How Forcier got his wings back: Michigan's Rich Rodriguez says QB earned his helmet decals

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Tate Forcier got his wings back.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said the quarterback practiced Thursday with the famed decals for the first time during training camp.

"We wanted to see some consistency a few days in a row," Rodriguez said.

Forcier started all 12 games last season, but he might not keep his job this year because he's being pushed by fellow sophomore Denard Robinson and highly touted freshman Devin Gardner.

"It helps when they know there's some competition," Rodriguez said. "Tate knows he has some."

Forcier has been called out by at least one teammate this summer for his work ethic.

"He's been challenged," Rodriguez said. "And he's responded to it."

Michigan is hoping some players in the secondary respond to a chance to play because Troy Woolfolk was injured Tuesday, delivering another blow to one of the weakest links on the team. His father, Butch, told the Detroit Free Press his son dislocated his ankle and had bone and ligament damage.

Rodriguez said he's still waiting to find out how long Woolfolk will be out.

As discouraged as the coach might be about his lack of experienced defensive backs, he has been happy with the team's overall morale and effort.

"I love their attitude and their work ethic," Rodriguez said. "That's a start."

Michigan will have its first scrimmage Saturday, taking another step in preparations for its opener Sept. 4 at home against Connecticut.

College football's winningest program has lost some luster the past two years, losing a school-record nine games in Rodriguez's debut with the Wolverines and flopping to a 5-7 finish last season.