By Ashley Dunkak

CBS DETROIT – When Michigan head coach Brady Hoke announced earlier this week that the Wolverines will not vote on team captains until after the Ohio State game – which Hoke referred to as the “Ohio game” – many fans recalled former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez taking the same approach.

The idea of not naming captains until the end of the season did not go over well with fans then, and the reaction was not any more positive this time around. The public perception of Rodriguez’s decision, however, did not affect Hoke’s choice.

“Number one, I didn’t know Rich ever did that, to be honest with you,” Hoke said Thursday to Stoney and Bill of 97.1 The Ticket. “I have done it before as a head coach. I think the way this group throughout has led, the younger guys have also been strong,  I think our guys, the older guys, I think Devin [Gardner] has really come a long, long way, and I’m excited about that. I think on defense you’ve got a lot of guys who are seniors for us when you look at the Frank Clarks, the Jake Ryans, the Desmond Morgans, Brennen Beyers, Ray Taylors and Blake Countesses.

“You’ve got really strong leadership there, but at the end of the day, I think you’ve got to earn it,” Hoke added, “and you’ve got to earn it every day, and that’s what we’re going to find out.”

Michigan football has been mediocre in recent years, a painful reality for fans who have seen so much success over the history of the program. Meanwhile, Michigan State has built a powerhouse.

In Hoke’s three seasons at Michigan, the Wolverines are 26-13 overall and 15-9 in Big Ten play. There has been speculation the coach could be in some trouble if this year does not go well.

As far as whether he is on the hot seat, however, Hoke said he cannot think about that possibility.

“You’ve got a job to do, and you’ve got to do it for those 115 young men who are in the program,” Hoke said. “You can’t worry about those things. I know we’ve graduated 69 out of 69 seniors since we’ve been here. I know that from the way our guys have gone about their business it’s been mostly positive in a lot of ways, and they’re growing, and I think that growth, through the recruiting and everything, has really been positive for us.”



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