Donovan Peoples-Jones on Time with Michigan: 'I Haven't Even Scratched the Surface Yet'

(Isaiah Hole / WolverinesWire)

Donovan Peoples-Jones on Time with Michigan: 'I Haven't Even Scratched the Surface Yet'

Football

Donovan Peoples-Jones on Time with Michigan: 'I Haven't Even Scratched the Surface Yet'

In Michigan’s 26-19 loss to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl to cap off the 2017 season, Donovan Peoples-Jones had six receptions for 58 yards.

He didn’t have a single offensive touchdown last season. But this time around, Peoples-Jones feels like an entirely new person.

The sophomore wide receiver has caught 39 passes for 541 yards and seven touchdowns, adding a special teams score. His improvement from a season ago is evident, but Peoples-Jones said he hasn’t even scratched the surface of his talent level.

“I just see so much more in the future,” Peoples-Jones said. “I have to keep working, continue to work on the things I’m not as good at and raise the level of my play.

“I’m still 19.”

Peoples-Jones looks to build on his wealth of success for the Wolverines on Dec. 29 in the Peach Bowl against Florida. While most Michigan players have a bowl win under their belt, the sophomore wide receiver is 0-1 in postseason events.

He’s relying on increased confidence to make big plays in big moments on the bowl game stage.

“I just feel more confident,” Peoples-Jones said. “I’m comfortable with the gameplan, what my coaches expect of me and just competing. Knowing what I have to do, when I have to do it and how I have to do it.”

Shea Patterson (Isaiah Hole / WolverinesWire)

Along with quarterback Shea Patterson returning for his senior season, Michigan is bringing back Tarik Black, Nico Collins, Oliver Martin, Ronnie Bell, Michael Barrett and Peoples-Jones to its wide receiver room.

Coach Jim Harbaugh’s group will also add receivers from the 2019 class in four-star Cornelius Johnson, four-star Giles Jackson and three-star Quintel Kent.

Peoples-Jones said it could be a special season for the Wolverines – if the hard-work mentality is applied.

“It can be very good,” Peoples-Jones added. “We just have to work, take ownership and get it done.”

When Patterson announced his decision to return on Dec. 21, Peoples-Jones claimed he was more excited than most on the roster.

“I don’t think it was as big of a deal to everyone else as it was to me,” he said. “I was definitely excited to get another year with him. I mean, you saw what he did for this offense, this team.”

Throughout the 2018 season, Patterson has completed 188-of-290 passes (64.8 percent) for 2,364 yards, 21 touchdowns and five interceptions.

The next test for Peoples-Jones is to secure a bowl game victory at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday. He noted Florida’s defense as speedy and athletic.

“Whole defensive is athletic,” Peoples-Jones said of the Gators. “Like coach Pep (Hamilton) said, they’re an SEC team. They’ll be physical. Also, just like Zach (Gentry) said, we’ll have to just carry out our plan, carry out our scheme and just stick to that and play our football.”

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