|Arrington, Slocum readier than most to start practice|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 06 August 2007 11:03|
``I haven't played football in two years, so I can't wait to put on my helmet and hit somebody,'' Slocum said Monday, the day before Michigan's first practice.
Arrington, a wide receiver, was recently reinstated after coach Lloyd Carr suspended him for reasons he didn't specify. Slocum, a defensive tackle, had a long road to become academically eligible at Michigan.
``I'm just so happy to be back,'' Arrington said. ``I've learned from my mistakes.''
Arrington was cleared of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge shortly after last season.
According to a police report, his girlfriend said she picked up Arrington from a bar on Oct. 13 after she finished work and they got into an argument. Arrington grabbed his girlfriend's keys and pushed her out of the vehicle and drove off, the report said. She did not want to press charges and only was concerned about Arrington driving because he had been drinking.
Arrington had 40 catches for 544 yards and eight touchdowns last season, playing in every game. Carr didn't let him practice during the spring and said it wasn't probable that the standout would be back even if unspecified requirements were met.
``My status on the team was definitely in doubt,'' Arrington acknowledged. ``I had to run the stairs at Michigan Stadium for an hour every day for 60 straight days, starting at 6 a.m., and I didn't know I was back on the team for another few weeks.''
Slocum's slow climb to the active roster since graduating from Philadelphia West Catholic High School in 2005 was stunted by academics. He attended a prep school in New York two years ago, hoping to become eligible, but had to come to Michigan without a chance to play as a freshman.
``I was just here last year as a student, who worked out and had a job training other athletes at the natatorium,'' Slocum said. ``I worked out Michael Phelps. He was cool. I just wish he taught me something because I can't swim.
``It was tough to go through what I did, but it made me stronger.''
Slocum might get a chance to contribute right away because Alan Branch decided to skip his senior season to play in the NFL.
While Carr put Arrington back on the roster, he chose not to make an announcement about the status of tight end Carson Butler, who was cleared of charges last month related to an attack on a fellow student.
Carr said he has met with Butler, but declined to elaborate about his status with the team.
Butler started the last six games of last season, finishing fourth on the team with 19 receptions.
``I'm hoping to have something for you in the next day or so,'' Carr said when asked about Butler.
When Michigan begins practicing Tuesday, the Wolverines hope a strong start in training camp leads to a better finish after losing the last two games - Ohio State and the bowl game - in each of the last three years. The Wolverines also face Oregon and Notre Dame at home before beginning Big Ten play.
``We have to work on finishing every drill in every practice so that we can finish every game better and go out this season the right way,'' All-American offensive tackle Jake Long said. ``If we do, we'll give ourselves a chance to go out as champions.''