The talented group of wide receivers last year with solid quarterback play allowed for Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh to move on and get picked up in the 2017 NFL Draft. Now that they have left Ann Arbor, there is a void now for wide receiving play-makers, but with an exciting new and highly talented group about to start their college career. While it’s still early and July is mostly speculation mode, Michigan just hit the upgrade button for this unit of highly talented wide receivers.
In a recent story by David Kenyon with Bleacher Report, Kenyon makes bold predictions for college football freshmen in 2017. Among that group of 10 players, Donovan Peoples-Jones is mentioned with a prediction that he will be the leading receiver for Michigan in 2017.
The 6-foot-2, 190 pound hometown kid from Cass Tech in Detroit was the No. 1 rated WR in 2017’s recruiting class, according to Scout. He also was an early enrollee and taking classes in January. The last several months have allowed more time to adjust and prepare for fall camp starting on July 31.
Josh Newkirk with Scout wrote a great piece in late April about Peoples-Jones embracing this opportunity and adjusting to college football, and how valuable it’s been for him to get more chances to improve everyday in a college program.
“I’m not going to talk about specifics, but just a gradual increase, one percent better everyday, that’s my priority,” he said. “Working on everything everyday, that’s got to come, but to get better at it everyday. You just can’t work on it with bad technique. You just can’t work on it doing it the wrong way. You got to work on where you are getting better at it the next day.”
The only other player in the Big Ten that made the group of freshman is Penn State’s cornerback and 5-star recruit, Lamont Wade. While he may not start, David Kenyon predicts he will lead the team with the most interceptions at four, being the first to reach that number since 2008.
As I hear and read other writers predict the freshman class this fall, the other name many are throwing out there is Tarik Black. I have actually heard his name more as a leading receiver prediction than Peoples-Jones. The two freshman both have the talent level and ability to compete quickly, and there will certainly be the need and opportunity for one of them to step up into a leading role.
What’s most fascinating is how quickly this group of true freshman and sophomores who will be starting and dominating this year if they can click on all cylinders. It bodes very well for 2018.
Will DPJ lead the Michigan Wolverines in receiving yards?
This poll is closed
Yes, he will
Nope, it’ll be a veteran
Nope, it’ll be another of the true freshmen