Michigan coach Brady Hoke spoke for about 20 minutes on Friday at noon, touching on a number of topics as the Wolverines continue to prepare to face Virginia Tech on Jan. 3 at the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Michigan hasn't practiced much yet -- that'll start heavily this weekend -- but here's the important parts of what Hoke had to say, in convenient bullet form.
Speaking of that practice schedule: Seven practices in Ann Arbor starting Friday night and going through next Friday before Michigan heads to New Orleans. Then, Michigan will have a meeting post-practice Friday before reconvening in New Orleans on Dec. 28. Players will either be flown to New Orleans from their homes or if they are close by, they'll go on the charter.
Of those practices, Hoke said they'll be in pads -- at least shoulder pads and helmets -- for the majority of Michigan's pre-New Orleans practices. When they get down south they'll be more gameplanning and getting familiar with new facilities.
Hoke pointed out that freshman Chris Bryant is becoming a better guard with his fundamentals and techniques.
On new wrinkles in the offense or defense for the Sugar Bowl: "There might be. You look at things -- and some of the coaches have been a little more -- so they got a little more of a head-start breaking down your opponent."
Hoke said he expects the offensive line to look the same as Ohio State, which would mean LT Taylor Lewan, LG Michael Schofield, C David Molk, RG Patrick Omameh and RT Mark Huyge, with Ricky Barnum coming off the bench.
On the bowl meaning for recruiting: "It always helps because it's out there in front a little bit. When you're playing in a BCS bowl, it probably validates a little bit of what you're doing as a program and as a university, what it is doing. I'm sure there will be a great crowd of Michigan people at the stadium. It probably helps in those ways."
A bump on the recruiting trail with it? "We've had a pretty good start to is so I don't know if it is a bump or any of that."
Hoke said he plans on everybody on the team making the trip to New Orleans.
Marell Evans, the Michigan linebacker who returned to school this season but hasn't been eligible due to transfer issues, likely won't be able to get a sixth year of eligibility, Hoke said, so his career is over.
On treating this site different with the players and curfews and restrictions because it is New Orleans: "I don't think so. It's a great city and we're excited and all that, but there's a lot of things for them to do that aren't football."
The best bowl preparation Hoke has been involved in was: "What we did last year and how our kids, I think we kept them fresh and at the same time challenged them and competed with them. As you look at game-planning, we got that to them early enough where they could have great understanding of it."
On off-season development for players: "We'll evaluate every guy on this team and where they are at and what they need to improve on before we get to spring football. I think some individual commitment whether you are a guy in the secondary or playing quarterback or a lineman, there will be a lot of things guys will have to do and be pretty specific on what they need to improve on."
On Denard Robinson not telling teammates about the staph infection in his right arm early in the season: "The one thing he'll never do and has never done is make an excuse. There are never any excuses for performance, good or bad. It tells you that he's humble and that he loves his teammates."