|Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports|
As we originally expected, Jeremy Gallon looks like he will be Michigan’s go-to receiver this season. Filling that role will be a major challenge, which is no surprise. Having a very productive receiver is a key ingredient for a successful offensive, and having a prolific receiver at Michigan season-to-season, is a must. There has always been a rich tradition of star receivers at Michigan (Too many to name), yet it has been since Mario Manningham, way back in 2007, since Michigan has seen a wideout eclipse the 1,000 yard mark. It was presumed that Roy Roundtree would be that guy last year, but in terms of matching stats, he came up short. After his big sophomore season, he plateaued in terms of performance. He ended up being the team’s second leading receiver, behind none other then Gallon. Roundtree will be missed as a leader on and off the field, but now has a chance develop in the NFL. I expect better senior season production from Gallon this year. The other name on the roster that had been drawing a lot of attention was Amara Darboh, who will now sit out the entire 2013 season with a foot injury. Now that the WR core has taken a big loss, it will put even more pressure on Gallon to excel, as well as others.
To many, especially outside of the conference, Gallon might look to have his work cut out for him. He is undersized compared to the average featured receiver, standing at 5’8, but plays significantly bigger. Devin Gardner throws fades to Gallon as if he was 6’2, and Gallon always gives himself a chance to come down with the ball. Gallon climbs the ladder better then most receivers, of any height. He can also burn you deep, find a gap in the middle of the field, and make you look silly after catching a bubble screen. He is an all around receiver, all of the time. The effort he puts into bringing in the ball and making something happen game after game is superb. Keep in mind the strong relationship he already has with his Quarterback. The Gardner to Gallon connection could be very dangerous this year. Gallon could pull in award winning numbers just as easily as he could fall in to a slump and have a “Roundtree like” Senior Year. If it’s the latter, then someone else must step up in a huge way, because Devin Gardner has too much potential to not have a star receiver to throw to.
I’m not expecting Gallon to win the Biletnikoff Award, or have a midseason number change to #1, but I do expect consistent production, and the occasional momentum-shifting touchdown grabs. Personally, I would love to see him grab 10+ TD’s and post 1,000+ yards, but what Michigan Fan wouldn’t? The year is Jeremy Gallon’s at receiver, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will make the most of it.