The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2019 THE WOLVERINE 29 OVERALL GRADE This group could have been even better had redshirt freshman Tarik Black not broken his foot at the beginning of the year. Some believe he's still the most talented of a very good group, but he was limited to only a handful of games at the end of the year, finishing with four catches for 35 yards. Senior Grant Perry was quiet this year with 147 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per catch, but freshman Ronnie Bell is a rising star. He led the wideouts with 18.1 yards per catch and, though he only caught eight passes for 145 yards, showed moves beyond his years on his two touchdown grabs. Redshirt freshman Oliver Martin, too, had his moments in hauling in 11 receptions for 125 yards and a score. This group had a handful of dropped passes this year, at most, in what was a very good season for the receivers. NUMBERS TO KNOW In 2017, Michigan's wideouts hauled in a total of just three touchdown receptions, but had six times that amount this year, with 18. Peoples-Jones led the way with eight, which marked the second-most scoring grabs a wide receiver had com- piled during head coach Jim Harbaugh's tenure in Ann Arbor (Jehu Chesson's nine touchdown grabs in 2015 were the most). Wide ReceiveRs CO-MVPS DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES AND NICO COLLINS Choosing between Peoples- Jones and fellow sophomore Nico Collins is splitting hairs, so we'll give the nod to both. Peoples-Jones came up with one of the big plays of the year, a 79-yard touch- down reception at Michigan State that put the Wolverines up a touchdown in the 21-7 win, but Collins had more than his share of big plays in big games. He started the season with the first long catch of the year in a loss at Notre Dame, caught two fades for touchdowns at Ohio State and finished the season with nine catches for 171 yards combined in games against the Buckeyes and Florida. Collins and Peoples-Jones both have 1,000- yard potential and have established themselves as legitimate deep threats. Collins finished with 632 yards and six touchdowns on an average of 16.6 yards per catch, while Peoples-Jones ended up with 612, eight and 13.0, respectively. status Of schOlaRship playeRs GRADUATED: Grant Perry ELIGIBILITY REMAINING (YEARS): Nate Schoenle (1) Nico Collins (2) Donovan Peoples-Jones (2) Ronnie Bell (3) Tarik Black (3) Oliver Martin (3) Michael Barrett (4) Nico Collins PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN 2019 PLAYER TO WATCH TARIK BLACK His career has been defined by injuries (missed all but three games in 2017 and then the first half of 2018), but the 6-3, 215-pounder should be fully healthy as a redshirt sophomore in 2019. Sophomores Nico Collins (632 yards) and Don- ovan Peoples-Jones (612 yards) stole the show at the position this past year, but adding a healthy Black back into the mix would give the Wolver- ines one of the best receiving trios in the entire country. B+

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