notebook: 'Slim' chance Martavious Odoms returns this season, status of Will Campbell and more Michigan football notes
Martavious Odoms is expected to undergo surgery either today or tomorrow on his broken foot, and chances are “slim” that he’ll return to the Michigan football team during the current season, Rich Rodriguez said Wednesday.
“There’s a possibility that he can get back later in the year, but we’re really not sure,” Rodriguez said, whose team hosts Iowa on Saturday (3:30 p.m., ABC).
In Odoms’ place at the 'Z' receiver position, the Wolverines will start Junior Hemingway, who has battled injuries and illness throughout his career, but stayed healthy enough this season to become a big-play receiver.
He only has eight catches this year, but his 232 receiving yards are second-highest on the team. His 29.0 yards-per-catch average is more than twice as high as any other teammate.
“He’s in good shape and he’s got great ball skills,” Rodriguez said of Hemingway. “We’ve really been pleased with the way he’s played, and he’s a big, big part of our offense.”
Looking at linebackers
Throughout the season, the Wolverines have succeeded at rotating a lot of players into games in the secondary and along the defensive line. Not so at linebacker.
Rodriguez said that will likely change this week. Coaches expect to work Kenny Demens, J.B. Fitzgerald and Mark Moundros into the rotation against the Hawkeyes, especially if they have a good week of practice.
“Kenny Demens in particular has shown some pretty good things when he’s had an opportunity out there,” Rodriguez said. “They’ve warranted an opportunity to show what they can do during the game.”
Will Campbell has work ahead
A lot of fans have wondered why sophomore defensive tackle William Campbell, a prized recruit out of Detroit, hasn’t been a regular member of the Wolverines defense.
Rodriguez said Wednesday that Campbell’s making progress in practice, but that “he still has some work do on some things to be an every-down player for us and be able to help us in our base situations, and he knows that.”
Defensive line coach Bruce Tall has been pleased not only with Campbell’s progress on the field, but also his attitude.
“Pleased with his progress to some level,” Rodriguez said. “But there’s another level he can get to, and we’re hoping he can get there quickly.”
Pete Bigelow covers Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via email at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.