The Michigan Wolverines lost a bit from the wide receiver room last season with Nico Collins going to the NFL and Giles Jackson transferring out. There is still some depth there, but intrigue entered the building this summer in the form of transfer wide receiver Daylen Baldwin.
Here is a look at his road to Michigan and what his outlook might be for the upcoming season.
The story so far
Baldwin had as unorthodox a road to Ann Arbor as any player that they have brought in the last several years. He was an unranked prospect coming out of Waterford Mott after previously spending time at Farmington. His dynamic athleticism has always been part of his repertoire, as he also lettered in track and field during his high school career.
Baldwin began his collegiate career at Morgan State in 2017 where he appeared in 11 games and made one start. He caught 16 passes for 181 yards and one touchdown with his season-high receiving mark (39 yards) being set in a game at Bethune-Cookman. His sophomore season saw him put up similar numbers with 14 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown in 11 games.
He would transfer to Jackson State in 2019 and take a redshirt season. Jackson State, under new head coach and NFL legend Deion Sanders, would play a spring season due to the pandemic. This is where Baldwin’s name began to take off.
This past spring, Baldwin played in all six games for Jackson State and led the SWAC in receptions with 27 catches for 540 yards and seven touchdowns. He flashed his size and athletic prowess during the season and elected to enter the transfer portal to see who might take a chance on him.
Baldwin tore up the camp circuit earlier this summer and earned offers from the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, along with MAC schools like Central Michigan and Kent State. While he grew up an Ohio State fan, he told Maize n Brew after his commitment that the opportunity at Michigan for him was too good to pass up.
Outlook for 2021
Our Stephen Osentoski profiled Baldwin earlier this summer during his Talkin’ Transfers series of videos.
Baldwin is joining a room that still features a plethora of receiving options in Ronnie Bell, Cornelius Johnson, Roman Wilson, Mike Sainristil, AJ Henning, Cristian Dixon and Andrel Anthony. Given his playing experience, it does not seem like a big stretch to suggest that he could crack the two-deep depth chart and at least be a No. 4-5 wide receiver.
The biggest thing Baldwin has going for him is his size. Johnson (6-foot-3) is the only other wideout with experience on the roster that gives Michigan a big target down the field. After Bell, though, almost everyone else’s spot is up for grabs.
Michigan is pretty deep here. Maybe not with proven talent, but with enough lotto tickets that suggest they can have a pretty efficient passing game given everything else goes smoothly operations-wise. Baldwin is a late bloomer with experience, but he has a ton of competition here. But he came to Michigan to play and he is going to have a role somewhere.