Monday, August 8, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Stonum redshirted; Special teams eye turnaround
By KEVIN RAFTERY
HgrpsseddDaily Spurts Editor ,.4.
as a pe
in to b
ke suspends two could also see an increased role,
he has been relegated to the slot
iyers, redshirts for most of his career.
Stonum caught 49 passes for
enior receiver 633 yards and four touchdowns
in 2010 and averaged 23 yards
By TIM ROHAN per kickoff return, with a long of
Daily Sports Editor 61 yards.
In 2009, Stonum set a team
ryl Stonum will have a record with 1,001 return yards,
sit and think about what and he is the last Wolverine to
done. Think of it as a one- return a kickoff for a touch-
senior wide receiver who In the same press release,
guilty to his second DUI Hoke announced that Michi-
in his Michigan career gan's only real viable option at
e redshirted this season, punter, sophomore Will Hag-
chigan coach Brady Hoke. erup, will be suspended the first
hile it would be great to four games of 2011. And wide
Darryl on the field this receiver Terrence Robinson will
, we feel it is in his best also be suspended for just the
st and the best interest season opener.
program for him to red- Both were suspended for vio-
Hoke said in a statement lating team rules.
ed Friday. "Darryl will Hagerup averaged nearly 44
ue to be an important part yards per punt last season, land-
ing one-third of his boots inside
the 20-yafd line. Heis a danger-
ous weapon in special teams, but
"There are this isn't his first suspension.
Former Michigan coach Rich
pectations ... Rodriguez suspended Hagerup
for the Ohio State game in 2010
)u M USt live for violating team rules. What
Hagerup was truly suspended
Up tO. for never came to light.
So who will be the Wolver-
ines' punter for the first four
team and family. He has Redshirt sophomore kicker
'verything we have asked Seth Broekhuizen has experi-
do, but our number one mented with punting during
y is to help Darryl grow practice. But at the spring game
rson." in April, that looked as if it had
Wolverines' second-lead- failed. And Broekuizen aver-
ceiver in one of the best aged 28 yards per punt on three
es in the country will be attempts in relief of Hagerup.
i for his deep-threat abil- Incoming freshman Matt Wile
I explosiveness as a kick- may be the team's best option
urner. But Michigan has at both kicker and punter, a feat
of options to fill in for that is not as extraordinary as
a in the passing game. one may think.
shirt junior Roy Meanwhile, Robinson, who
tree is coming off a has yet to reach his full poten-
000 yard season. Then tial, would have been one of the
fifth-year senior Junior receivers to benefit from Sto-
gway who was penciled num's redshirt. Now, he appar-
e the big target (6-foot-l, ently finds himself in Hoke's
ounds) across from Sto- doghouse.
"In order to build a champi-
or Martavious Odoms onship-caliber culture, you have
truggled with injuries, to be accountable to each other
hen healthy he is one of on and off the field," Hoke said.
an's best route runners "There are expectations at the
are hands to match. While University of Michigan you must
ear senior Kelvin Grady live up to."
The Michigan football team's
special teams unit was anything but
special last season. The punt return
and kick return teams were average
at best. And the kicking team was
Once Michigan crossed the
midfield stripe, at times I hoped
then-redshirt freshman kicker Seth
Broekhuizen would just run on the
field, close his eyes, and swing his
leg as hard as he could. Orthatthen-
redshirt freshman Brendan Gib-
bons would carry his golf bag onto
the field, pull out a pitching wedge
and give the balla whack.
Well, golf clubs, of course, would
be illegal. But at least it'd give the
Wolverines a valid excuse for fin-
ishing dead last in the nation with
four field goals made all season.
Ifthatstatistic alone isn't enough
to make you want to bang your
head against a wall, consider this:
Broekhuizen's season total of three
made field goals (Gibbons was 1-for-
5) equals the game total of field
goals made bythen-Ohio State kick-
er Devin Barclay in the Buckeyes'
37-7 win over the Wolverines last
At this rate, the two Michigan
kickers will need about five years to
equal Barclay's one-year total of 19
But there is good news regarding
the kicking game - the Wolverines
can go nowhere but up. And they
will. When new Michigan coach
Brady Hoke left San Diego State for
Michigan, Matt Wile, an All-Amer-
ican kicker who had committed to
San Diego State, followed him.
