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Posted on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 1:30 p.m.

Roy Roundtree emerges as Michigan's most consistent receiving threat

By Jeff Arnold


Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree heads upfield after in the Wolverines' 42-35 win over Indiana. Roundtree had five catches for 126 yards and a touchdown. Lon Horwedel |

Roy Roundtree doesn't look like an imposing playmaker.

At 6 foot tall and barely over 175 pounds, the redshirt sophomore makes up for his size in the way he approaches his role in Michigan football team's explosive offense.

And that's when the truly deceptive nature of Roundtree's game really takes shape.

"He's not the biggest or the fastest, but he's got a great feel (for the game)," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said. "Not only does he understand our offense, but he's really getting to the point where he really understands defenses as well and where to go with the routes."

By the end of Roundtree's first season on the field, Michigan coaches had pegged the slot receiver as their most consistent pass catcher. Despite not earning the starting job until the eighth game of the year, Roundtree led the Wolverines with 32 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns.

The more he played, the more he demonstrated the skills Rodriguez saw in Roundtree's senior season at Trotwood (Ohio) Madison High School, when he caught 86 passes for 1,238 yards and 13 touchdowns. But as much as Roundtree established himself as a receiver willing to go across the middle, he wasn't highly recruited mainly due to his lack of size.

Once at Michigan (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten), Roundtree added about 20 pounds of muscle and watched more film to study defensive tendencies.

"I'm just so confident each play I'm out there, I know what my assignment (is) and what I'm supposed to do, and it's really starting to show on Saturday," he said.

Roundtree isn't the only one who sees the improvement.

"With Roy, you just give him the ball, and he's going to make something happen," Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson said. "He'll make guy miss, he's a for-sure (pass) catcher and he's a big-time player."

Through five games, Roundtree is Michigan's leading receiver with 25 catches, two touchdowns and averages 13.5 yards a catch. He's part of a multi-tiered passing attack in which he, Darryl Stonum and Martavious Odoms have formed a dangerous trio heading into Saturday's home game (3:36 p.m., ABC) against Michigan State (5-0, 1-0).

A healthy Junior Hemingway also is part of the talent pool at receiver that takes advantage of quarterback Robinson's improved abilities as an effective and accurate passer.

"I think they're all very, very good, and they all have the potential of (making) big plays," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said of Michigan's receiving corps. "The combination of the attack they run and what they do allows receivers to get a lot of one-on-one coverage. They catch the ball very well, they get vertical after the catch, and they all have good run after the catch."

Roundtree and Hemmingway each compiled more than 100 yards receiving in last week's 42-35 victory at Indiana and accounted for 255 of the Wolverines' receiving yardage.

"We're just out there playing now," Roundtree said. "Everyone knows what they have to do. They know their assignments, they're reading the defense. When we're out there, we don't really know the stats - we're just going out there playing Michigan football. We're just having fun."

Jeff Arnold covers sports for and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.


Sean T.

Fri, Oct 8, 2010 : 1:05 a.m.

Trueblue, It doesn't really matter at this point because I'll assess my team at my own leisure and knowledge. I know our statistics and I'm thankful for Denard but we need more options other than a sprinkle of other players. If Denard gets hurt our season is over and as good as I believe Tate Forcier is he couldn't lead us to anymore wins the rest of the season. Our Offense hasn't evolved enough for Tate to be effective and DG is a true freshman. This will catch up to us and it will be pitiful. We've been in a close games 3 out of 5 times so far with this "emaculate" offense" and we've had our share of three and outs (no pun intened)against weak defenses. You also have to factor in that we have no kicking game to speak of and why bother talking about our defense. My point is we need balance to keep Denard from getting popped so much and extend our winning season. I think our offense is overrated despite the gawdy numbers and we will be brought down to earth very soon. I truly hope I'm wrong but hell, I'll let you take it from here. And go ahead and type slower it just may help reflect on the whining that you're doing. Take care Trueblue, I'll let it be till after this weekend.


Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 11:15 p.m.

Sean - I never asked you to stop watching Michigan football. The problem results when you start voicing your negative opinions about our offense on these boards. I'm just calling it like it is. Your complaining sounds like whining. I would understand if your complaining was aimed solely at the defense, which admittedly is bad. But no, it revolves around an offense that is currently ranked #2 in the country in total yards and has led this team to a 5-0 record!!! Do you get what I am saying or do I need to type more slowly? I'm sure your brethren (3 and out, macabre, nobowl) will back you up, but there are hundreds more that would agree wholeheartedly with me.

Sean T.

Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 5:53 p.m.

Trueblue, We run a 4 receiver set buddy and you're talking about two receivers that had a 100 yard game a piece in 5 games. That's nothing extraordinary! Both of those WR's you speak of; Roundtree and Stonum made the majority of their yards on one long reception. In regards to Hart and the other RB's that were on our roster, They all did good under Coach Carr. And to really answer the question, There can only be one starting tailback. If they ran a triple option I'm sure Hart and company would've ran it to perfection. I'll continue to post what and when I like to and there's nothing anyone can say about it. But I'll leave you with this....constantly badgering others whom share a different opinion than you and the insistent nag of telling someone else who to root for can certainly be viewed as "Not Adult". Maybe you should take your own advice and I certainly hope not to hear a peep out of you if Denard gets hurt for an extended period of time. I've watched this team for over 35 years and won't stop watching them because of someone else's love-fest with RR.


Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 4:07 p.m.

Sean - Denard is our leading rusher because he is our most effective rusher. Why was Mike Hart our leading rusher? Answer: he was a lot more effective than Minor or Brown, therefore, he received the vast majority of the touches. Were you complaining then? By the way, please check the receiver stats again. You'll notice that two different receivers have already had 100+ yard and multiple TD days in the first five games. That's not spreading the ball around? If you're solely concerned about the QB running with the ball, all I have to say is get used to it or find a different team to follow because this is Michigan's offense now. Otherwise, your complaining just sounds like whining. Very unbecoming of an adult (I assume you are an adult).

Sean T.

Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 1:19 p.m.

Ross, Who would even think that our opinions would get RR fired? But this my opinion and my assessment of our team whether you like it or not! What does being in the minority have to do with it nor do I care? When you see my post, skip over it if it helps you but I'm just as tired of you guys trying to blast everyone else that doesn't share your opinion. I'm not a RR fan and have never hid that fact but even I can support a coach needing 4 years to establish his program. Though, there are many coaches that have done better with less talent in a shorter time. Trueblue, Are you actually trying to make my point? I know QB's account for a portion of any offense but why is Denard our leading rusher with a stable of RB's? Is it because none of them are truly a threat to any defense we played? And since you've checked to see if there were ten other players on the field with Denard, try checking to see how many of Denard's runs came off of him just flat out-running the defense. Are any of our other players even close to being mentioned as a Heisman candidates? Whether I agree with you or not, I have to allow you to post your opinion. But you can bet that I'll post mine! Also,I'm not concerned with those other programs and tell me the record of our other QB's versus the Big Ten......I didn't think so.


Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 12:09 p.m.

blame rr... check! thanks pOUT FOR keeping YOUR stereotypical rr hate game alive here... getting very old and very LAME... GO BLUE...


Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 10:18 a.m.

If DRob goes down we have a 12-game starter to come in. If Pryor goes down, OSU is done. If Mallett goes down, Arkansas is done. If Bolden goes down, PSU will suck even worse. There is always a drop-off when your starting QB goes out. Just be thankful we have good back-ups in case that happens.


Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 10:08 a.m.

Was anyone complaining when Henne and Braylon connected for the majority of the passing offense every game? How about all those 300+ yard passing game from Navarre? It's true, the QB accounts for most of a team's offense. I see Indiana and Arkansas fans are up in arms with Chappell and Mallett throwing the ball 40+ times per game. Our OFFENSE is putting up big numbers. Last I checked, there were 10 other people on the field with Denard. Look, I don't have an issue if some people don't like the new offense. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But it just gets old and frankly, somewhat irritating, reading the same BS negativity every single day.


Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 8:23 a.m.

Do you three negative nancys really think that your sour opinions on these articles are going to help get RR fired? Dave Brandon is a professional, and he will not base his decisions on the negative opinions of a vocal minority. Yes, you are the minority. No one can dispute the stats you repeatedly throw around - we get it. Everyone knows the last two seasons have been disasters. We all suffered through them together as fans. But the only thing your awful rantings on these articles does is ANNOY everyone who reads them. You are not swaying our opinion, we are not joining your side, you are not affecting the coaching change decisions. You are just sounding horrible and trying to make us all feel as awful as you do. I am sick of it. Please support the team or go away. If Rich Rod gets fired for continuing to suck, great, you get it your way. If he succeeds at developing a team with the potential to be greater than anything we've ever seen at this university, will you still hate him because his first two seasons went down the drain? Life is just so much better when you enjoy it. Please stop ruining the 5-0 start for the rest of us.

3 And Out

Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 4:33 a.m.

Sean T....if D Rob goes down that may be lights out for this team....

3 And Out

Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 4:31 a.m.

"Rodriguez has the rest of the season. If he proves me wrong, I'll happily accept him as our coach. But if he doesn't... If we go 6-6 or 7-5 and lose badly to the top teams in the league... enough. Time to find a coach who can handle this level of play." good point.... and I wholly concur. The sunshine RR boys would point to improvement over 4-7+1 and 3-9 but if it would end up 7-5, that would still be 3-5 in the Big Ten which is unacceptable. No doubt that Denard Robinson is uber talented and a superstar...but he would be a superstar in just about any offensive scheme. The Offensive Line is pretty good and whoever the new coach would be, should retain Greg Frey if the scheme would allow it... But the defense is embarrassing, special teams are a joke...running backs are marginal due to bad recruiting and wide receivers are not spectactular either... 3-5 in the BT this year (best case) would be 6 BT wins in three years for RR and would be time to cut bait and move on...especially since the NCAA violations will negate his buyout clause that his lawyers cleverly put in to his contract. RR is a glorified Offensive Coordinator / QB coach... good in the spread offense but thats it.... not a great head coach....6 losing seasons in 17 years show that... bad bad bad.... That said, he could move on to a southern school and work his magic finesse offense in better weather, and leave the defense to someone else...maybe Urban Meyer would hire him.

Sean T.

Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 12:58 a.m.

It's still a gimmick! It's a spread that's not capable of going deep and depends on the legs of your QB. And on top of that, he must be an exceptional running QB. Our offense isn't putting up big numbers....Denard is! Roundtree deserves his credit for his game-play last Saturday but you won't hear too much about the Robinson-Roundtree connection, just the Denard Robinson show. Lloyd Carr produced balance and would've easily ran up the scores on Most of the Big Ten. I don't think LC had to sweat bullets to fend off the likes of Indiana. Say what you will but this is still a Big East offense who stands on the legs of Denard, not like the LC teams that would've went to almost any receiver or running-back. I truly miss those rosters full of NFL'ers so I won't have to be afraid that Denard will get hurt and crush the rest of the season.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 12:41 a.m.

The last two posts illustrate my point perfectly. Easier to attack the messenger than debate the facts. As a life-long fan, I feel it's important to let Brandon know that we will not accept a team that cannot challenge for the Big Ten title. Rodriguez has the rest of the season. If he proves me wrong, I'll happily accept him as our coach. But if he doesn't... If we go 6-6 or 7-5 and lose badly to the top teams in the league... enough. Time to find a coach who can handle this level of play. Loyal fans will make that clear to Brandon so he can be ready to move the minute the Ohio State game ends. He needs to have candidates in mind, because Harbaugh, while an obvious choice, may not be right fit or may not be willing to take this job. Don't forget that Sweatervestguy came from a I-AA program. That hire has worked out pretty well for the Buckeyes, hasn't it? I don't see why my stock advice is relevant, but I'm actually a holder, not a panic seller. Worked pretty well until 2007, but I still haven't made any changes there. Maybe that was stupid, but at least 40% of that loss is back now. Hopefully it won't happen again.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 11:49 p.m.

