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Tyler Morris’ path to Michigan, outlook for 2022

Despite coming off an injury, the young wide out could find his way onto the field via special teams.

NCAA Football: Michigan Spring Game Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 Michigan Wolverines wide receiver room possesses a lethal combination of talent and experience. They lost just one receiver (Daylen Baldwin) from last year’s team, returns Ronnie Bell — arguably Michigan’s best receiver — who was injured Week 1 and missed the season, and brings in three highly-touted freshman.

All three enrolled early and will compete for playing time, but one of the three is still surrounded in questions.

Tyler Morris is a 6-foot, 175-pound four-star receiver recruit out of Illinois and the No. 133 overall prospect nationally. However, because of a knee injury he suffered his junior season (spring 2021), he was forced out of action for his senior season (fall 2021) and has flown under the radar since.

Morris was electric as a sophomore, totaling more than 1,700 all-purpose yards and 24 touchdowns while playing with with fellow future Wolverine, JJ McCarthy en route to a state runner-up finish in class 7A in 2019.

When Morris initially committed to the Wolverines, he was the No. 79 ranked player in the country and was on a clear path to ascension. Morris is versatile, smooth and plays with a rare fluidity for any high schooler. While not the fastest, he separates with crisp route-running and possesses launch codes for jump balls; he was the AAU Junior Olympic champion for high jump entering his sophomore year.

Morris possesses no weakness when it comes to skill, but his injury and slender frame give pause to his potential. He also hasn’t played competitive football since the fall of 2019.

Outlook for 2022

Ben Herbert — Director of Strength and Conditioning for Michigan football — is well compensated for a reason. In order for Morris to see the field as a freshman, he will firstly need to add 5-10 pounds of muscle. If that is attainable, he could flash the evolution of that electric player in 2019.

As a freshman, expect Morris to compete for primary kick return duties and to occasionally be used for end-arounds or designed plays similar to former Wolverine Eddie McDoom. He could be an offensive Swiss Army Knife long term, garnering 8-10 touches a game.

National recruiting analyst Allen Trieu put it best: “(Morris) can do so many things for an offense that it is hard to imagine scenarios where he will not be productive in college because he can of his versatility.”