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Posted on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

Ondre Pipkins attends Michigan football practice without neck brace hours after sustaining neck injury

By Kyle Meinke

This story was updated at 7:20 p.m. to include tweets from Ondre Pipkins.

Michigan freshman defensive lineman Ondre Pipkins was carted off the practice field Friday and taken to U-M Health System after sustaining a neck injury, a scary injury in a violent game.

Hours later, he appears to be doing well.

"I want to thank everyone for the get well wishes, thoughts and prayers," Pipkins tweeted Friday evening. "i love you guys and will be back in no time thanks and #GoBlue

"You must have forgot I'm a Transformer #FerGodSakes #PeeWeePrime #GoBlue"


Ondre Pipkins poses during an appearance earlier this year at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Courtesy U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Pipkins requested earlier in camp that teammates call him "Pee Wee Optimus Prime," which alludes to the "Transformers" series.

Justin Dickens, a spokesman for the football program, said Pipkins attended the Wolverines' afternoon practice Friday after being discharged from the hospital. He was walking around, and did not require a neck brace.

Further details of Pipkins' injury were not available. A timetable for his return to practice is unknown.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke typically addresses injury matters himself. His next media availability is Tuesday.

Pipkins, 18, is a freshman defensive lineman from Kansas City. The five-star recruit, who stands 6-foot-3, 340 pounds, is competing for time behind starting tackle Will Campbell.

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



Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

I'm glad this young man is OK! Great news!


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 11:18 p.m.

It's not about the five star rating or wearing a number on a jersey we can all root for but his age of 18 that moved me about Ondre. Glad to see he gets a second chance. I like stories with a happy ending. Stay well, Ondre!


Sat, Aug 18, 2012 : 10:52 a.m.

Treated and released. . . Great to hear! What is next for Ondre? Give thanks for tragedy averted. . . Return to health. . . Start school! Graduate! Live a long, healthy life, Ondre! Football participation will happen when and if the time is right. Listen to your great UM doctors. Listen to your body. Good job, Coach Hoke and others, for getting Ondre to the hospital ASAP, and seeking his immediate medical care. Your care is noteworthy and appreciated! Thank you for valuing the health of our student athletes as you do.


Sat, Aug 18, 2012 : 8:49 a.m.

Hopefully he is fully recovered and gets to be back in action by the time the season starts. It's a lot of work grinding though summer/fall camp, hopefully he comes out injury free and gets whatever reward he earned during the off season. I always feel bad for the guys that bust their tails in the off season only to be held back by an injury. Good luck "Pee Wee Optimus Prime".


Sat, Aug 18, 2012 : 5:01 a.m.

So my guess is that the hospital staff rubbed some dirt in it and sent him on his way then? That's the Michigan Difference... btw... Go Blue.

Theo's Brother

Sat, Aug 18, 2012 : 4:55 a.m.

Great news! Glad he's ok, and that's all that matters! He puts the pads on whenever he does! GO BLUE!

Terry Star21

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

Thank you Kyle.....a sigh of relief across Wolverine nation. Take your time getting well Ondre, we'll see you when we see you ! MgoBlueForTiM....good health and good luck Ondre.

Kyle Meinke

Sat, Aug 18, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

No problem Terry. Sounds like he's going to be just fine, in due time.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 11:36 p.m.

Well it turns out he was released and he is fine. Thats great. I had a feeling the staff was just exercising precaution and there was nothing to worry about. I just wanted to point out to the rest of you that neck injuries are often carreer ending. Hopefully, you will remember what you've learned here today and next time you will understand the seriousness of the situation.


Sat, Aug 18, 2012 : 5:28 a.m.

Thanks Terry. I won't let anyone in on your secret either. It will be just among the men ;)

Terry Star21

Sat, Aug 18, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

Ted, I always appreciate it. Remember, I know who you are and it's all good ! But your safe, that secret goes to the grave with me.


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 11:49 p.m.

Thanks Terry. I figure if I have the knowledge and wisdom it is my responsibility to take the leadership role. It's nice to know you guys appreciate it.

Terry Star21

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 11:40 p.m.

You're priceless Ted...


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 : 11:36 p.m.

You can't nickname yourself, that is the rule. He should be called "Big Pimpkins". That would make more sense. Or "T-Bone".

Kyle Meinke

Sat, Aug 18, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

smokeblwr, that's tremendous. You are a man amongst boys.