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Posted on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 9 a.m.

Michigan's Devin Gardner, Jerald Robinson taking Roy Roundtree's snaps at receiver

By Kyle Meinke

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Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner has teamed up with Jerald Robinson to take the bulk of the practice reps that normally go to Roy Roundtree.

Devin Gardner

Roy Roundtree hasn't practiced in more than two weeks, which has given the Michigan football team an opportunity to take a long look at other receiver candidates.

Who has absorbed his reps at flanker?

“Obviously I think Devin falls into that a little bit," coach Brady Hoke said, referring to quarterback/receiver Devin Gardner. "I think we’re liking when he goes out there and liking when he’s taking snaps under center. Devin’s an athlete."

Gardner is a junior quarterback who began splitting his snaps at receiver in the spring. He stands an athletic 6-foot-4, which could make him a weapon for a team lacking size at receiver.

Lacking bodies, too.

Michigan has lost last year's top receiver, Junior Hemingway (graduation), as well as a projected starter for this year, Darryl Stonum (dismissal). Role players Martavious Odoms and Kelvin Grady also are gone.

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Michigan receiver Jerald Robinson doesn't have a catch in his career, but that is expected to changed this year.

Then midway through the first week of practice, Roundtree -- Michigan's active leader in career receptions -- hurt his knee and had to have arthroscopic surgery to clean up loose cartilage. He has missed the bulk of camp, and isn't expected to return until next week.

Michigan opens the season Sept. 1 against Alabama. Roundtree is expected to play in the game, although it's unclear if he will be 100 percent.

Hoke said he hasn't yet determined how much Gardner will play at receiver, although it is expected to be a function of several factors. Among them will be receiver depth, Gardner's comfort in his dual role and Russell Bellomy's development as the No. 3 quarterback.

“I think with him, you don’t overload him at the receiver standpoint," Hoke said. "Devin’s a very intelligent young man. He’s smart and picks up -- knows football pretty well. I think he’s done a nice job. We’re real comfortable where we’re at with it right now."

Another player who has taken significant snaps at flanker has been sophomore Jerald Robinson. Safety Thomas Gordon said the sophomore, who has yet to record a catch, has played frequently at flanker with Roundtree out.

Robinson could start at split-end, or take Roundtree's place at flanker if the senior misses time.

"I think we’ve become a little more multiple with Jerald and Jeremy Jackson, being able to play the slot and the X," Hoke said. "I think we’ve become a little bit more multiple, I guess, with those guys."

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

Comments

Tesla

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

How old is that dude. He looks fifty. Geesh.

garrisondyer

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

Haha... Gramps Gardner. I love it. Looks like some serious sun glare he's squinting into.

ROCKY COLAVITO

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

We need all the help we can get... its allmost time to buckle up the face masks and take it to Bama!!! Lets go Blue!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wes

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Devin may be a wrinkle. I could see Borges using him in some trick plays and putting him out wide some. He is a big target that could come in handy. I would think that So. Jerald Robinson would start and play most of the game in Roundtree's absence. UM might try Roundtree out there some, but the risk of injury when you are not 100% goes way up and the risk of getting beat when you're not 100% is on the moon. Especially when a team like Alabama is aware of the injury. Roll Tide guys and good luck!