Season Review: Michigan's wide receiver corps ran deep in 2018

Season Review: Michigan's wide receiver corps ran deep in 2018

Football

Season Review: Michigan's wide receiver corps ran deep in 2018

2017 was a rough year for the wide receivers at Michigan, with a majority of the passing touchdowns going to tight ends and with a young wide receiver core it wasn’t a surprise there were struggles. 2018 was a different story though as those freshmen turned into sophomores with more time learning the playbooks and getting stronger and learning more that comes with the position. After this season, it’s safe to say that in 2019 this core of wide receivers could be one of the best in the country.

Nico Collins

A player that stepped up tremendously in 2018 from 2017 was the wide receiver, Nico Collins. He had a great spring and summer practices before the season started and with another wide receiver Tarik Black getting injured once again, it was time for someone to step up and Collins answered.

Collins finished the year with 38 catches for 632 yards and six touchdowns. He became quarterback Shea Patterson’s favorite downfield target and a big man in the end zone. Collins led the team in yards by the end of the year, showing that he has really progressed from 2017.

Another offseason of learning new things and getting better and Collins could lead the team in yards once again in 2019.

Donovan Peoples-Jones

After not seeing the endzone in 2017, but getting involved with the offense, wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones saw a huge improvement to his game as well. He finished the season with the most catches on the team with 47 for 612 yards and eight touchdowns.

Peoples-Jones also returns punts and while he still has some troubles with it, he has improved in that category as well, finishing this year with 25 returns for 250 yards and a touchdown.

Peoples-Jones and Collins can certainly lead the wide receiver core in 2019, but they certainly won’t be alone as Black will be back 100 percent and that trio will be very scary.

Grant Perry

A quiet year came from senior wide receiver Grant Perry, who finished with 20 catches for 147 yards. With Collins and People-Jones stepping up big, Perry wasn’t needed as much and with other younger players doing well, he saw his play time go down.

Perry still helped the offense and was even voted as a captain for the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl back in December, so the locker room respects what he has done for this team.

Tarik Black

2018 was not the year wide receiver Tarik Black was expecting. After missing a majority of last season with a foot injury, Black was expecting to come back with a vengeance in 2018. The same injury would return from 2017, but to his other foot, limiting Black for a good amount of 2018 as well.

While he would play in three games, only getting four catches for 35 yards, Black would show glimpses of his 2017 self, two times getting big-time touchdowns only for them to get called back for holding.

Black should walk into 2019 with a chip on both of his shoulders after already having one from 2017 and now one from 2018 and expect him to be angry and ready to go.

Oliver Martin

One of the three underclassmen wide receivers that saw some action was Oliver Martin. Martin saw more of a slot wide receiver role, something the team will be missing from Perry in 2019 and he did well and made some nice toe drag catches along the sideline.

Martin finished with 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in 2018, and expect to see more of Martin in 2019.

Ronnie Bell

Another underclassman wide receiver that played a good amount in 2018 was freshman Ronnie Bell. Bell saw more action later in the games with the backups playing and he used his time well, finishing with eight catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns.

Bell can also return kicks and punts, returning two punts for seven yards and two kicks for 52 yards so he could see more of a role of that in 2019 as well if head coach Jim Harbaugh wants to use Peoples-Jones on offense only.

Jacob McCurry

The final wide receiver to see some playing time was Jacob McCurry. He had two catches for 33 yards and a touchdown this season, seeing the field when the backups and third-stringers were playing. McCurry will have to fight hard to see playing time in 2019, so if he can’t see the field then, expect him to in 2020.

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire@BKnappBlogs

Latest

More WolverinesWire
Home