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Michigan Football: 4 Early Standouts from Spring Practice

Austin FoxCorrespondent IIMarch 31, 2013

Michigan Football: 4 Early Standouts from Spring Practice

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    Now that spring practices are in full gear for Michigan, we have a good sense of which players are stepping up and performing well.

    Not surprisingly, Michigan has had its fair share of veterans step up so far this spring and really grab leadership roles. So just which players have done this?

    Here's a look at four players who have had nothing but good things said about them so far in spring camp.

    All information and reports found at thewolverine.com.

Devin Gardner

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    This one here isn't a surprise. All reports out of Ann Arbor are that Devin Gardner has taken that next step and has really become a leader on this team.

    If he isn't 100 percent committed to playing the position, similar to what happened last year, then there could be trouble. His play is crucial to this team's success, and he simply needs to perform for the team to have a great year.

    Now a redshirt junior, Gardner is a grizzled veteran and should know this program inside and out. He needs to realize the importance of playing quarterback at the University of Michigan, and how great of an honor that truly is.

    And, by all means, it sounds like he has.

Taylor Lewan

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    This one isn't a surprise either. We already knew Lewan was going to be one of, if not, the most important senior leader on this team, and so far he hasn't disappointed.

    With the youngsters he has played behind him, Lewan could probably afford to slack a little bit in practice and still easily win a starting job. However, that hasn't been the case at all.

    He is giving his all for the benefit of these youngsters, as they are learning from arguably the best offensive lineman in the country.

    There really isn't a better way to learn than by going up against the best. Whether it's Kyle Kalis or Ben Braden or any other young Michigan lineman, it's safe to say they are in good hands with Lewan as their mentor.

Michael Schofield

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    To go along with Lewan, we have another fifth-year senior offensive lineman in Michael Schofield. It may be a bit surprising to some to see him on here, as he sometimes gets overshadowed badly by Lewan.

    However, Schofield will be crucial to the success of the offensive line, as he and Lewan are basically the only two guys on it with any experience.

    Word out of practice is that Schofield has stepped up his game tremendously. Being reassured that he would be staying at his natural right tackle position probably has a lot to do with that.

    If Schofield steps his game up a notch this season and the youngsters on this line progress quickly, this could actually wind up being a pretty good offensive line.

Fitzgerald Toussaint

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    I bet nobody thought he'd be on this list. Toussaint is not taking part in any contact drills during spring camp, but the fact that he is participating in any drills at all is amazing in itself.

    His gruesome leg injury occurred only four and a half months ago, but he is progressing quicker than anyone would have ever expected.

    Now a fifth-year senior, Toussaint knows this is his last chance in a Michigan uniform, and he obviously wants to make the most of it. By the strides he is making in his rehab, it sounds like he is all about business this offseason, unlike last year.

    If Toussaint's progression continues to go as smoothly as it is now, he just may be starting that first game of the season after all.

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