Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tony Dungy speaks to Michigan as Wolverines prepare for Outback Bowl

TAMPA — Before engaging in a two-hour workout in cloudless, crisp weather Thursday at Jesuit High, Michigan's players found themselves assembled around a prominent alum of a Big Ten rival.

Tony Dungy, who played quarterback at Minnesota from 1973-76, spoke to the Wolverines in an appearance setup by Michigan football media relations director Justin Dickens. Dungy and Dickens worked together five years in the Indianapolis Colts organization.

"Justin and Tony have a close relationship, and when you have a resource who understands about the game and preparing men for life, I think it's to an advantage for us to have him come in," Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said.

The gist of Dungy's message? "We'll keep that among the team," Hoke added. "It was power­ful though."

NO REGRETS: Odds are, South Carolina fourth-year junior QB Andrew Clifford won't step on the field Tuesday once pregame drills conclude. Yet the seldom-used former Wharton High star said he wouldn't trade his four years in Columbia for anything.

A 2,200-yard passer as a Wharton senior in 2008, Clifford has thrown five passes — completing three — in his college career.

A onetime Gators devotee and son of a former University of Florida player, he signed with South Carolina after a whirlwind courtship with Steve Spurrier, who needed a QB early in 2009 after Chris Smelley transferred.

"I wouldn't replace anything, especially being a part of all the firsts that we've accomplished at our school," said Clifford, who graduated in May with a degree in sports/entertainment management. "I wouldn't do anything different."

MCQUAY STOPS BY: Among the visitors to Michigan's practice was four-star Armwood safety Leon McQuay III, who said the Wolverines remain among his five college finalists. McQuay, also considering Southern Cal, Oregon, Florida State and Vanderbilt, reaffirmed that he'll announce his choice at the Jan. 4 Under Armour Game at Tropicana Field.

ODDS AND ENDS: Michigan has played (and lost to) the Associated Press' top three teams — No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State — on the road this year. … Hoke shed no new light on the 2013 status of All-Big Ten punter Will Hagerup, suspended from the Outback Bowl for a violation of team rules. … In the bad-omen department, South Carolina is practicing at Jefferson High, same site it used prior to its 31-10 drubbing at the hands of Iowa in the 2009 Outback Bowl.

NUMBER OF THE DAY: 4,700 pounds of food prepared for both teams and their traveling parties at Wednesday's Outback Steakhouse Team Welcome Dinner at the A La Carte Pavilion. That included 750 pounds of sirloin steak and 1,200 pounds of cheesecake.

Tony Dungy speaks to Michigan as Wolverines prepare for Outback Bowl 12/27/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 27, 2012 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose


    UPDATE, 11:06: Here is the Rays lineup, with Sucre catching and Martinez at 2b:

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”