By RICKY LINDSAY, Sports Editor
Gripping his defensive MVP trophy tight in his right hand, Jared Wangler flashes a big grin after beating Ohio. It was an enjoyable moment for the linebacker heading to Ann Arbor this summer to join Michigan’s football team. But for the next four years, on the last Saturday in November, he hopes this feeling returns when the Wolverines and Ohio State clash in its annual rivalry.
“This is a good feeling,” he said. “I hope I get used to this again the next four years.”
A 2014 Michigan signee, Wangler starred in the inaugural Michigan-Ohio Border Classic, an all-star game between top players in both states. The linebacker was honored as defensive MVP after totaling five tackles and a sack in Team Michigan’s 27-14 win.
“We came in, just one goal was to win,” Wangler said. “This is a great feeling, beating Ohio. They had a great team. There’s a lot of talent that comes out of Ohio, so it’s a great feeling being able to be down here.”
Wangler starred at Warren De La Salle Collegiate High School for two seasons. During his senior season, he earned All-Catholic and First Team All-County honors after totaling 46 tackles. Originally a Penn State commit, Wangler flipped to the Wolverines shortly after being offered a scholarship in August. But he’s no stranger to Michigan. The son of former Michigan quarterback John Wangler, Jared will join his brother, Jack, a redshirt freshman receiver, and former De La Salle teammate Shane Morris in Ann Arbor.
“I know a lot of the guys coming in, a lot of the recruits, so it’s going to be fun,” Wangler said. “I’m excited for the next four years.”
Michigan finished 7-6 last season and has lost two consecutive bowl games. Struggles throughout the spring game don’t flash glimmers of hope for 2014. Regardless, Wangler’s expectations entering the program are high.
“(The expectation is) to win,” he said. “We got a lot of guys coming back from last season. We know last season we didn’t meet expectations, but I feel like this season, we’re going to come back, we’re going to shock a lot of people. I’m excited for a successful career at Michigan.”
After defeating Team Ohio in the Border Classic, Wangler had only one thing on his mind — topping Ohio State as a Wolverine.
“Beat Ohio, the next four years,” he said. “That’s the only thing I want to do.”