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Michigan cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich shares approach with young players, recruiting

The Michigan assistant says too many players are focused on the NFL too early, which requires an adjustment process.

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Mike Zordich has been praised for his work at the helm of Michigan football’s cornerback room since he arrived in Ann Arbor with the program sending players the likes of Jourdan Lewis and David Long to the NFL, but the NFL is not the focus or the priority of how he approaches coaching his players.

The Wolverines assistant spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon and shared his approach to not only how he coaches the young players coming into the program, but also how his message and their development starts all the way during the recruiting process.

“Too many of the younger players, especially the kids that we are recruiting, some of them think too much about Sunday and not enough about Saturday,” Zordich said. “So that, I kind of nip that in the bud in the recruiting process. Ultimately that’s their goal, but first of all, you’ve got to play Friday ball. Then you play Saturday ball. And then you play Sunday. For some of these kids to understand that, you’ve got to sit them back a little bit. Definitely.”

Zordich has been singled out by head coach Jim Harbaugh recently as an assistant who’s work has been incredibly impressive, especially heading into a 2019 season where the corners were arguably one of the team’s biggest question marks. Zordich was asked to reveal his secret recipe for success.

“I don’t know if I have a secret,” Zordich said with a smile. “I just know that it takes a lot of work, a lot of discipline and a lot of energy if you want to excel to Sundays. I’ve been there and done that and I just want what I know and just kind of let them know that anything is possible if you work hard enough for it. That’s what I try to get to the kids. And it’s not all about the physical, either. A lot of mental, too.”

Has social media and technology affected the way he coaches and recruits his players? That’s natural given where society is at right now.

“Yeah, it definitely is,” Zordich said, motioning to the cell phones and cameras of the press. “And I think a lot of things you guys are looking through is a big part of it. Ten years ago, I don’t remember looking at a phone for a student athlete. I just don’t. In probably the last seven years or so, it’s really turned over and has really become a big part of... even a recruiting tool. So there’s pluses and minuses with it, for sure.”

As far as what his message to high school recruits are, it’s an incredibly simple concept.

“If you want to get to play at the University of Michigan, and now with recruiting so early, you’ve got to play for your high school,” Zordich said. “You’ve got to do well for your high school and you gotta do the best you can there for your team, not just for you, and that happens and good things will happen for the next level.”

Here’s more from Zordich’s availability:

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