Surrounded by his family in the front row of Lucas Oil Stadium earlier this month, Chris Hutchison was incredulous. It was there, celebrating a Big Ten championship with his son, that it hit him: None of this should be happening.
"This is his whole career. This is his legacy," Chris said of Michigan senior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who had just been named the game's MVP. "I honestly didn't think this team had it in them. I didn't think we were going to be here even two weeks ago."
Michigan being Michigan under Jim Harbaugh to that point, Chris had a point.
Aidan's career had run parallel with Michigan's on-field performance over the last few seasons: sometimes good but never great. An ankle injury slowed Aidan earlier in his career. Michigan winning 10 games, which it has now done four times in Harbaugh's seven seasons, had progressively less meaning.
But college football is all about evolution. Teenagers enter the physical boot camp that is big-time ball. In some form, they exit as changed men, sometimes as champions.
Aidan Hutchinson's transformation has his name among the top of the sport, perhaps even the top of his family. That second assertion, though, may be a stretch. His mother, Melissa, is a veteran of 15 years as a fashion model who is also an artist and photographer. Chris, who starred for the Wolverines from 1989-92, is an emergency room doctor who actually delivered Aidan 21 years ago.
Sisters Mia and Aria are also accomplished: Mia as a professional photographer, Aria as a yoga instructor attempting to be admitted to medical school. All four have helped shaped the complete son, brother and All-American, a 265-pound wrecking ball who practices yoga and meditation.