I didn't see any posts about this excellent event.
First, if you haven't heard about these, they are for kids in grades K-8 to interact with U-M athletes. There are a number of sports represented, with a few events yet to come. Link is here.
I really didn't know what to expect. My 2nd grade son and 6th grade daughter attended after getting a heads up from a friend back in November. The football event was yesterday, Feb. 2nd.
They had 6 stations for the kids to do different drills, 5 minutes at each station. At each station there were 4-6 football players or student managers running the drills. Then they got a water break, reset the stations to different activities, and did another rotation. Finally, they got all the players to sit behind tables with Sharpies and the kids could have one item autographed by each of the players.
Kids got to block, tackle, run, catch, throw, punt, place kick, and more. It was very well organized.
Not that you would expect anything less from Michigan players, but I was truly impressed with how positive, magnanamous, and patient the players were. It was obvious that they wanted to be there and they took time to pose for pictures and talk one-on-one with the kids.
Players of note:
- Taylor Lewan was there (in socks the whole time) floating from station to station and talking with anyone who wanted to. He was looking very trim and said he lost some weight when he had his tonsils out after the bowl game.
- Devin Gardner emceed the event with a microphone at the center of the field. He hammed it up with other players, "interviewed" the kids about what they were doing, and even lead a chorus of Happy Birthday.
- Jeremy Gallon was all smiles and took time for pictures and conversations with anyone who wanted them.
- Dennis Norfleet was a bundle of energy and motion the *entire* time. He was constantly recognizing kids for their efforts and just displayed an awesome, over-the-top personality.
- A bunch of offensive linemen were running one drill that called for the kids to jump over a couple of barriers stacked on top of each other; if a kid didn't make the leap, they'd look at each other and say, "LINEMAN!" and high-five the kid.
Here is a link to some pictures. (I ended up taking over 300, so this is just a small sample! I didn't want to post pictures where individual kids could be identified, so these are of players or large groups.)
Basketball is upcoming, but already full. I think men's and women's soccer and swimming are all coming up. I don't know exactly what those events will be like, but if they are anything like football, I can't recommend them enough.