The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 110 of 275

THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 109 WR that he's a rookie, who could still be playing spring sports at Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton, Md. He's been at Michigan since Janu- ary, and isn't the least bit out of place among U-M receivers, accord- ing to his position coach. "Freddy is not a freshman," Hecklinski stressed. "That's the first thing that stands out, the unique thing. Freddy is not lost. Freddy's not over- whelmed. Freddy feels very comfortable and at home being in front of everybody, which is unique. "A lot of guys come in and they're a little apprehensive. They're actually here now, and they've got to do it. Whereas Freddy is very at home being on that stage, in that position every day and competing every day." It didn't take Michigan's coaches very long to figure all of that out, either. "You were able to see Freddy's abili- ties very early," Hecklinski said. "He's very talented, very quick, very fast. He's a natural receiver. Some guys are born to be quarterbacks. Some guys are born to hit baseballs. Some guys are born to hit golf balls. It's just natural — Freddy is born to be a wideout. That's him. "He fits the mold. He fits the position. We're really lucky that he's here. Now, he's got to grow, especially from a strength and condition- ing standpoint. That will make him even better. We haven't seen what he can be, but though the course of the summer and fall we will." Hecklinski would not go as far as saying the rookie will be on the field for Michigan's first game, but … "I'll put it to you this way: I'll be very disappointed if he's not," Hecklinski said. Michigan's depth will come from a number of lanky receivers yet to catch a pass in a winged helmet. Sophomore Da'Mario Jones (6-2, 198) brings con- siderable skills to the field, and simply has to channel them into consistent pro- duction, the coach observed. "He's progressing," Hecklinski said. "He's very, very talented. He has to put the mental with the physical. There are times Da'Mario is out there and he looks really, really good. There are times he gets lost. With the way we're doing things now, the way we're practicing, with Doug's expectations, it's easy to get lost. "He was one that you could see it happen to him. He's going to have to take a summer and fall and really hone in mentally on what's expected of him. If he does, from a talent standpoint, he's right in that mix now. He's a fast, long body that can run, that can catch, who is What I Would Be Doing If I Wasn't Coaching Jeff Hecklinski was playing in the Arena Foot- ball League when he got injured with compart- mental syndrome, forcing surgery in his left leg. He might have come back, but his daugh- ter, Riley, had just come into the world, and he decided it was time to stop playing football. He wound up coaching it, but that wasn't the only route he could have taken. He's been cooking up X's and O's for many years, but … "I was playing in New York, I was with Al- bany," Hecklinski recalled. "After that season, we moved Riley and Tiffany out, and I was go- ing to culinary school in New York City in the offseasons. "I'd be a chef. Those are the only two things I ever wanted. I either wanted to play and coach football as long as I could, or I wanted to be a chef." When he was still in a quandary over which direction to take, he got a call from one of his old colleagues, who had landed a job coaching football at Benedictine University in Chicago. "He called me and said, 'I've got a part-time job,'" Hecklinski recalled. "I said, 'You know what? I need a part-time job right now.' And that was that. "It was coaching or cooking. Boy, when I do cook, I love it. I'd be in that kitchen all day, and not eat. That's the thing. I'll eat food with the best of them. You ask anybody in here. I've put on some legendary displays of eating in my life. But when I cook, I don't eat. Maybe I need to cook more, so I can stop eating and lose some weight." — John Borton Jeff Hecklinski has a passion for coaching, but the only other career he would ever have considered pursuing is to be a chef, because he loves cooking. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN Leading Receiver Year-By-Year Player Team Year Player Receptions Receptions Percentage 2013 Jeremy Gallon 89 237 37.6 2012 Jeremy Gallon 49 169 29.0 2011 Junior Hemingway 34 155 21.9 2010 Roy Roundtree 72 243 29.6 2009 Roy Roundtree 32 189 16.9 2008 Martavious Odoms 49 165 29.7 2007 Mario Manningham 72 225 32.0 2006 Steve Breaston 58 206 28.2 2005 Jason Avant 82 238 34.5 2004 Braylon Edwards 97 248 39.1 106-112.WRs.indd 109 6/19/14 11:53 AM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - 2014 Michigan Football Preview