- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier has reclaimed the right to wear the famed winged helmet.
Head coach Rich Rodriguez told reporters Thursday afternoon that Forcier earned his wings back after responding to the challenges put to him by the staff. Forcier and other players had been practicing in plain blue helmets, and Rodriguez said Monday that "you've got to appreciate the privilege you have to play here."
Rodriguez has been challenging Forcier since the beginning of spring practice, but it appears that the message is sinking in.
It's been a strange week at Michigan as the winged helmet story took flight (sorry, couldn't resist). There also was a bogus rumor Wednesday night that Forcier had asked for his release and would be transferring.
Despite Forcier's surge, Michigan's quarterback race remains open, as Rodriguez is giving equal reps to Forcier, sophomore Denard Robinson and freshman Devin Gardner. Asked if Gardner could win the job and start Sept. 4 against Connecticut, Rodriguez said it's possible, adding, "possible is a better word than likely."
Rodriguez also said he didn't have enough information to know when cornerback Troy Woolfolk will return from a serious ankle/leg injury. Several players are being moved around to address Michigan's issues at corner.