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Posted on Wed, May 30, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Michigan commit Jehu Chesson hopes track exploits translate to football field

By Kyle Meinke

Michigan football commit Jehu Chesson ran a 10.7-second 100-meter dash over the weekend, which was fast enough to win him a Missouri Class 4 track and field state championship.

He did it only 15 minutes after placing runner-up in the 110-meter hurdles (14.15 seconds). He also added a state title in the 300-meter hurdles (37.77 seconds).

Not bad for a guy who, when he committed to Michigan, was characterized by ESPN as having "some value as a vertical target due to his frame/speed combination, but we are not convinced he is a great speed guy."

"I’ve seen those questions about my speed," Chesson said by phone this week. "I really don’t know what to say about those people other than, 'Just watch me. Tape doesn’t lie.'

"With me, if you tell me I’m slow, I’m just going to say it’s not true because I know how fast I can run."

Chesson is a consensus three-star football recruit from Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis. He is ranked the No. 91 receiver in the country by Rivals and No. 82 by Scout.

Football speed doesn't necessarily correlate to track speed, and vice versa, but Chesson said participating in track has made him a better football player. He said beyond the obvious advantage of working on his speed, the hip strength he built doing hurdles has made him a more powerful runner.

"It could just be a placebo effect, but I feel I can break tackles better because I have a stronger core," he said.

Chesson said he's also become stronger mentally because track requires him to push his limits every day.

"My coach usually tells me this about the limits you think you have: When you reach them, you realize they weren’t your limits," Chesson said. "It's really just mind over matter. You just have to walk back up to line every time and give it your all. Same as in football."

Chesson's speed, combined with his 6-foot-3 frame, positions him to compete for a job right away after Michigan lost top receiver Junior Hemingway to graduation and top returner Darryl Stonum to dismissal.

Senior Roy Roundtree and junior Jeremy Gallon are projected to start at wideout next year, but there is little experience on the rest of the roster. Sophomore Jerald Robinson, the favorite to win the third starting spot, has played in two career games at receiver and has yet to catch a pass.

That could leave an opening for Chesson or Amara Darboh, Michigan's other incoming freshman receiver, to earn some playing time next season. The wideouts -- both of whom were born in Africa -- already are friends and will become roommates this summer.

"I’ve been made aware (by coaches) of the position they're in," Chesson said. "Would they like it if a young kid came in and could play away? Yeah, but I have to humble myself into that. It’s going to be faster, quicker, guys are going to be bigger.

"There will be a pressure to produce, and there's nothing wrong with that. I expect that, and welcome it. ... But even if I were to get redshirted, I wouldn't take it (as criticism). I'd just work to get better for the next year."

To prepare for fall camp, Chesson will work out with a private trainer and run routes with Brandon Sheperd, a receiver from nearby Chesterfield who is headed to Oklahoma State.

He also spends 30 to 35 minutes every day reading the Michigan playbook he received earlier this month from position coach Jeff Hecklinski. It's broken into 20 sections, and Chesson is expected to have four or five down by the time he arrives on campus.

"There are some things I haven’t seen before, but it's not anything I can’t learn if I really put my mind to it," Chesson said. "It's kind of like calculus, in that way. You just got to work at it. Just have to get used to the language."

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Thu, May 31, 2012 : 6:51 a.m.

Even if this guy is better than the 3 star he is listed at. What is a man like Borges going to do for him ? He doesn't make players better like Mattison does for the defense. What we have is a scheme guy. He resembles Charlie Wiess in more ways than 1 .


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

where's ted?? we don't recruit speed?? see this guy can fly!

Scott Laux

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

It is great to hear Chesson is fast but even more so to here him referring to calculus, the placebo effect, etc. lad he's rooming with Darboh. They keep each other from being immersed in the worst of American values. Just listen to the music in the vulgar video attache to his highlights. video. Hey b _ _ ch. Got money and my mind- can never get enough. My hands go up and down like strippers b- - - -bies do. Do I spend my foolish blow. And that's all in the first minute. Kyle, if you are going to delete this, then you should delete the anti-social, misogynistic, self destructive, narcissistic music in the video.

Scott Laux

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

You're right Nic. I need to loosen up. I was going to go out hiking after work. Instead I think I'll go find a club, do some blow and hang out wit da b_ _ _ _ es. I'm feeling better already.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Heard of freedom of speech? Who cares what music is playing on his highlight video. You hate it so much don't watch it. Simple as that. People are so sensitive on here it's ridiculous. Also crying about Logan's letter burning. Time to grow up. Does crying about that really make your life any better


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

Looks like a good athlete, maybe could play CB or FS if need be. What's up with Dileo, he's not mention as a projected starter or back-up?

Kyle Meinke

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

Tally, Dileo is expected to be a primary backup. He was reliable last year, and coaches love him, but he's also a similar WR to Gallon -- and Gallon is just a lot better. So, Gallon will start, but look for Dileo to get a steady diet of reps in a reserve role.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

Was that a quote from a football player about calculus? That must be a first!! Go blue and welcome, Mr. Chesson. Can't wait to his "slowness" on the field!!


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

You bet it track, you use your legs. Sprinters have well developed calves, thighs and hips Hurdlers, even better hip and core strength. The end result will be more speed and agility. Drake Johnson is running track at AA Pioneer and will be back at the State Champsionship Meet in the hurdles. I wonder how their 110M High Hurdle compare. Good luck to both upon their arrival to the Michigan Campus.