Even With Black's Injury, Harbaugh Bullish on Michigan's Wideouts

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Even With Black's Injury, Harbaugh Bullish on Michigan's Wideouts

Football

Even With Black's Injury, Harbaugh Bullish on Michigan's Wideouts

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — It was a devastating blow to Tarik Black, the Michigan football team and the Wolverines faithful this weekend, when the second-year wideout broke his right foot in practice — nearly a year after breaking his left foot in Week Three of the 2017 season.

Much was expected of the 6-foot-4, 215-pound receiver this season, and while he very well could return midway through 2018 or later, he still has to go back through the same grueling rehabilitation process as he did a year ago.

But, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is doing his best to look at the bright side when it comes to Black’s injury.

While he didn’t give a timetable to return, as far as he sees it, whatever deficiency he had in his feet, well, now both of them will have been surgically repaired. With that in mind, Black should be good on those grounds moving forward.

“Now both feet will be fixed,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll have two feet – he’ll have them both fixed now. They will be shortly. No doubt that the best is yet to come for Tarik Black. Have no reservation about that at all.”

Now Michigan has the unenviable task of looking for more production elsewhere, to replace that which Black leaves behind while he’s in recovery.

But, with the recent emergence of Nico Collins at the position, and with players like Grant Perry, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Oliver Martin continuing to improve, there’s still a lot to like about the position group.

As Harbaugh notes, a lot of that increased ability hasn’t just come from experience, but also through coaching, with former Florida head coach Jim McElwain coming to oversee the position this offseason, along with former Michigan wideout (and now graduate assistant) Roy Roundtree, who spent the past two seasons in official capacity coaching at Indiana State.

Because of the new mentors at wide receiver, Harbaugh sees a group that’s much better than what he had last year.

“I like how our receivers have come along,” Harbaugh said. “It’s been a good camp. They’ve really come so far in training camp and spring practice. Coach McElwain has done a fabulous job. So has Roy and everybody that’s been working on the offense. Have done some really good things for our wide receiver position. And they’ve done a really good job learning. Working hard every day to improve. I’ve seen real tangible improvement from our entire receiver group.”

We’ll see for sure how much the unit has improved on Saturday, when Michigan travels to South Bend to take on Notre Dame for a 7:30PM kickoff.

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