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Posted on Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

Brief glimpse at Michigan football team reveals one cast removed, one placed and some punt return candidates

By Kyle Meinke


Michigan quarterbacks, from left, Denard Robinson, Devin Gardner and Jack Kennedy take shotgun snaps during Tuesday's practice outside of Schembechler Hall.

Melanie Maxwell |

The media was allowed to watch 15 minutes of today’s Michigan football practice, and the team spent much of that time stretching and going through warm-up drills.

But, here are a few takeaways from the workout, which comes 11 days before the season opener against Western Michigan:

Toussaint gets first carry
The media saw only one snap from organized drills, and it was a carry by running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, who is among the seven players vying to become Michigan’s first lead tailback since 2007.

Toussaint had eight carries for 87 yards last year as a redshirt freshman.

Odoms’ cast off
Senior receiver Martavious Odoms, who suffered an undisclosed left forearm injury during the summer, appeared to have his cast off during practice and competed in all drills available to the media.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke said two weeks ago he expected the cast to come off around now. Odoms still was wearing a protective wrap on his arm, but it was significantly less bulky than the cast.

Punt return candidates?
The opening of practice featured four players who were receiving punts from sophomores Seth Broekhuizen and Will Hargerup and freshman Matt Wile: Odoms, sophomore Jeremy Gallon, senior Junior Hemingway and sophomore Drew Dileo. Each is a wide receiver.

Gallon was the primary punt returner last year, averaging 4.3 yards on 10 attempts.

Wile also worked on kickoffs. Hoke already has said the true freshman will handle those duties in the season opener, and also is a candidate to punt and kick field goals.

Meantime, sophomore placekicker Brendan Gibbons kicked field goals.

Injury news
Freshman tight end Nate Allspach had a cast on his right arm.

See's photo slideshow from the practice.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Wed, Aug 24, 2011 : 12:23 a.m.

@RWBIII, No, no no. That stat should more correctly be interpreted as Gallon having "fielded" 10 punts. One of the main problems Gallon and all of our punt returners had last year was watching a slew of shorter punts bounce by them, sometimes for another 10 or 20 yards before rolling dead or out of bounds.


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

The primary punt returner had 10 opportunities all season? Painfully remember not stopping anyone last year, but that is a glaring statistic.