At yesterday's final pre-Gator Bowl practice the seniors received the honor of being carried of the field by their teammates. Bruce Madej tells the story at MGoBlue.com with an accompanying slideshow of th final practice.
There was a mix of former, soon to be former and current football letterwinners at Jacksonville University Thursday afternoon (Dec. 30) when Michigan conducted its last practice of 2010 for Saturday's Gator Bowl (Jan. 1).
The last practice is somewhat bittersweet. You have watched these student-athletes grow to adults in a four or five year time frame, and you wonder what the future will hold for the players leaving college life.
Today, they are being hoisted on the shoulders of their teammates as they are carried off the field for the final time at Michigan. Tomorrow, these same players will be headed into their 'real' lives. A career as a lawyer, dentist, sales rep, teacher, etc.
So it seemed apropos that today was also the day the U-M football M Club Letterwinners were invited to practice. This is the same group that sponsors the M Go Blue banner that the team touches as it runs out of the Michigan Stadium tunnel.
Congratulations to the seniors as they make this transition. They will be missed, but they will join an exclusive fraternity of M Club Letterwinners.
As I watched the proceedings taking place, I -- yes, an honorary M Club letterman -- looked at our M Club lettermen and thought to myself if these players being carried off the field today have a life like those former players I have been with during this practice, Michigan and its coaching staff did their 'real' job -- building the young men to be leaders and the best.