Michigan’s Open Spring Practice Draws Huge Crowd

 Bradenton, Florida-

Friday was the part of the week many fans and the public were most excited about since they could go and watch the fourth and final spring practice at the IMG Academy. Nobody knew just how many would show up for this event, but if you have been following the week at IMG Academy, chances are it would be more than expected.

At 3:30pm, an hour and a half before practice began, approximately 500 people were waiting to enter the stadium.

The media also showed up this afternoon tweeting about the atmosphere and first class food in the press box.

Before 5pm, there were close to 2,000 in attendance when Coach Harbaugh greeted the crowd.

The stadium was close to capacity by 5pm with cars lined up to the entrance still trying to find parking. Traffic was for miles as fans were trying to get in to take in this spring practice that may be the first and final of its kind.

Magnets were placed all over which included the UM compliance phone number.

John O’Korn was impressive with his arm and run game tonight. Even though he has several competing for the starting job, he seems to be the one leading the pack.

Shane Morris had his best practice of the week with a many great passes.

Some of the freshman were very impressive tonight. Kareem Walker, Devin Bush Jr., and Ahmir Mitchell were showing they are ready to compete for playing time. Brandon Peters also had a great week, looked very natural and teachable. This was the first time the size and athleticism of this freshman class was easy to see by those in attendance. This group will be very impressive and this was only the group of early enrollees.

Dick Vitale was catching practice after being there on Monday and said this on Twitter:

Here is Coach Harbaugh after practice when talking to the media.

When asked about what he thought about some critics calling what he is doing a circus, he had another vintage responses.

Coach Harbaugh said this team is more athletic than last year at this time, had no negatives about the week, and would “recommend this kind of trip to all programs.” This may be the first and last spring break we see like this in college football.

The first class facility that IMG Academy has to offer was able to create an amazing atmosphere for a spring practice while hosting Michigan for the week. The steps both sides went to great measures took to ensure compliance and NCAA violations did not happen.

This shot sums up this week for the fans, players, coaching staff and the entire group at IMG Academy.

Up next is the annual Spring Game being held under the lights on April 1 at The Big House.

David Noe