position Coach
Walk-on defensive lineman Nathan Brink [photo credit: Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com]
Redshirt sophomore defensive end Nathan Brink's emergence this fall as a walk-on in line for major playing time has come as a surprise for many, and
begs raises the question: Who is Nathan Brink? Perhaps more importantly, at least to Wolverine fans, can he make a positive contribution this year on the field? To help us learn more about the walk-on, who's currently slated to back up Will Heininger at strongside defensive end, Brad Hoffman, who was Nate's defensive line coach at Holland Christian, was kind enough to answer a few questions:
ACE: What was Nate's football game like as a high school player? What were his strong and weak points?
ACE: As his high school defensive line coach, did you think he had the potential to grow into a contributor for the Wolverines? How do you think he'll fare this year as part of the D-line rotation?
I just checked to see if someone else said something. Nice.
Haha, yeah, me too. Ace, my high school english teacher would be very upset with you.
Crap. You learn something new every day. Time to edit the intro...
[But seriously, thanks for keeping me on my toes. I was a history major, not an English major, so sometimes these things need to be pointed out to me.]
Thank you for changing it and not being the douche that says "beg the question" has changed meanings. You're doing a heck of a job.
Oh man, I must have taken Philosophy of Language and Mind just a few years after you, and I had Eric Lormand, who was probably the opposite of the guy you describe: heavily bearded, extremely friendly, and decked out in sweatpants every once in a while. He also taught a great class. Tough break on your end.
God, there are a lot of likable kids on this team. What a nice contrast to the stories out of OSU and Miami!
Kudos to Ace for a good interview.
I love to see stuff that isn't just "coachspeak" fluff. Good job.
Re: the comments about Desmond Morgan: For those who don't know, the OK Red is certainly one of, if not the, best football conference in Michigan. Someone from that league plays in a state title game almost every year, many have one titles recently, and all of the schools are very big schools. It doesn't produce the top end D1 talent that some of the leagues in Metro Detroit do, but top to bottom the teams are the best, or second only to the Catholic league. Anyway, if you're tearing up a league with Rockford, Muskegon and Hudsonville in it, you're probably a really good player.
many have one titles recently
Wow, it's Ben a long day. That's knot even a mistake worth defending.
Speaking of the ol' OK red, this year WO(Morgans HS) has a junior kicker that is an absolute ACE inside 40 and capable of 55's. His name is Bryan Holmes and I watched him make a 42yd FG with time expiring last year as a sophmore and it cleared the bar by 10ft. Total pressure situation against Grand Have(OK rival) for the win and this kid just ace'd it.
I met him this summer and happened to notice that he had friggin HUGE feet for his rather dimunitive size.
Another local kid is a Holland High linebacker named Nathan Rickets. Good size and another really quality instinctual player.
WO also has a RB named Brandon Allen who's definately got the size(6-1 220) to play up a level. He was injured last year as a junior and missed the whole season. He'll be one to keep an eye on this season too because the kids got speed and is tough to bring down.
Notice how the coach gave props to Bruce Tall, but not Gerg haha.
Hahahaha I thought the exact same thing, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt, because he mentioned coaches who all coached the defensive line.
Bruce Tall was a solid coach and, in my opinion, the best position coach on the defense in Rodriguez's three years.
And Morgan did kill it in the OK-Red. I saw it firsthand; there aren't too many like him out here in West Michigan.
Another OK-Red kid I like is Juwan Lewis this year. I wouldn't take him over Dunn or Garmon, but if we don't get one of the top RBs in this class, he'd be a good one to take now that we have a few more scholarships to dole out.
In his first game against Macomb Dakota (who is usually good) he had 15 carries for 116 yards (7.7 per carry) and two touchdowns. He's big, he's fast, and he's productive against good competition. And he has a 3.8 GPA.
I'm a big fan of Lewis; my brother is currently a linebacker on a team that's going to play the Big Reds this year so I'll have to ask him what he thinks of Juwan. In another year and in another class I'd love to have him, but with Houma in the fold (who I think could be a running back if we have Iowa-level depth) and the current numbers crunch, I'm not sure I'd take him.
That's a good point about Houma - I think he'll be a tailback too, actually. He's got the speed to play tailback, plus some good size. Hell, if Shallman can be a tailback, Houma can be a tailback. We just need some more walk-on fullback types.
Way to dig for the unique perspective and feed us what we crave here - well written and informative. Glad Brink's wearing wings on his helmet too.
Read some of Bo's books and you'll see he was all about rewarding performance in practice and games. Looks like our wlak-on here has performed himself into an important position on this defense, and I admire and respect him for it!
He came to Michigan on an academic scholarship, walked onto the football team and was an All American and co-captain.
Don Warner walked on in the early/mid-70s, and although Bo tried to get rid of him, Warner would not be denied.
Cook knows how to hire.
Ace, you're building up your contact list quick here. In a year or two I imagine you'll have a nice network all over the Midwest.
I'm excited for the Mysterious One to get on the field and show us his skills and abilities!
Apparently Rodriguez didn't have a lousy relationship with *every* high school football coach in Michigan.
Wouldn't it be more sarcastic if you had said "this just proves that Rodriguez had a lousy relationship with every high school football coach in Michigan"?
The more you know...
Nathan has a fantastic story. Unheralded kid works his butt off and earns a spot in the 2-deep. It's just like real life - credentials (degree from great school, connections, 5* rating, etc) may get you in the door, but you have to deliver results.
Way to hunt this stuff down Ace. If Greg Mattison thinks Nathan Brink will make a fine Michigan line-man than I cant say I really disagree
The huge change is encouraging. I'd be more concerned if he was 265 and a football only kid in high school. His story is probably the best case scenario.
Great interview, good insights into why a previously unknown walk on is on the verge of starting at M in his RS Soph year.
Kudos to RR to spot a possible diamond in the ruff. Brink was concentrating on the wrong sport in HS. This interview gives credence to the notion Brink can contribute on the field for M over the next 3 seasons. Apparently Brink has more physical ability than maybe a typical walk-on and just needed time to build his body up and master some of the techniques needed to play at the major college level.
Don't try talking down to people by saying things like "Dear 9-point poster"
Can't help but not root for this guy. Looking forward to him to being a solid contributor this year.