Some quick hitters:
Brian, um, illustrates the state of the Michigan nation.
- Vijay addresses the state of the Michigan football nation. Let's just say that the tide of public sentiment appears to be turning...
- Johnny answers my question and gets to much more. I'm not really feelin' Laura in any way, though, dun.
- Latest internets rumors, courtesy of the fanzine message boards: Lloyd Carr will be fired within the next 7-10 days; Carr will be retiring due to health concerns (either his own or a relative's); Carr will return, but with current QB Coach Scot Loeffler as his offensive coordinator and current DB Coach Ron English as his defensive coordinator. Let's see what shakes out in a month after signing day.
Along with starting at defensive end, Massey gets to play big brother. As the Wolverines' tallest player, he neatly fits into both roles.
His younger brother, Michael Massey, joined the team this fall as a tight end. Though they constantly competed in sports growing up in Brecksville, Ohio, there's no sibling rivalry between them.
"He's my best friend," said Pat, a 6-foot-8, 276-pound lineman. "It's a blast having him up here. It's almost hard to keep my distance and let him learn on his own."
There was always something fun going on in the Masseys' back yard during their formative years. Pat, Mike and older brother Jim, a former offensive lineman at Ohio State, could often be found with other neighborhood kids playing football, basketball, soccer and any other sport that caught their fancy.
"It was just nonstop," Pat said.
Since arriving at Michigan in 2001, Pat Massey also has done something else virtually nonstop that many people could only dream about. At the urging of strength coach Mike Gittleson, Massey devours massive quantities of food. On a typical day, he'll eat steak, potatoes and eggs for breakfast, a pizza for lunch and then really does some serious chowing down at the team's buffet line.
"I'll put three plates on a tray and just fill 'em up," he said.
If that's not enough, Massey and roommate Adam Stenavich, an offensive tackle, will often get a snack before going to bed.
Combining the high calorie intake with weight training, Massey has gained nearly 60 pounds during the past three years. He can now hold his ground against the 300-pound tackles he's matched against every fall Saturday.
The more he has filled out his frame, the better he has performed. Head coach Lloyd Carr calls him the team's most improved player.
"He had to play a year ago when he did not have the strength to get off the blockers," Carr said. "Now, he has the ability to do that and I think he's improved as a pass rusher."
Massey had eight tackles for loss and two sacks last season, when he started nine games. He didn't get a sack in the 43-10 season-opening win over Miami (Ohio) but made three solo tackles while showing some uncharacteristic feistiness.
After safety Ryan Mundy made a second-quarter interception, Massey took the liberty of knocking down RedHawks quarterback Josh Betts. The duo then got into a wrestling match and drew offsetting personal foul penalties.
That incident drew some ire from his coaches, good-natured ribbing from his teammates and mild admonishment from relatives.
"I was just trying to be aggressive," said Massey, a general studies major with an emphasis on economics. "I was little excited we got an interception and had the opportunity to go after the quarterback. As a defensive lineman, that's what you love to do."
Playing football is something that his family loves to do. Not only did all three brothers sign with major college programs, father Jim played at Notre Dame from 1968-72. Pat Massey will be playing against his dad's alma mater this weekend and nearly went to South Bend himself. The Fighting Irish were on his short list during the recruiting process.
"It wasn't anything against Notre Dame," Pat said. "I just felt Michigan had more to offer."
He's currently reaping even more benefits by having his brother in the program. Michael Massey, who is four inches shorter than Pat, is redshirting this season while he absorbs the nuances of his position and also adds weight to his 222-pound frame.
He shouldn't have any trouble doing that if he follows his brother's lead.
"Coach Gittleson says I will never be heavy enough," Pat said. "I could be 300 pounds and he will tell me to put on weight."