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Mike Hart talks returning to Bloomington, Donovan Edwards’ impact

Saturday will be Hart’s first trip to Bloomington since his tenure at Indiana.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

For many, the Michigan Wolverines’ upcoming game against Indiana has little inherent meaning beyond a possible “trap game.”

For running backs coach Mike Hart, the game carries a different significance entirely — it’ll be his first trip to Bloomington since departing for Michigan last year.

“I think it’s always — I was there for four years,” Hart said Wednesday. “I love Tom Allen and I respect that program a lot. He helped me, he changed me, so I have the utmost respect for them at the highest level. A lot of those kids I recruited, I helped recruit, and they’re good. They play hard and it’s not gonna be easy. They always play us hard and I was there for a couple of them.

“There’s obviously high emotions this week for me going back there. Just being around everybody; from (Athletic Director) Scott Dolson, to the (Director of Football Operations) Mike Doig, it’s a lot of emotion. I’m excited, I mean some of my best friends are on that staff, and so it’s never easy — but you gotta win. So that’s all I care about.”

Making that trip easier, at least on the field, is the return of Donovan Edwards. With the sophomore back sidelined against UConn and Maryland, the Wolverines’ offense flowed through Blake Corum — handing the ball off 30 and 29 times respectively to their bellwether.

It wasn’t a strategy Hart used out of desire, but of necessity. With Edwards back, he hopes the distribution will be a bit more spread out heading into the halfway point of the season.

“I told (Corum) he’s not gonna break my records,” Hart joked, giving a small smile before continuing. “But I tell the kids, they know, we’re gonna do what we need to to win. Do I want him at 30? No. We gotta get Donovan more carries, we gotta get (C.J. Stokes) more carries, but we gotta do what we gotta do to win.

“(Edwards) is a special player. I think we all know that. He changes what we can do on offense sometimes when he’s in there, and I think the biggest play of the game last week was when he recovered that fumble. I just think that’s the kinda kid he is, the way he reacted, the way he did that, it’s something that — he’s just a ballplayer. We love having him back, he does a great job, he works hard, he’s just a great kid.”

Armed with a pair of top level running backs, Hart will take the field of Memorial Stadium Saturday more than ready to face his former team.