ANN ARBOR, Mich. — No one would have blamed the Michigan football team for shutting things down after the Big Ten announced it was postponing its fall season.

Since they returned to campus in mid-June, players had been adhering to a strict set of protocols with the hope of a somewhat normal season in 2020. When that door appeared to close, it would have been natural to kick back, relax and allow motivation to ebb.

Instead, players say they’ve tried to maintain a state of readiness. With the Big Ten now considering return-to-play scenarios that could include an October start, there’s a chance that discipline could pay off sooner than expected.

“We’ve been preparing as if nothing’s changed,” defensive tackle Carlo Kemp said. “Sure, we don’t have a game this Saturday. We don’t have a game next Saturday or any Saturday after that. But that’s not changed any of our preparation. We’re still…



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