Aidan Hutchinson’s decision to return to Michigan has paid off, allowing him to complete his Wolverines story – The Athletic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Aidan Hutchinson’s story felt unfinished.

You may have read that as a metaphor, but it’s not. Quite literally, Hutchinson was telling a story and stopped himself in the middle. This was at Big Ten media days in July, and Hutchinson was recounting a conversation he had with Shaun Nua, Michigan’s defensive line coach. After breaking his ankle in the third game of his junior season, Hutchinson turned down NFL Draft money to play one more year at Michigan under a new defensive coordinator. In essence, Nua was selling Hutchinson on a position switch that Michigan’s staff believed would unlock his full potential.

“He told me that the one question NFL teams have is … actually, maybe I shouldn’t say,” Hutchinson said with a sly grin. “What was the question again?”

Of course, journalistic rigor demands further interrogation. What more did Hutchinson have to prove at Michigan? Scouts had been circling him since his sophomore season when he made the leap into the starting lineup and established himself as one of the best defenders in the Big Ten. He had the size, the motor and the athleticism — everything, really, except for gaudy sack numbers.

Hutchinson wanted more. The idea of walking away after a losing season didn’t sit well with him. Nor did the thought of finishing his career 0-2 against Ohio State, his lasting memory of the rivalry being Michigan’s 2019 loss and the helplessness he felt looking up at the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.

Beyond that, Hutchinson felt there was more to his game than people knew. Before he got hurt in 2020, he told his family he was on the verge of a breakthrough.

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