The Wolverine

January 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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58 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2017   COMMITMENT PROFILE When Cheshire (Conn.) Acad- emy four-star wide receiver Tarik Black came on his official visit to Michigan for the season opener against Hawai'i, it be- came clear that U-M was going to be squarely in the mix for his services. The 6-3, 201-pounder didn't hold anything back when he spoke about how special the visit to Ann Arbor was. "That visit was great," Black said. "It was my first official visit, and it was 'Welcome Week' with all of the students coming back. Everyone was just ready to get the year going. "I really had a great time and got to spend some time with the coaches and players. It was a great environment, 110,000 peo- ple. It couldn't have gone any better." Cheshire Academy head coach David Dykeman was also on the visit with Black, and he agreed with the sentiments of his tal- ented wide receiver. Dykeman took it a step further and touched on the uniqueness of the visit with Black being the only official visitor on campus. "The visit was first class all the way around," Dykeman said. "From the minute we got there, to the minute we left, and everything in between. Him, his family, and I were thoroughly impressed with everything happening at Michigan right now. "We had an opportunity to spend time with the players. He spent a lot of time with the coaches and so did his family. They also all spent a lot of time with the players. "We had breakfast with Coach [Jim] Harbaugh and Coach [Jedd] Fisch be- fore we left on Sunday and really got some great quality time with them. I think they were all incredible. Coach [Tony] Tuioti and Coach [Devin] Bush, who both oversee recruiting, were un- believable with us. It was great." Fast forward to Dec. 14, and Black is a member of Michigan's class. The combination of athletics and aca- demics at U-M really appealed to Ri-'s No. 10 wide receiver and No. 76 overall player nationally, and that led to him picking the Maize and Blue. "I decided to pick the Wol- verines because that's the place I feel comfortable," Black told analyst Adam Fried- man. "They have a really good education program. They have an alumni networking base that's worldwide, not just na- tional. When it comes to life af- ter football, I'll be set. "With football, I see myself coming and playing right away. There are receiver spots wide open for next year. The entire coaching staff came straight from the NFL, so I'd be developed into an NFL guy. That's been my dream since a very young age." That dream may very well be realized under Harbaugh's tu- telage. Black — who compiled 40 catches for 703 yards and 11 touchdowns, plus 150 rushing yards, during his senior season — has an NFL receiver frame and a skill set that continues to grow. Dykeman has great things to say about the new Michigan Man. "Tarik is a prototypical X re- ceiver," Dykeman said. "If you go in the lab and build one it looks just like him. He's tall, put together, he glides when he runs, he has in- credible ball skills, he has an innate ability to get in and out of routes and cuts, he can catch the ball in traffic, he can go up high and get it, and he can run by you. He's the complete package as a wide receiver. "People don't think he's fast be- cause he runs with such ease and has these long strides, but every time he seems to be behind somebody. It doesn't matter where it is either. It can be here, at Rivals, at other big camps — he's got high-level speed." All of those things helped Black earn U.S. Army All-America honors and give him an unbelievable oppor- tunity at Michigan next year. With Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson both graduating it might just work out perfectly for Black. "I'm looking forward to scoring touchdowns in The Big House," he said. — Brandon Brown FILM EVALUATION Strengths: All of Tarik Black's measurables are on a near-elite, college-receiver level. His height, bulk, catch radius, speed, quickness, strength and hands make him a likely candidate to see the field as a freshman. Areas Of Improvement: It's tough to pick out a weakness in Black's game but the easy choices would be route running and blocking. He's very good at both, but at Michigan those skills will need to elevate. Michigan Player Comparison: Braylon Edwards is not a name to be thrown around when comparing incoming freshmen wide receivers, but he and Black have a similar build and skill set. Edwards wasn't known as a burner and neither is Black, but getting open, catching everything, and making things happen after the catch are part of both repertoires. — Analysis from Black hauled in 40 receptions for 703 yards and 11 touch- downs during his senior campaign at Cheshire (Conn.) Academy. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM U-M's Blend Of Athletics And Academics Are Perfect For Tarik Black

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