- Shea Patterson on his relationship with Harbaugh, their similarities
- Lawrence Marshall on coming back for a fifth year
- Marshall and Jared Wangler on Senior Day
- Wangler on his dad
[After THE JUMP: Not triumphalism, but not not triumphalism]
A lot of the other guys have talked about your comfortability, how it’s changed from the beginning of the year to now. How have you seen that from your perspective?
”Just with repetition every single day. I think everybody on the team has gotten so much more in tune and more comfortable with what we’re doing that, as the weeks go by, as the game prep enhances, I think everybody’s been on the same page. So that makes it easier.”
So heading into the final home game. Has this year been — you came here as a kid, watched games — has it been what you thought it would be, playing inn this stadium with this team?
“Yeah, it’s been everything and more of what I thought it was gonna be. We all just kinda knew we were gonna be pretty good, in spring ball and fall camp once things started rolling. After that first week, I think we got a wake-up call. And ever since then, we just attack each and every single day with maximum effort. I don’t think we’ve looked back since then.”
What’s the and more part? You said everything and more
“Just where we’re at right now. 9-1, I think, we’re 9-1. Just right there. I didn’t know if we were 8-1 or 9-1, I think we’re just taking it day by day or week by week. I think that’s the best thing that we’ve got going for us, is it doesn’t matter who we play. Doesn't matter which day it is. We’re giving it our all.”
(Harbaugh) said earlier this week that you guys are clicking in ways that he hasn’t always clicked with quarterbacks, What is it that has you two on the same page?
“Just, I think, his love and passion for the game is contagious. And not only has it spread to me, I think it’s spread throughout the whole team. And you just need a guy to follow, and one that you definitely want to play for. There’s so much pride to be a quarterback on his team.
Have you ever seen clips of him play?
What do you see? Do you see any similarities between what you do and what he did?
“Just his athletic ability to make plays out of the pocket. And you can see his fire. You can see the fire in his eyes when he makes a big paly. You can just tell his passion for the game.”
Do you feel that’s why you guys click as well as you do? Do you feel like you approach it the same way?
“Yeah, I think so. It’s not like football is everything to us, but it’s definitely something that we love to do. Just like every guy in this building. Just gonna work hard every single day to do what we love to do.”
How much, if at all, had you interacted with him before he came to Oxford and you came up here?
“Not much. I was down South and they had a couple pretty good quarterbacks in our recruiting class. I had already committed, that was kinda tough. As soon as he came to visit me in Oxford, I knew that it was gonna be a special connection.”
How long did it take, once you were here, for you to feel that?
“You gotta earn it. You gotta earn everything. With coach Harbaugh, it was the first thing he ever told me. Especially when I came in, ‘Nothing’s gonna be given to you. Everything’s gonna be earned. Got some really good quarterbacks here, you’re gonna have to find a way to be the guy.’ And once I had the opportunity to do that through play and throughout the season as it goes, you continue and you build that bond.”
How different an offense is this compared to what you were doing at Ole Miss? How much did you have to change or reprogram a little bit?
“I really don't think I’ve changed the way I play. I think I’ve worked on a few things to make myself better, but I’m just doing what they ask — what coach has asked me to do. I think it’s a much easier offense to run when you've got incredible players around you, you’ve got an incredible defense to give you field position time after time after time. And then great special teams. So I’m as comfortable as I’ve ever been.”
What was your impression of Jim the first time you met him?
“Straight to the point. Straightforward. You really don’t get — he’s definitely a man of high character. I had the impression, it’s definitely someone I want to play for. … He just made a really good impression on me and … I don’t know if my dad was there, I think one of my friends was there. I was like, ‘I want to play for that guy.’ ”
Playing your last game at home, how do you anticipate that’s gonna feel?
“It hasn’t hit me yet. It still hasn’t hit me yet. I know once that happens, I touch the banner for the last time as a player —
(Tyree Kinnel: “Of course you’re going to cry.”)
“I might cry, yeah. You never know.”
Did you know you were coming back, at this point last year, for a fifth year?
“At this point last year? Nah, I didn’t know I was going to come back. Coach (Greg) Mattison came up to me saying, ‘We really want you to come back.’ As a player, you really have to weigh out your pros and cons. So I weighed out my pros and the cons, and the pros overshadowed the cons. So, that’s the main reason I came back. “
What was Senior Day like for you then last year?
“I didn’t know if I was gonna come back or yet, so I didn’t know how to feel yet.”
What were some of those pros and cons?
