Former Michigan receiver Ronnie Bell was a big leader on offense for the Wolverines and a go-to target in crunch time.
Bell’s 62 receptions led the team in 2022, as did his 889 receiving yards.
Bell’s now headed to the NFL and there will be other Michigan receivers looking to replace that production and carve their own legacy in Ann Arbor.
One of those players who’s in line for an increased role this fall is Tyler Morris, who said he looked up to Bell a lot last year.
“I took last year as a year to try to learn a little bit from him,” Morris told the media on Monday. “That’s what I’m hoping to do. Step into the role that he had last year. I try to take what I learned from him and try to apply it to my game.”
Morris, a former high school teammate of Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy at Nazareth Academy in Illinois, was a four-star prospect in the class of 2022. During Morris’ sophomore season at Nazareth with McCarthy as QB, Morris and McCarthy hooked up for 68 receptions, 1,237 yards, and 17 touchdowns.
The 5-foot-11, 180 pound wideout noted on Monday that he has solid chemistry with McCarthy.
“Little things where I know what he’s gonna do,” Morris said. “He knows what I’m thinking.”
Morris said that he and McCarthy try to figure out little details in a play, the nuances that extend beyond how the route is drawn up on a piece of paper.
Chemistry with a quarterback is important, as is being more comfortable in Michigan’s scheme. Morris said he’s now more confident in his game after a year of trying to figure everything out.
Morris’ name has been brought up by multiple Michigan players this spring as someone on the rise. That fact hasn’t been lost on Morris.
“It feels good to be noticed like that. For me, it’s kind of just proving it to myself,” Morris explained. “That’s where I expect myself to be, so it’s nice other people start to see me that way. I’m looking forward to this year to go do it.”
Morris hauled in three catches for 25 yards a season ago, numbers that will go up exponentially this season. If Morris can become anything like Ronnie Bell it will mean he’s an asset to Michigan’s offense.