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Posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree will be counted on to lead at position of uncertainty

By Kyle Meinke


Roy Roundtree's production nose-dived to 19 catches last year. Michigan will ask for more out of him this coming season.

Melanie Maxwell |

Roy Roundtree caught 72 pass two seasons ago, and was expected to be the Michigan football team's go-to threat in 2011.

Instead, he caught 19 passes, the worst single-season drop off in school history.

Just don't tell that to Brady Hoke.

The Wolverines' coach was asked last week about Roundtree's "rough" season, production-wise, and the coach fired back politely -- but firmly.

"How’d he have a rough season?" Hoke countered.

"Well, he caught only 19 passes," the reporter said.

"Yeah, but he won more games, so I wouldn’t call that a rough season," Hoke said. "Neither would Roy, and that's part of why you reward a guy who has that kind of commitment to his team, because this is a team game and he’s a tremendous leader."

Roundtree, now entering his senior season, will be counted upon to lead a receiving corps that is facing several concerns.


Join Michigan beat writers Kyle Meinke and Nick Baumgardner on Thursday for a pre-fall camp live chat. Come with questions about preseason camp, season expectations, and any other burning Michigan football topic. The chat will begin at noon.

Top receiver Junior Hemingway has graduated, and starter Darryl Stonum was kicked off the team for an offseason arrest. That leaves Roundtree and junior Jeremy Gallon as the only sure things.

The rest of the returners combine for 17 career catches.

The leading candidates for the third starting spot have zero.

Sophomore Jerald Robinson is considered the leader right now for that spot, but true freshmen Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson also are expected to receive shots at the job in fall camp.

Practices start Monday.

Quarterback Denard Robinson said the freshmen are skilled, but need polishing if they are to see the field in the opener Sept. 1 against Alabama.

"They (are) thinking too much," Robinson said. "When they get comfortable with running routes, they're going to be good. They're going to be really good. I like watching them go get balls.

"Once you see those guys out there on the field, you'll see they can move."

Heavy on talent, light on experience. That's why Roundtree is so important to igniting a passing game that was lackluster for much of last season.

The lack of production hasn't bothered Roundtree, Hoke said, because he was able to do other things to help the offense. He is one of the receiving corps' most capable blockers, for example.

It is that commitment to team that Hoke was rewarding when he bestowed upon Roundtree the No. 21 jersey, which has been designated a Michigan Football Legend in honor of former great Desmond Howard.

Roundtree previously wore No. 12.

"He's proven himself," Hoke said. "He epitomizes the work ethic and being coachable and a leader and all those things.

"When you got a guy who leads like that and is so accountable to his teammates, (it helps us), and I think that’s what Desmond does."

Roundtree's 72-catch season came in the slot, and his 19-catch drop off came at split end. Next year, he will play the flanker position in which Hemingway thrived.

Will that mark a boost in his production?

“Well, I think we will find out," Hoke said. "I know he is long. He has got length to him. He has made some big catches. I think he does a nice job getting down the field and running routes.

"I think that is one of the things (receivers coach) Jeff Hecklinski has done a tremendous job with our group, and those teaching concepts and recognizing coverages and all of that, and so I don’t know why he couldn’t.”

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



Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

" Roundtree's 72-catch season came in the SLOT, and his 19-catch drop off came at SPLIT END. Next year, he will play the FLANKER position in which Hemingway thrived. Will that mark a boost in his production? Of 19-catch...yes, of! Slot, split end and flanker... sounds like Roundtree's position is of uncertainty.


Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

Where is Devan Gardner going to line up? Hope he's on the field for every snap he's not at QB.


Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

Here's a high school camp video that shows Devin playing both WR and QB (not at the same time), and Devin making some impressive catches.

Kyle Meinke

Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

Scott, no one knows for sure, but my guess is we'll see lots of him at receiver. Not sure if he'll be a full-time guy or not, but he'll play some kind of role there I think.


Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

Given the series of articles done on the strengths and weaknesses of the 2012 Michigan Football team, the real perspective is that all of these unknowns will remain open not only through the preseason fall practices but well into the season. All I know is that Roy Roundtree can catch the ball. He has been working with Denard each of the two previous seasons. Braylon Edwards dropped a few passes in his time but will always be remembered for his catches at the Big House against State. The point is, Roy Roundtree should get his opportunities to catch passes and whether he steps up and steps in key situations like Braylon did, remains to be seen. This makes for more speculation and conversation which in itself is rather fun.

Wally the Wolverine

Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 10:53 a.m.

Dear Roy, Bone-up on some Hemmingway circus catch film from this past season. Your ability to mimic his production will be a major factor in helping us steal a game or two in 2012. Sincerely, Coach Hoke