I understand being upset about Rich Rodriguez. His success at Michigan has been nonexistent thus far. We've had terrible luck with defensive recruits, a lot of highly-rated LB's haven't reached their potential. Tons of secondary players are not here for various reasons, but look at the positives. We have the most exciting offense in UM history, and our defense is bad enough to really make the games exciting! I'm neutral on Rich Rodriguez. There's simply nothing to be gained from endlessly bashing him so why pursue it? You're not revealing anything that will change the fact that he is our coach for the time being. He's what we have, so he's what we root for. Wishing for a coach to fail is wishing for the team to fail, which proves you are no true fan. Roundtree and this entire wide receiving corps are completely overlooked by everyone it seems. They're really a fantastic bunch, probably best in the conference.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 11:39 p.m.

Macabre - no doubt, RR has had an awful start in his first two years. I bet you are the type that sells your stocks after a 10% gain or minor loss soon after you bought them, then you realize five years later that you would've made huge money if you just held onto them. Stop being so bitter and enjoy the ride back to Michigan's rightful place as one of the finest football programs in the country.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 10:06 p.m.

A couple of posters act like UM fired Coach Carr? I recall he retired? What really is sad about many of these posts is the article is about a fine young football player and a couple of posters use the space to rant against the coach which diminishes the achievements of a young student athlete. Kudos to Mr. Roundtree!


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 9:40 p.m.

The past two years stunk and I am neutral on RR. The defense is poor. That said, let's try to enjoy the season and figure out the merits of the coach at the end. Nothing is going to change in the interim and the team needs focus and our support. We have only 3 months of this a year so let's enjoy it and debate the coaching the other 9. Roundtree has 2 TD's Saturday and the defense has 2 picks. LB Jones has a leg cramp in the 3rd quarter chasing Denard and plays spotty in the 4th. There - isn't that more fun to contemplate today?


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 9:05 p.m.

Oh and by the way, Roundtree is a great talent, and a great local bar.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 8:59 p.m.

Lloyd Carr inherited Gary Moellers squad who was fired for having a good time one night. They were of the same pedigree and had the same offensive and defensive mindset.The hockey coach gets a free pass for peeing in public but a great football gets canned for telling a woman she has nice eyes? Gary Moeller should still be the coach at U of M!


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 8:10 p.m.

Just the facts.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 8:07 p.m.

UofM is 5-0 going into this weekends game with MSU. It's football season in AA GO BLUE!

3 And Out

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 7:51 p.m.

Macabre Sunset....damn that was one heck of a post man, nice work!

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 7:13 p.m.

I don't consider auto racing a sport, nor do I enjoy watching car crashes. Could we please focus on the team. There's a standard theme here that whenever someone says that Rodriguez is in over his head and his employment should be terminated, that poster is personally attacked. These posters are not capable of debating the facts, so they turn to ad-hominems. For whatever reason, that's allowed here, and that's disappointing.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 7:03 p.m.

Macabre, do you watch auto racing for the crashes?

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 6:51 p.m.

I'd like to move on with a good coach. I'm never going to switch my allegiance from Michigan football. But the last two years are the low point in Michigan football history. There's no other way to look at it. Either this team challenges for the Big Ten title this year, or we admit that Rodriguez is a failure and move on.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 6:45 p.m.

I'm not saying Lloyd was a bad coach, I'd love to see RR have the same level of success but Lloyd is gone. I've been going to games since Bump Elliot was the coach, RR's the coach deal with it and move on.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 6:15 p.m.

