The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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106 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY JOHN BORTON A t first glance, it looks like Michigan has some work to do in scrambling together receiving yards. Four of its top five in that category from last year won't be on the field against Ap- palachian State Aug. 30. The most notable absence is Jeremy Gallon, the All-Big Ten per- former who posted a Michigan-record 1,373 yards in his final season with the Wolverines, before getting drafted by the New England Patriots. Gallon should be fine, on the receiving end of Tom Brady tosses. At the same time, so should the Wolverines, contends wideouts coach Jeff Hecklinski. He knows he's not working with a bare cupboard, and that the Wolverines' aerial weapons aren't shrinking, either from defensive backs or on the tape measure. While Gallon and the also-departed Drew Dileo checked in at 5-8 and 5-10, respectively, the Wolverines now feature a growing number of lanky high risers at the position. From 6-5 junior Devin Funchess, to 6-2 redshirt sophomore Amara Darboh, to 6-3 classmate Jehu Chesson, to 6-1 true freshman Freddy Canteen and beyond, the Wolverines won't be looking eye to eye with many defensive backs. Height, of course, represents only one way of measuring up. The first test of Hecklinski's crew may involve passing the exami- nation of the Doug Nussmeier transition. Michigan's new offensive coordinator has many speaking glowingly of a "simplified" approach, but the Wolverine pass catchers can't drop the ball when it comes to their understanding. "In terms of positions, probably the greatest effect was on us, after going through it," Hecklinski said. "Everybody talks about it's simplified … it's not." Standing tall Michigan's Wide Receivers Will Present Bigger Targets WR Redshirt sophomore Jehu Chesson saw his first on-field action last year, securing 15 catches for 221 yards (14.7-yard average) and one touchdown. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL 106-112.WRs.indd 106 6/19/14 8:54 AM

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