ESPN play-by-play commentator Chris Fowler has attended Michigan and Alabama practices this week ahead of the Rose Bowl. Fowler walked away thoroughly impressed with Michigan’s operation.
Maize n Brew caught up with Fowler to get his thoughts on the Michigan team.
“Well-oiled machine,” Fowler said. Every detail — impressive. To see the efficiency, the organization, the energy. Guys are bouncing around very fresh, very dialed in. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gonna go play your A-plus game on Monday, but it gives you a chance. And I think just the maturity, the responsibility of the team, the fact that it’s a player-led team, they will each other accountable. Really impressive people, all over the field.”
Fowler said this week is the first time he’s been at Michigan practices since Jabrill Peppers was on the team back in 2016. Fowler called it a privilege to be able to see the team up close and personal. One player that stood out to him was Michigan tight end Colston Loveland.
“If you do this job, you are a student of people, you’re a student of athletes,” Fowler explained. “Watching Colston Loveland catch the football in person. I talked to him, and I said, ‘You know that you catch it differently. I said, when you catch the ball, it’s quiet. It’s on your fingertips.’ He doesn’t smack the gloves.”
Fowler compared and contrasted covering college football with professional tennis. College football is much more finite and the time to get to know players goes by in the blink of an eye.
“I think knowing how lucky you are to be able to witness this and be a student of really impressive people, really impressive athletes,” Fowler said. “I cover tennis, it’s the same thing. You have 10 or 15 years to get to know Rafa and Serena and Novak and Roger — you have a very short time to get to know these people so you do what you can.”