Michigan CB Blake Countess completes redshirt paperwork, turns focus to re-earning starting job
But that's likely to change.
The Wolverines' cornerback said Thursday that he has filled out paperwork to obtain a medical redshirt for his injury shortened 2012 season. Michigan will complete the process by filing the forms with the Big Ten Conference.
The process is a mere formality for Countess, who was expected to start last season but played only one defensive series before tearing his ACL on punt coverage against Alabama. He had surgery in October and was lost for the season.
Countess has returned to practice this spring, but is being withheld from contact. He is participating in individual drills, such as back-peddling, with his position coaches.
"I feel great," he said at Glick Fieldhouse, the Wolverines' indoor practice facility and site for early spring practices. "I'm obviously not where I was, but I'm able to do some non-contact stuff throughout spring ball and just get my confidence back a little bit.
Countess said he doesn't expect to push the recovery by jumping into contact drills during the spring. He will ease back to full speed this summer, and said he expects to be 100 percent this fall.
"It comes with time," he said. "I haven't sped anything up with my process. I'm taking my time with it every day and I'm getting better."
Countess is expected to be an important piece to the Wolverines' secondary, which loses its captain, safety Jordan Kovacs, as well as starting cornerback J.T. Floyd.
The return of Countess should help shore up depth at corner, with junior Raymon Taylor the leading candidate for the spot opposite him.
But he's making it very clear -- he might have surged into a starting spot as a true freshman in 2011, but that doesn't mean he'll just be given his starting job back in 2013.
"That's how I see it -- I still have to prove myself to my coaches," he said. "I'm coming off a major knee injury. I don't think I look at myself as a freshman, but I definitely see myself (re-)earning a spot."
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