The Michigan Wolverines are currently in their final week of football training camp before game week officially is underway next Monday to prepare for Minnesota. The dawn of a new season comes with the return of new episodes of the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show from inside Schembechler Hall.
Among the topics covered in this week’s episode was the development at the wide receiver position and the players that have stepped up after the room was cleared of its 2019 upperclassmen prior to this season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has two names off the top of his head as the players that have filled the gap.
“It’s really been a group effort,” Harbaugh said on Monday night. “I’d say Ronnie Bell, for sure. He’s a great tone-setter. Mike Sainristil has had a tremendous, tremendous offseason and early camp, practicing really well. Roman Wilson is doing exceptionally well. Giles Jackson, doing extremely well. Jake McCurry doing extremely well. Cornelius Johnson is really coming on strong. I don’t know if it’s one guy. I’d even say A.J. Henning did some really good things in our scrimmage on Saturday. Nate Schoenle has been a tone-setter, the leader, doing really good things in the wide receiver position and on special teams.”
“Right now, that group of eight has really been good. Erick All really sets the tone offensively. Doing a tremendous job,” Harbaugh would add on the other playmaking position groups. “The quarterbacks been really good. Offensive line is coming together as well. And the other group we’re really excited about right now is the running backs. Charbonnet, Chris Evans, Hassan Haskins, Blake Corum. Really, those four have been outstanding, outstanding, outstanding. Ready to let it rip on offense.”
Once a two-star recruit, there was never a big expectation from outside Schembechler Hall on what Bell could bring to the table, especially with some of the bigger names Michigan had at wide receiver. However, he has always had a big fan in his head coach.
“They’re high expectations for Ronnie Bell,” Harbaugh said. “Always been a huge fan of Ronnie. He’s a real gamer when it comes to football. Things he needs to try to improve — every day he’s becoming a great practice player, as well. So much is natural, but really getting better at every fundamental and every technique. He’s always out there, every practice every game. Tremendous amount of want to and competitiveness that he has to be good. Just really getting all the finer points of the position and improving in that way technically. I think he’s gonna see a really big jump in his game this year. Because it’s almost — terrific athlete, great competitor and really getting the finer points of receiving Josh has been teaching him is gonna really benefit him this year, I can see it every day in practice.”
The sophomore wide receivers are the ones that have been circled as the breakout candidates for this year at the position and Harbaugh says they are all coming along, as well as the true freshmen.
“The three sophomores — Mike Sainristil, Giles Jackson, Cornelius Johnson — all really good and are playing,” Harbaugh said. “And the two freshmen – Roman Wilson and A.J. Henning — are also right there in the mix. Mike’s really improved. His blocking – maybe our best blocker on the team. He’s also got the — last year – Mike can really go, he’s really fast. You see the fresh legs and the separation. Giles has that and then some probably. Both making tough catches, contested catches, which is great to see. All three of those players will contribute.”