Michigan Football Spring Preview: Wide Receivers

Posted on Posted in Michigan Football

The third installment to our Michigan football spring preview gives you a look at the wide receivers. There is a lot of potential with this receiving core so let’s get to it.

Last Season

2014 was supposed to be a big year for everything to do with Michigan football. None of what we thought was going to happen came true; Devin Gardner was supposed to have a bounce-back senior season, the running backs were supposed to lead the Michigan offense, and receivers such as Devin Funchess and Dennis Norfleet were going to shine.

Funchess was still the bright star that Michigan had at receiver. He had a bit of a drop, however, from his 2013 campaign to 2014. Even though he had more catches in 2014 (62 compared to 49), he still had fewer yards, touchdowns and average yards per catch compared to his 2013 season; not to mention three of his four touchdowns came in the first half of the home opener against Appalachian State. Overall, it was a very average year for the receivers at Michigan.

New Faces

  • Grant Perry (three-star receiver, played with QB Alex Malzone in high school)
  • Brian Cole (four-star athlete who has experience at both receiver and running back)

Projected Depth Chart

1st Team Amara Darboh RS Jr. 6-foot-2, 216 lbs.
2nd Team Jehu Chesson RS Jr. 6-foot-3, 207 lbs.
Backup Freddy Canteen So. 6-foot-1, 185 lbs.
Backup Dennis Norfleet Sr. 5-foot-7, 168 lbs.
Backup Drake Harris RS Fr. 6-foot-4, 174 lbs.
Backup Brian Cole Fr. 6-foot-2, 200 lbs.
Backup Grant Perry Fr. 6-foot, 185 lbs.
Backup Maurice Ways RS Fr. 6-foot-4, 205 lbs.
Backup Da’Mario Jones Jr. 6-foot-2, 199 lbs.
Backup Jaron Dukes RS So. 6-foot-4, 204 lbs.
Backup Bo Dever RS Jr. 6-foot-2, 199 lbs.
Backup Keneth Sloss Jr. 5-foot-11, 160 lbs.
Backup Jack Wangler RS So. 6-foot-1, 201 lbs.
Backup Brad Anlauf RS Jr. 6-foot-4, 199 lbs.

Darboh was no doubt the second best receiver Michigan had last year behind Funchess. He had 36 catches for 473 yards and two touchdowns, which in hindsight wasn’t a whole lot but still good enough to be second behind Funchess. With Funchess gone, Darboh has a lot to prove if he wants to be the No. 1 target for whoever Michigan’s quarterback is going to be.

Canteen didn’t put up big numbers last season but he has a chance to prove himself in 2015. Although he only had five catches for 22 yards and one touchdown all season, he has potential to be a good slot receiver. He isn’t the fastest receiver Michigan has, but his route running and ability to catch and secure the ball make up for that.

Player to Watch: Dennis Norfleet

Norfleet has been an interesting player to watch since he has been at Michigan. Brady Hoke never really took full advantage of the speed and elusiveness that Norfleet possesses so it will be interesting to see what Jim Harbaugh makes of Norfleet’s unused potential. Norfleet has been great at returning kicks for Michigan, but we all want to see this kid shine at the receiver position. Since he is going to be a senior during the 2015 season, it’s a do-or-die year for Norfleet.

Position Grade: B-

Von Lozon
Assistant Manager at TBHR. Senior at Central Michigan University double majoring in Broadcasting and Journalism. U of M fan since birth. Loud guitar and all Michigan sports are my passions in life. Follow me on Twitter @von_lozon