The Wolverine

April 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 32 of 67

APRIL 2021 THE WOLVERINE 33 BY THE NUMBERS 1 The coveted Michigan jersey number — donned by Anthony Car ter and Braylon Edwards, among other U-M wideouts — goes to freshman Andrel Anthony this season. 6 Michigan wideouts who snared a pass in 2020. Bell, Johnson, Jack- son, Wilson, Sainristil and Hen- ning combined for 79 grabs (64.2 percent of the team's total), 1,085 receiving yards (72.2 percent) and seven touchdowns (77.8 percent) in six games. 401 Receiving yards for Bell in 2020, which paced the squad. It marked the lowest number for a U-M team leader since Grant Perry tallied 307 yards through the air in 2017. POSITION BATTLE TO WATCH Gattis employs a receivers rotation to the extent that any real "position battle" becomes somewhat muted. The biggest item to watch for here involves which freshman — Worthy, Dixon or Anthony — gets the most run in an already young, deep lineup of wideouts. WHO'S GONE No one, among Michigan's wideouts catching passes in 2020. The receivers took the hit early, when Collins opted out to stay healthy and prepare for the NFL Draft. WHO'S BACK JUNIOR RONNIE BELL Bell paced the Michigan air attack in 2020 with 26 catches for 401 yards and one touchdown. He aver- aged 15.4 yards per reception, and enters his fourth year on the field with 1,304 career receiving yards. SOPHOMORE CORNELIUS JOHNSON Johnson finished second on the team in grabs (16) and receiving yardage (254) a year ago, leading the U-M catching corps with three scores. He'll he looking to bolster those numbers this season. SOPHOMORE GILES JACKSON Jackson begins his third year on the field as an important cog both as a return man on special teams and a target on offense. He caught 15 passes for 167 yards last fall, bumping his career totals to 24 grabs for 309 yards with a score. FRESHMAN ROMAN WILSON Wilson made a solid U-M debut in the fall, collect- ing nine passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. The speedy, quick receiver should be ready for much more in 2021. SOPHOMORE MIKE SAINRISTIL Sainristil is yet another of Michigan's compact burners, making seven catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns last season, one of only two U-M wideouts to record multiple touchdowns. FRESHMAN A.J. HENNING Henning also made his Michigan debut in 2020, recording six catches for 59 yards. TOP NEWCOMER FRESHMAN XAVIER WORTHY Worthy gets the nod here, as a 6-1, 160-pound speedster out of Fresno, Calif. He did not enroll early, though, leaving the spring stage open for fellow Californian Cristian Dixon (6-2, 187) and Lan- sing's Andrel Anthony (6-2, 180). WIDE RECEIVERS "It's a talented, talented young group, that you hope benefited from playing together last year. Giles Jackson, Cornelius Johnson, Roman Wilson and a loaded freshman class. There's one veteran there — Ronnie Bell. There's a lot there to be sculpted." — Michigan football sideline reporter Doug Karsch QUOTABLE T he Wolverines absorbed a big blow — about 6-4 worth — when Nico Collins opted out of the 2020 campaign last fall. U-M is still looking to find the big, lanky, go-to downfield receiver he represented. There are options, both young and old. Plus, the Wolverines have a good number of more compact models ready to continue rolling in offensive coordinator Josh Gattis' system. They just need more consistency. With veteran Ronnie Bell (a senior, albeit a repeat junior in eligibility given the 2020 COVID free pass) leading the way, U-M is hoping to un- leash a more effective aerial attack in 2021. BY JOHN BORTON SPRING FOOTBALL ANALYSIS . SPRING SCHOLARSHIP ROSTER No. Name Class Ht. Wt. Hometown 1 Andrel Anthony Fr. 6-2 180 Lansing, Mich. 8 Ronnie Bell Jr. 6-0 190 Kansas City, Mo. 10 Cristian Dixon Fr. 6-2 187 Santa Ana, Calif. 3 A.J. Henning Fr. 5-10 185 Frankfort, Ill. 0 Giles Jackson So. 5-9 188 Antioch, Calif. 6 Cornelius Johnson So. 6-3 205 Greenwich, Conn. 19 Mike Sainristil So. 5-10 183 Everett, Mass. 14 Roman Wilson Fr. 6-0 180 Honolulu Position coach: Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis (third year at U-M) RONNIE BELL PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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