On the plus side, if he started putting up Carr-like seasons, he'd probably keep his job. Let's see what dear RichRod would have to do to match Carr... 77-10 in Big Ten play, which would be an average of one loss per season. The five conference championships (or shares of one) would take care of themselves. He'd need 13 bowl appearances in the next 11 years. So that's already out the window. He'd have to go 64-4 in the Big House. Now that would be the stuff of legends. You have go back to Fielding Yost and the days of leather helmets to find that kind of home performance. Of course, Yost retired right before Michigan Stadium opened. He'd have to go 109-24 overall. I'd sure take that. Here's a tough one: Carr averaged 18.3 points allowed per game. So far, RichRod is at 27.7. RichRod would have to average 16.2 allowed for the next 10 1/2 years to match Carr. On the other hand, he doesn't have to improve all that much on offense to match Carr's 28.7 points per game in offense. He's at 27.7 in that category as well. I don't know. I don't think Rodriguez has much of a chance of even approaching Carr's performance. Perhaps he should set his sights a little lower, like Bump Elliott's disastrous reign in between Bennie Oosterbaan and Bo Schembechler. He only has to improve significantly, go 29-21 in the conference over the next few years to match Elliott. That's a lot of improvement, but entirely possible if Brandon is brain-dead enough to accept mediocrity long-term.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 5:33 p.m.

3 and out -- You forgot to mention the context for Carr's statistics: 13 years. Let's talk again 10 years from now and compare the careers of Rich Rod at Michigan and Lloyd Carr.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 5:21 p.m.

3 and out -- You forgot to mention the context for Carr's statistics: 13 years. Let's talk again 10 years from now and compare the careers of Rich Rod at Michigan and Lloyd Carr.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 5:04 p.m.

Since MSU will be primed to stop Denard, the difference in the game may turn out to be how successful the U-M passing game is. My biggest concern continues to be Denard's health. He already got dinged up against Bowling Green and aggravated it against Indiana, and these teams are not exactly the most physical teams on U-M's schedule. MSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Ohio State have linebackers and d-backs that can put a hurt on a player like Denard who, God love him, is not afraid to run up the middle lots of times.

3 And Out

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 4:58 p.m.

Lloyd Carr 122-40 5 BT championships, 1 NC.... Rich Rod 11 BCS wins, 16 BCS losses, 2 FCS wins NCAA violations, 0-2 vs. Sparty, Purdue, Illinois, Ohiostate, PSU etc etc etc etc etc etc etc. You mentioned facts....well then, Just stating the facts.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 4:34 p.m.

I dont know about anybody else, but I can't remember the last time we had a receiving corp that was 4 deep. Sure we had our share of elite receivers (nobody will argue that). But as a group, this is by far the best I've seen yet. I hope Sparty tries to make Denard one deminsional and we torch them for 300 plus through the air.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 4:26 p.m.

Not lovin' RR or Hatin' on Lloyd just statin' the facts.

3 And Out

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 3:42 p.m.

Blame Lloyd Carr....CHECK! Thanks Dan for keeping your stereotypical RR lover's game alive here.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 2:42 p.m.

Glimpses. Sometimes I give my son a tasty dessert with dinner. Even he knows he wouldn't feel good if he had cookies and ice cream all the time. Obviously, Denard is a special player and I really like Roundtree as someone who might, against all odds, make a career in this game. But the jury's out as to whether this offense can work against elite defenses. This year, Ohio State and Iowa have elite defenses. If this offense can crack those for mid-to-high 20s, and put up 30s on Penn State and Michigan State, I will happily admit I was wrong.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 2:18 p.m.

In Lloyd's last year he was 3-2 at this point. And if you keep looking you'll see glimpses of this gimmick offense starting to show up in the NFL.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 1:33 p.m.

We made more big plays last week than we did in all of Lloyds last season with a roster full of NFL'ers! It's becuase of the gimmick offense, and all of the undersized players!


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 1:05 p.m.

The WR's are a huge part of Denard's and the team's success.

Sean T.

Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 1:01 p.m.

Way to go Roundtree.