Monday, August 15, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Roundtree to anchor Hoke likes battle in backfield
wide receiving corps ByMICHAELFLOREK
By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily Sports Editor
The Michigan football team's
receivers had something few posi-
tion groups on the team have:
depth. Now, with senior Darryl
Stonum forced to redshirt, they're
going to have to show how deep
the unit is from the outset.
Stonum was expected to start at
the position but after Stonum was
arrested this summer for a DUI -
the second of his collegiate career
- he was suspended by Michigan
coach Brady Hoke indefinitely.
Sunday the hammer came down:
he won't play at all this season.
The Stonum move likely causes
redshirt junior Roy Roundtree to
move outside from the slot after
earning All-Big Ten second-team
honors and being on the Bilet-
nikoff Award watch list last sea-
son. Roundtree has said he can
play both inside and outside if
He came just 65 yards short of
being Michigan's first 1,000 yard
receiver since 2007, although more
than a quarter of that produc-
tion came in one game - a school
record-setting 246-yard perfor-
mance against Illinois.
With junior quarterback
Denard Robinson coming into
his second year as a starter and a
return to a pro-style offense that
should have some similarities to
the ones that have created so many
Wolverine 1,000 yard receivers
over the years, Roundtree should
approach the 1,000-yard mark
Fifth-year senior Junior
Hemingway, who is no stranger
to big plays, should step into Sto-
num's place on the other side.
The physical, 6-foot-1, 225
pounder had 593 yards and four
touchdowns last season. He uses
his size well, as seen in his catch
against Indiana that set up the
game-winning touchdown. He
fought off an Indiana defensive
back to make a catch at the Hoo-
siers four-yard line with 21 sec-
onds left back on Oct. 2.
Behind Hemingway are a num-
ber of other options on the out-
side, including sophomore Jeremy
Jackson, junior Je'Ron Stokes and
redshirt freshman Jerald Robin-
son. Jackson saw action in r' 'e
games last season, but it was Rob-
inson who Hoke mentioned that
he was impressed with at Big Ten
"I think he's matured," Hoke
said. "I think freshman when they
come in and even into their sopho-
more year, they've got all this free
time to some degree, which they
think is free time, which really
shouldn't be free time and they
don't pay attention to the details as
much as they should. And I think
that's helped him with his ability.
He's letting his ability really work
In the slot, senior Martavious
Odoms and fifth-year senior Kel-
vin Grady have the inside track.
Odoms, who has seen significant
playing time in each of his past
three years, showed enough block-
ing ability to be moved outside last
With Hoke talking everything
physical, Odoms' blocking may
push him to ahead of Grady.
At tight end, it's senior Kevin
Koger and then everyone else.
Koger, who was utilized more as
a pass catcher than a blocker in
Rodriguez's offense, caught 14
balls for 199 yards and two touch-
downs in 2010. But over the sum-
mer, the third-year starter has
been gaining pounds to prove to he
can both block and catch.
"From a physical standpoint,
muscle mass and strength and
that, I think he has made some
really good gains," Hoke said.
And while "everyone else" is a
step below Koger, there's a variety
of options. A number of them have
been singled out as impressing in
captains-led summer workouts.
Redshirt junior Brandon Moore
hasn't played much, but appears
to be the first option off the bench.
Fifth-year senior Steve Watson
has impressed in the summer
7-on-7s, leading to Denard Robin-
son commenting on how good his
hands were at Big Ten Media Days.
Michigan averaged 250 yards
per game through the air in Rich
Rodriguez's spread offense.
Whether it's at wide receiver or
tight end, Denard Robinson has
While Hoke emphasized that he
wants a power run game, he also
wants to win. He mentioned that
he's "smart enough not to put a
square peg in a round hole" when
it comes to Denard Robinson's
rushing ability. He's also smart
enough to use his options.
After four days of the Michigan
football team's camp, only one thing
is clear regarding the Wolverines'
feature back to start the season: no
one has any idea who it is.
Offensive coordinator Al Borges
and senior running back Mike Shaw
have said as much, while Michigan
coach Brady Hoke said it twice in
the same week.
But the decision shouldn't take
too much longer. Full-pads practic-
es started Friday. For the first time
this fall, Hoke will have the chance
to truly "hear football" for the first
time, a requirement for picking the
"It's hard to judge to some degree
until we start really putting them
down and seeing them protect with
a big linebacker coming," Hoke said.
"How are they going to hold up
Hoke mentioned that he hoped
the next eight days would bring out
a front-runner, leaving him the rest
of camp to start focusing on game
planning for the upcoming season.
Those days will be filled with full-
pads practices and the occasional
two-a-days. And those practices
will need to be heard a lot more than
these last couple.
"I told them last night I didn't
hear (practice) yesterday," Hoke
said. "I heard ita little better today,
but hearing football is important. It
kind of tells you what's going on, but
luckily it's not September 3rd."
In the meantime, any thoughts
about the coaches have at running
back aren't being transmitted to the
players. Shaw mentioned that run-
ning backs coach Fred Jackson has
Senior running back Michael Shaw is a contender for featured running back this fall.
been making sure that everyone Jackson, the only position coach
is rotating through each string of who was retained in the coaching
offense. transition from Rich Rodriguez to
The only thing that is known is Hoke.
that there will be a featured back "A lot of guys know that they
who gets around 25 carries a game. have to step up their games, because
For Shaw, that's the way it's sup- if we don'tshowhim, he's beenwith
posed to be. us and we've been with him for such
"That's what Michigan football a long period of time, the clock on
is," Shaw said. "It's one guy and playing time is going to dwindle,"
there's a pride factor where every Shaw said.
single running back wants to be the NOTES: Linebacker Brandon
man, so it comes with the territory Herron mentioned in a video on
I guess." MGoBlue.com that he had been
The running backs' biggest moved to weak-side linebacker ...
adjustment to Borges' pro-style According to Hoke, both redshirt
offense comes from lining up sophomore Seth Broekhuzien and
behind the quarterback instead of freshman Matt Wile have been
next to him in the shotgun. successful punting ... Martavious
That adjustment may be espe- Odoms' left-forearm cast was some-
cially big for the two freshmen thing he used in the summer. It
running backs, Thomas Rawls and comes off in two weeks and hasn't
Justice Hayes. Both freshmen run- hampered his ability, according to
ning backs are finishing up summer Hoke ... The coach also noted that
classes and have missed some prac- no receiver outside of Heming-
tice time. way and Roundtree had separated
But the adjustment is eased by themselves from the pack.
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