Rivals.com listed Wile as the
No. 4 kicker in the nation, and he
finished his senior year at Francis
Parker High School 10-for-13 with a
career-long boot of 49 yards.
Wile won't necessarily be the
kicking team's savior - there's no
saying that he'll even be the starter,
as Hoke has given no indication
who will send the ball flying come
Sept. 3 - but Wile gives Wolverine
fans hope, something they haven't
had in the kicking game in over a
year. And with new special teams
coach Dan Ferrigno with the reins
this year, there's no telling what
Broekhuizen and Gibbons might be
able to do if they can forget about
last year's nightmare.
Keep in mind that Gibbons, like
Wile, was an All-American in high
school. His list of high-school acco-
lades is longer than the Mississippi
Kicker Seth Broekhuizen will contend for the starting kicker spot in the fall.
River - his problem isn't in his leg, with his signature smile.
it's in his head. If Ferrigno can help But if all goes as planned, the
get Gibbons's head on straight, Gib- Wolverines won't need Robinson to
bons could very well play a factor in return kicks, anyway.
the kicking game this year. Gallon was first on the team last
Ferrigno will face a much sim- year in total kick returns with 27.
pler task with sophomore punter However, his average of 21.8 yards
Will Hagerup. As a freshman, Hag- per kick was just third on the squad
erup averaged 43.64 yards per punt - Stonum averaged 23.3 per return
and showcased one of the strongest and Odoms 22.6.
legs in the Big Ten. Hagerup will no Gallon and Odoms each showed
doubt again be called upon to lead potential to be solid returners, but
the punting squad. Michigan fans collectively held
But Hoke announced Sunday their breath whenever either of
evening that Hagerup would be them walked onto the field - both
suspended for the first four games struggled mightily with holding
of theseason for a "violation of team onto the ball and seemed to have a
rules." knack for muffing kick returns.
Snapping the ball to Hagerup Both will have to prove they can
upon his return will be fifth-year hold onto the ball ifthey want to see
senior Tom Pomarico. The Jackson, action this season.
Mich. native started all 13 games Hemingway returned just one
last year and, barring any injury, punt last year, but he made it count,
should resumethe starting duty this bursting through the Mississippi
season. On the returning end of the State defense at the Gator Bowl
football, Michigan had potential, for a 33-yard return. With his abil-
but much that went out the win- ity to blow past defenders and' a
dow with Hoke's announcement strong frame that makes him dif-
Sunday evening that wide receiver ficult to tackle, the Conway, S.C.
Darryl Stonum would redshirt the native has the potential to blast into
2011 season. Stonum was issued the the starting punt returner role. But
second drunk-driving charge of his don't lose sight of Dileo - he's not
collegiate career this summer. the fastest guy on the field, but he
But even without Stonum, the makes up for it with his keen abil-
Wolverines have a plethora of ity to see the field and his ability
options at kick returner and punt make people miss. And maybe most
returner. Redshirt sophomore Jer- importantly, he holds onto the ball.
emy Gallon, senior Martavious With agoodshowingincamp, Dileo
Odoms, senior Junior Hemingway could snag the job as kick returner
and sophomore Drew Dileo all or punt returner. The tools are there
saw action last year, and each has for the Wolverines' special teams
a chance to make an impact this unit, and their job is simple - make
season. There has also been specu- special teams special again.
lation that quarterback Denard Preseason grade: B-
Robinson could see action as a kick Projected starters: Matt Wile
returner, but at Big Ten Media Days, (PK), Will Hagerup (P), Tom
Robinson made his job description Pomarico (LS), Drew Dileo (KR),
clear when asked if he'd play any Junior Hemingway (PR)
other positions. Key losses: None
"I will play quarterback," he said Surprise player: Drew Dileo