Michigan wrapped up its spring season under the lights this past Friday night in front of an estimated crowd of nearly 40,000 fans. The Wolverines faithful filled up more than a third of Michigan Stadium to get a good look at head coach Jim Harbaugh and a team that many hope can bring the school its first Big Ten title in more than a decade.
The Big Ten blog is starting the week off by giving those who didn’t make the trip to Ann Arbor a peek at what it felt like to be in the Big House this weekend.
An estimated crowd of 30,000 to 40,000 filled up the Big House for the team's spring game Friday night. pic.twitter.com/ndg2zvvLZF— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 4, 2016
The stadium doors didn't open until an hour before the 6 p.m. kickoff, but that didn't keep folks from lining up early to get the best seats possible on a first come, first served night.
Of course, front-row seats meant getting to watch current Wolverines stars like tight end Jake Butt get loose and roam the sideline with stars of the past. Among the many former players in attendance Friday night were Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard and 2014 quarterback Devin Gardner.
Jake Butt warms up for Friday's game while sharing a few words with former Michigan QB Devin Gardner. pic.twitter.com/7djyUWpSTN— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 4, 2016
Front-row seats also provided a chance to get a closer look at the future Wolverines. Savvy fans didn't take long to recognize Alabama safety J'Marick Woods, one of the most recent prospects to commit to the Wolverines.
Harbaugh is never one to miss a recruiting opportunity. Not only did the innovative head coach schedule two different rap acts to perform in the stadium, but he also stayed out of the locker room in between halves to help introduce those in attendance to most of the freshmen who will join the team this summer -- including the nation's No. 1 overall recruit Rashan Gary.
A sample of the crowd's excitement right before Rashan Gary was introduced for the first time at the Big House. pic.twitter.com/XdsMvCUHF1— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 4, 2016
Former Michigan QB turner rapper Jack Kennedy performs at halftime of the spring game. pic.twitter.com/7s8HVA5uDZ— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 4, 2016
Bailey and Rich Rocka rapped about UM before kickoff. Harbaugh met the Bay Area duo while coaching in SF. pic.twitter.com/fbLNPK3C7v— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 4, 2016
Stunts like that have made Harbaugh the most popular man in Michigan. Along with lining up to get into the game, fans also waited in line to stack up on Harbaugh gear in one of the several on-site apparel stores.
One of several MDen stores inside the stadium was at capacity as fans stocked up prior to kickoff. pic.twitter.com/r7UNMeKiH7— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 4, 2016
Harbaugh's old No. 4 jersey (now worn by starting RB De'Veon Smith) was a popular item Friday night. pic.twitter.com/HeEC6wGR1h— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 4, 2016
On the field, the Maize team eked out a 14-13 victory thanks to a stuffed two-point conversion on the final play of the game. The dramatic finish left some members of the blue team feeling a bit heartbroken.
Drake Johnson collapses on the field after his team gets stopped on a potential game-winning 2-pt. conversion. pic.twitter.com/Beyur1LaIW— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 4, 2016
As far as the QB competition, it will continue into the fall. Who will win? It's pretty simple if you ask Shane Morris, which Marty Smith did after the game. Smith also caught up with Butt after the game and the tight end talked about his expectations for the upcoming season.
The next time Michigan hits its home field in full pads will be almost exactly five months from now, when they host Hawaii in the season opener on Sept. 3.
Michigan leaves the field after the first half of Friday's spring game. pic.twitter.com/JEeqHwhKLF— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) April 4, 2016