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Posted on Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Michigan's Brandon Moore emerges as leader to fill void at tight end

By Kyle Meinke


Brandon Moore (88) is the leading candidate to replace departed senior Kevin Koger as Michigan's starting tight end.

Melanie Maxwell |

Brandon Moore is a quiet guy by nature. His play, though, has been loud this spring.

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke said Thursday the redshirt senior has become the leader to replace departed starting tight end Kevin Koger.

"I think Brandon Moore, these couple of days, has grown up a little bit," Hoke said after the team's fourth practice this spring. "I like what he’s doing.

“I don’t know if it’s far and away, but he’s the best one at it so far. Most experience, too.”

It says something about the Wolverines' depth when Moore -- who has two career catches -- is their most experienced player at the position. But losing Koger and second tight end Steve Watson to graduation has depleted their ranks.

They might not have much choice but to turn to Moore, who largely is an unknown commodity.

Here's what is known: Moore is a fifth-year senior from Trotwood, Ohio. He has appeared in 17 career games, including 12 last year, but mostly as a blocker.

And he likes dogs, according to former high school teammate, current roommate and good friend Roy Roundtree.

"Shy, calm, smart," Roundtree said, when asked what Moore is like off the field. "He don't really do nothing. Half the time, he's playing with his dog, doberman that he has."

Roundtree isn't much of a dog person, after being bit by one when he was young.

"I don't mess with dogs," he said, laughing. "It's a house dog, but my door is closed half the time."

Roundtree said despite Moore's quiet disposition, he is handling the added pressure well.

"Catching the ball good, running great routes and blocking," the receiver said. "This is his year. I feel like if he goes out there and practices, and shows the coaches he can be trusted out there, then he's really going to have an impact this season."

Other candidates for time at tight end include converted receiver Ricardo Miller and incoming freshmen Devin Funchess and A.J. Williams. The freshmen don't arrive on campus until the summer, but Miller has impressed so far this spring.

The junior played in two games last year at tight end, and eight on special teams.

"(He) is more of a move guy, but he’s played with his hand on the ground a little bit," offensive coordinator Al Borges said earlier this week. "He understands our offense. Very athletic -- athletic as any tight end we got.

"Used to be a wide receiver, so he has speed and he has receiving skills. He’s another one that’s going to get a great look."

Koger caught 23 passes last season for 244 yards and four touchdowns. Although it would be optimal for the Wolverines to replace that production in the passing game, Hoke said he's more focused on finding a reliable blocker.

“We have to have a guy who can move the line of scrimmage, first and foremost," he said. "Whether we run the power out of the one-back set, gun set, or if we’re running the power and the outside stretch play out of two-back, we’ve got to have a guy who can combination-block the defensive end with the tackle."

It seems that role is Moore's to lose at this point, although there's a lot of football to be played before Michigan rolls into Dallas this fall.

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



Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

It seems realistic that Michigan will be playing more freshmen than usual this year. It is a shame to think the Wolverines may not be able to red shirt Ondre Pipkins and a few others due to problems with depth. A few want Ricardo Miller in the line-up right now. Perhaps at long last Brandon Moore will emerge from the shadows. The coaches will have a difficult time sorting this mess out. That QB from Texas looks like a dandy - "It's no wonder they are considering moving the current Michigan back up QB to receiver".


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

I loved last season, but don't believe Michigan will do as well this year. The schedule is too tough, the opponents are much bigger and better. Look for a 7-6 record. Denard will be running for his life quite often (I feel bad for him since it's his senior season). I dare anyone to prove me wrong!


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Old Bitty: "This will be a miserable year unless Santa comes to save us"? OK


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

Until the games are played we can't be sure of anything. Dantonio has been a genius 4 yrs in a row. The Buckeyes under Urban Meyer will be dirty dogs. Nebraska has great pride - especially when playing at home. Alabama is the toughest game all year. Notre Dame is tired of getting beat by the Wolverines. Iowa loves to ruin our season. This will be a miserable year (unless Santa Claus comes to save us). My score should be +150 by now!


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

Oh and MSU also loses their all american junior DT Jerel Worthy. He is entering the draft early.


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

Old Bity: The three teams you mention have less talent and inferior coaching. We beat NW 42-24, Purdue 36-`4, and Illinois. 31-14. Why would we lose to them this year? The two teams that beat us (MSU and Iowa) won at home- this year they pay us at the big house. They both beat us before Borges opened up the offense and let Denard be Denard. MSU loses their starting B and top two starting WR's along with several others. Iowa also loses their starting QB, best WR, both CB's, a WR, center, guard, and DT. I say this with no desire to be cruel, but I think you need to learn more about the game of football, reading helps.


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 8:33 a.m.

Well, I guess that means Scott has no respect for Air Force, Northwestern. Illinois, and Purdue. The only seeming gimmes on that schedule are Massachusetts and Minnesota (who could potentially turn into Appalachian State all over again). Purdue is downright awesome. Northwestern has a clue. Illinois is powerful. Air Force is strong and mighty. Go Blue! And don't underestimate their Bowl game opponent (whoever that may be)!


Sun, Mar 25, 2012 : 5:18 a.m.

There are only 6 teams on their schedule even capable of beating Michigan. So you believe Michigan will lose to them all: Alabama, Notre Dame, MSU (with a rookie QB), Nebraska (who they beat 41-17), and Iowa (who they have at home this year), then OSU (who they beat least year). That would be some horrible coaching on the part of Hoke and Mattison and Borges.


Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

The chess Play at this time of year is such an interesting part of the whole process. can he, does he are interesting questions the coaches are asking about each and every player. For instance Denard, can he throw a more accurate ball to his playmakers? The jump balls he threw during last years Notra Dame game were fun to watch but probably not realistic in big games that are right down to the wire. Can Brady give us the fans another steller season? This fan thinks so.


Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

@DB: Despite DR's unpolished throwing technique, we at least won both of those games, and as the old saying goes--I'd rather win ugly than lose "pretty".


Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

Not to disagree, but did u watch the ENTIRE ND game? What about the VT game? But I do believe DRob will be more polished this year.GO BLUE!!!


Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

I wondered what happened to Ricardo Miller. He was that huge (6'4) WR they wanted. Should make a great receiving tight end. It's not very hard to replace the 250 receiving yards at tight end we got last year. For fans of the pro style offense-It's fascinating how Tom Brady threw for over 2200 yards to his two tight ends last year and made them his primary receivers. Groundbreaking innovation.


Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

In the second year, this coaching staff really knows each player on the roster. This coaching staff has a better sense on to utilize their skills. Some will switch positions, some may move up or down the depth chart at a given position. That is the gist of many of these articles. It is what there is in between the lines that grabs my attention and it is all good. Brady Hoke and his coaching staff will make each of these fine young men better football players. In the process, some will thrive, some will leave but Team 133 will be solid. The 2012 football schedule is "a Gauntlet, if you will" (taken from an old Clint Eastwood film), but Team 133 led by Brady Hoke will find a way to reach success and surprise many of us, once again.


Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 10:13 a.m.

I'm really counting on Rico (Ricardo Miller) to emerge this spring, summer and fall. Talk about a mismatch problem. But I am confident that Brandon will be an impact player this season. Team 133... GO BLUE!!!