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Posted on Tue, May 4, 2010 : 2:12 p.m.

Inside or out, Roy Roundtree is Michigan football team's go-to receiver

By Dave Birkett


Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree pulls in his second touchdown reception of the day during the annual spring game on April 17. (Photo: Lon Horwedel |

One of the Big Ten’s most productive slot receivers last year, Roy Roundtree is bracing for a part-time position change.

Roundtree and fellow slot receiver Martavious Odoms practiced some at outside receiver this spring, and with lingering injury and production concerns at that position, both should contribute there this fall for the Michigan football team.

Originally recruited as an outside receiver, Roundtree said he’s fine with his new dual role and doesn’t expect it to lessen the impact he has on Michigan’s offense.

“I just told Coach if he needs me outside, then I’ll play outside. If he needs me inside, then I’ll play inside,” Roundtree said. “You got to know the defense no matter what position you play. When I’m outside, I still got to read the corner, I still got to read the safeties, and inside I got to read the safeties, I got to read the corners. It’s the same at both positions.”

Roundtree established himself as Michigan’s go-to receiver with a memorable final month last year.

He caught four passes for 92 yards against Illinois; torched Purdue, the school he was once committed to, for 10 catches and 126 yards; had seven receptions for 56 yards against Wisconsin; and nine more catches for 116 yards against Ohio State.

He finished the season with a team-leading 32 catches for 434 yards despite just two receptions in Michigan’s first eight games.

“I can’t slack off,” Roundtree said. “I’m like a team leader now, and it’s not my freshman year no more or sophomore (year). I’m a junior now, so all the younger wide receivers look up to me.”

So why mess with success and move him outside?

For starters, Michigan is hardly settled at outside receiver. Junior Hemingway and Je’Ron Stokes missed most of spring practice with injuries, Darryl Stonum is a proven return man but still-developing pass catcher, and true freshman Jerald Robinson left spring fourth on the depth chart.

The slot position, meanwhile, might be the strength of Michigan’s offense this year. Odoms led the Wolverines with 49 catches two season ago and finished third last year - his knee injury against Penn State preceded Roundtree's emergence - and backups Terrence Robinson and Jeremy Gallon both look like fall contributors.

Robinson, like Roundtree a third-year sophomore, has just one career catch, but offensive coordinator Calvin Magee said he’s finally healthy and pushing for playing time.

“He’s been what we thought he was when we recruited him,” Magee said last month. “He can do a lot of different things in there.”

Gallon “had a really productive spring,” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said, and at a minimum should return punts and kicks this year.

“He’s a talented guy and we can move him around a little bit,” Rodriguez said. “There’s no question he’ll be in the rotation.”

So will Roundtree, who caught a 97-yard touchdown pass in Michigan's spring game and expects better things this fall.

"We just know that we got to push each other and we know that this year we really got to push ourselves," he said, "because it’s Michigan and how we’ve been playing is really not our Michigan Wolverine team."

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Wed, May 5, 2010 : 2:45 p.m.

osu"be"better - I "be" truebluefan. It was a great play by Roundtree to take it for so many yards. It's known that Roundtree is not a burner, which is why Rich played him in the slot, where he excelled. Lack of bodies on the outside this year are forcing him to play more outside WR. gatling - Grady had a better spring game than Roundtree. Roundtree came on strong later in the season while Grady faltered. And so, Roundtree played more and Grady played less. Is this complicated?


Wed, May 5, 2010 : 11:24 a.m.

TRUEBLUE After a great spring game by Roundtree our coach chose to play a basketball player who had been a running back in HS ahead of Roundtree, one of the top WR recruits in the Mid-west.Then when RoyR got in he averaged 8 catches a game,including some big games.He got caught at the one yard line vs Purdue,he didn't drop the ball, because Mich had 4 tries to get it in from the one and they failed. The lack of an organized OL (due to Molks injury) and no power back caused them to blow the game not Roundtrees stoppage at the one.


Wed, May 5, 2010 : 3:30 a.m.

TrueBlue, Roundtree did show great results. Wasnt he the one who was Jogging down the field and caught from behind and stripped of the ball at the end zone line? I think people consider that play the down turn of the 09 season.


Tue, May 4, 2010 : 11:18 p.m.

sparky - Roundtree was redshirted his first season and saw the field in his first season eligible for game action. Rich waited until the right time to play Roundtree and it showed with great results. The guy knows how to coach and has great player development recognition.


Tue, May 4, 2010 : 10:47 p.m.

Roundtree good move to UM football team. He catch all things throw his way, good stickum hands. Very good sense of catch and run cordination and weave through defense like nascar race in Big House. Big things from Roundtree come this way to UM fall season.


Tue, May 4, 2010 : 4:41 p.m.

Roundtree at outside receiver is definitely worth trying. Our outsider receivers haven't been very productive over the past few seasons. Hemmingway showed potential a few years ago then got hurt. Stonum hasn't proven himself as any sort of threat, either. Kind of like they keep talking about getting the best 11 guys on the field for defense, well, the same applies to the offense, too. If Odoms and Roundtree are producing, then they need to adjust the offense so they're on the field as much as possible. Remember, Roundtree didn't get his big chance until Odoms got injured, then it made us wonder why he wasn't on the field more often. This team can't afford to keep their most talented players on the sideline waiting for the next injury to come along so they can get a chance. They need them on the field now.


Tue, May 4, 2010 : 3:29 p.m.

This is not as easy as he makes it seem. Getting off a physical corner playing press coverage is a lot different than playing from the slot, off the line of scrimmage. He has a lot of talent though and I think he can produce from just about anywhere on the field.

Brian Ferguson

Tue, May 4, 2010 : 1:48 p.m.

I have a feeling that gallon #10 jersey will become a big hit in the upcoming years this kid is a threat a serious threat.