Michigan Football 2012: Fierce Competition in Spring Practice Drives Players

RJ LuchenbillCorrespondent IIIMarch 30, 2012

Entitlement is not a word in coach Brady Hoke's vocabulary.

Competition among teammates is healthy and is encouraged by the Michigan coaching staff. The best players will always be starting whether he's a fifth-year senior or a true freshman. 

Before Michigan played Iowa last season, Hoke was asked why they were playing so many freshmen

“The best players have to play. Or else you’re cheating the program.”

And just because a player was the best last season, doesn't mean he will be this year. 

Brady Hoke was interviewed yesterday and was asked to name some players that have surprised him so far in spring practice. 

"Hayes has shown some things with his abilities," Hoke said. "And I think the linebacker position is a very competitive position, having (freshmen) Joe (Bolden) and Kaleb (Ringer) kind of in the mix there a little bit puts a little pressure on some of the older guys." 

Hoke also indicated that running back Thomas Rawls is currently pushing Stephen Hopkins for the starting fullback position. He offered some thoughts on Rawls' performance so far. 

"He’s a pretty tough guy running the football," Hoke said. "He has to take care of the football a little better."

Just as Brady Hoke likes how freshmen Joe Bolden and Kaleb Ringer are playing, he is also high on early enrollee Jarrod Wilson.

"Jarrod Wilson's working well right now at safety," Hoke said.

Finally, Hoke chimed in and indicated he was impressed by how hard Roy Roundtree and Jeremy Gallon were working in camp this spring. 

Ultimately, the increased amount of competition between players drives everybody to be better in the end.

Starters on both sides of the football from last season better watch their backs.