Wednesday, June 4, 2008

fitzgerald ready

New Jersey linebacker and Michigan four-star signee J.B. Fitzgerald has been anticipating his collegiate career for months, and now it's only a few weeks from becoming reality. The Princeton Junction West Windsor Plainsboro South star is planning to contribute this fall, and he's taking steps to ensure he'll be in good position.
J.B. Fitzgerald"Absolutely," Fitzgerald said when asked if he hoped to play early. "I take that in when I'm training, running or anything, that I'm really working toward playing. I realize there is an opportunity for me and I don't want to waste it, for sure. "Back when [Lloyd Carr's staff] started recruiting me, I got an idea what the situation looked like and realized there would be an opportunity to come in and play as a freshman, to see what I could do. I'm preparing for the opportunity and want to be ready when it comes."Like most of the other freshmen, Fitzgerald plans to move to Ann Arbor around the weekend of June 20. That's the day of his graduation, and with his party slated for a day later he's made June 22 his target arrival date. He'll room with freshman defensive tackle Mike Martin, the two having spoken frequently about "stuff to get ready for the room." "I'm pretty excited about it," he said. "I'll have a good summer up there with some of the guys there."Fitzgerald is initially slated to wear No. 42 because fellow linebacker Jonas Mouton already has the No. 8, his first choice. He's not sure which of the three linebacker positions he'll play initially, but is willing to try anything to see the field early.For months now, he's been working with a performance trainer in an effort to get stronger, faster and more agile, preparing for what awaits him in Ann Arbor. "I'm getting ready for next month … or I should say, getting ready for [strength] Coach [Mike] Barwis, doing what I can," said Fitzgerald with a laugh. "It's not stories anymore [about Barwis] … now it's the truth coming out. I've heard he'll work you real hard, but he'll want to make you work hard for him. It's a give and take kind of thing, but the guys are definitely happy with the results they see after working out with him."