“The pros — let’s go with the cons first. The cons, coming back for your fifth year and not really playing, not really producing as you want to produce. The pros, coming back, winning the Big Ten championship. Winning the national championship. Bringing something to Michigan that it hasn’t seen since 2004. Then Chase (Winovich) was coming back, they was bringing in a quarterback, I’m like, ... ‘I want to come back and see this. We can make something happen.’ A story coach Mattison — he left, I want to say (1996) to go to Notre Dame. Correct me if I’m wrong. And that year, Michigan won the national championship. He told me that story, he said, ‘Lawrence, you don’t want to feel that way, leaving and Michigan winning the national championship and you left at the wrong time.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t want to be that person.’ ”
You guys haven’t won the Big Ten championship yet, or beaten Ohio State, but do you feel like your decision has been validated, to come back?
“Yeah. We’ve got everything at stake right now. We got a chance to win the Big Ten championship, chance to go to the national championship. Everything’s at stake.”
When you set those goals, did you think this was how it was going to go? Did you believe this was gonna be here with all those goals right here?
“Of course. That was a big reason why I came back. Cause I knew we had the chance for a Big Ten championship. I knew we could beat Ohio State, go to the national championship, win the Big Ten championship. I knew all those. … So that’s a big reason why I came back.”
Obviously all the fifth-year guys have seen a lot. Are you able to look back at where the program was when you got here versus where it is now?
“Of course. I remember my freshman year, we didn’t go to a bowl game. We were like, ‘Man.’ Now we’re looking, we got a chance to go to a Big Ten championship. We came a long way. So, yeah, for sure came a long way.”
What kind of emotions do you anticipate on Saturday?
“I don’t even know if I’m ready for it. I remember, really vividly, last year and the year before that, a lot of seniors were very emotional pregame, very emotional postgame. So, it’ll be a special moment. It’ll be something, a lot of us, I don’t think, will ever forget.”
Has your dad talked about his (senior day) when he was here?
“No, that’s one thing he tries not to do as (much), really, — talk about his experiences. He wants me to have experiences of my own. I don’t think he wants me to compare my personal experiences to his. But I’m sure after it’s over with, we’ll talk about it. He’ll share his and be able to talk about it after the fact. But he’s just letting me enjoy my journey, on my own.”
How often has it been brought up, this game for your dad, against Indiana, at home?
“Yeah, growing up you always hear about the play — the pass to Anthony Carter. I’ve seen the video a fair share of times. You hear about it and just shows you about doing something special, as a player, that’s memorable”
Your senior class has obviously been through a lot here, ups and downs. Do you guys ever talk about or think about, reflect on where you came from, beginning to now?
“Yeah, definitely. Especially our senior class, the fifth-years, when we came in and we were 5-7, we’ve gone through kinda the roller coaster of people telling you you’re the greatest thing and people telling you you’re almost nothing. So, I think that’s one thing hti s team has done a great job of, is to keep our heads forward and not listen to outside noise, because we know how quickly that narrative can switch on us. So, we’re really just focusing on each game at a time and going from there.”
Does it mean any more then that you guys are rolling here and have everything in front of you?
“Yeah, it feels great. You definitely know what the bottom feels like and you
Re getting a taste of what the top feels like. You really just wanna keep that momentum going and do something special, that we’ve never done here and none of our teammates have really done here. So, the goals are ahead of us and that’s what we’re working towards.”
Jared, you’ve been here for a long time. You were committed for a long time, you’ve been here for a long time. Do you ever talk to the young guys about what you just said, about how things can go up and down as part of life here?
“Yeah. After each practice, coach Jay Harbaugh, with our running back and fullback group, we always circle up and give wise words. That’s one thing a lot of the seniors have done, is try to keep the young guys informed. Because a lot of guys, especially freshmen, they’re coming in and they think this is the norm. Which, obviously we’re trying to make this the norm, but it doesn’t always work out like that. So, you need to keep your head forward and do the right things in order to continue winning and doing it the right way. Cause it can flip on you. It really could. As we’ve experienced.”
Why do you think this team is different in that regard, so that you guys are able to win those big games?
“I think it’s just — I’m also trying to put a finger on it. I’ve also asked my fellow fifth-year guys and some of the coaches what we see in this team that’s different than years past. Obviously you guys remember the 2016 team was really talented. Maybe it’s that lots of us had been through that 2016 year, where we were all at the top and everyone’s telling us national championship, but we didn’t achieve it. So this year, people are saying it, but we’re really focused on winning the next game, winning the game after that. Just taking it bit by bit, winning those games.”
Why didn’t this team fold after the Notre Dame loss?
“Yeah, I think a lot of teams could pack it in and start blaming each other. I think you gotta look at a lot of the team leaders. Think you gotta look at the coaching. Coach (Jim Harbaugh) has done a phenomenal job of getting this thing turned around. It wasn’t anyone feeling sorry for themselves. At that point, we had lost four straight games, so a lot of us could have just looked to the coaches and not trusted in them, or looked at each other and not trusted in one another. But I think that speaks volumes of this team and might be why you see us now, at 9-1 now, is because guys trust each other. And that’s a huge part of our success.”