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Posted on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:04 p.m.

Michigan's Roy Roundtree shows that receivers can lead in Rich Rodriguez's offense

By Michael Rothstein


Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree attempts to power through the Ohio State defense on Saturday. Roundtree, a redshirt freshman, finished the season as Michigan's leading receiver. (Photo: Melanie Maxwell |

He started the season as a cameo player, showing up on special teams and rarely, if ever, in the wide receiver rotation.

Yet as the season wore on, redshirt freshman Roy Roundtree went from an afterthought in the Michigan offense to its most reliable option.

Roundtree played in all but one of Michigan’s games, started the last four and finished as Michigan’s leading receiver with 32 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns.

On Saturday against Ohio State, he led Michigan in receiving with nine catches for 116 yards, yet another step in his emergence.

“I just got in a rhythm,” Roundtree said. “I got used to playing out there. I wasn’t really nervous. So I was out there playing my game and working on what I had been working on all summer and winter from last year and redshirting.

“So I just put it out there and learned all the techniques that coach (Calvin) Magee taught us. I was just putting it out on the field.”

He’s also proving wrong a myth that a wide receiver cannot be successful in Rich Rodriguez’s run-based spread option offense.

Michigan finished the 2009 season with more passing yards (2,380) than rushing yards (2,234).

It’s a description that has followed Rodriguez from West Virginia to Michigan, but when he has a talented receiver, the second-year Michigan coach is showing he can use him.

“That’s what they all say, that RichRod is this option and this and that but, you know, we can pass the ball also,” Roundtree said. “We’ll get all the wide receivers we can get because, you know, further down the road it’s going to be passing game and run game.”

Roundtree also expressed support for Rodriguez and his coaching staff after the game, saying he has confidence in his coaches and what they are trying to do.

“Everybody else talk about coaches,” Roundtree said. “They ain’t this, they ain’t that, but you know, they are really going to turn this program around and everyone in this locker room feels that.”

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan sports for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.


T Moore

Wed, Nov 25, 2009 : 3:34 a.m.

A previous poster wrote that we should take a look at the recruiting class because all of the recruits are "5'9 170 pounders;" and then used that to back up a Fire RichRod now! statement. Following are the WR recruits that have verbally committed to the UM for next year: DJ Williamson - 6'2, 175 J. Robinson - 6'0, 175 J. Jackson - 6'3, 190 D. Dileo - 5'10, 175 R. Miller - 6'2, 205 It appears that they are all over 5'9 and 170 lbs. Of the three running backs committed, only one is listed as shorter than 6'0. A. Arrington was 180 lbs when he committed to UM, S. Breaston was 170 lbs, and M. Manningham was 180 lbs. But hey, why let facts get in the way of a comment?


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 8:13 a.m.

I was happy that Roundtree improved over the year. He was the one, remember, who Tiller attacked RR over--the 'snake oil' comment. Last minute recruitment, etc. Anyway, I think Roy Roundtree must like RR because of the initials. He was the only one who appeared to improve over the year on offense--so that is hopeful. But the thing that concerns me is that Roundtree has bought into the notion that Michigan's program needed to be turned around. Michigan had outstanding receivers and receivers' coach before he came--for more than 3 decades at least dating back to AC. Most recently, Braylon, Avant, Manningham, Arrington. MFL rosters are dotted with former Wolverines. So why is he thinking that we needed turning around? His stats this year, by the way, are OK, but certainly nowhere near as good as prior receivers. Glad that he supports the coaches, but he needs a bit of a history lesson to see the broader picture of Michigan football. Too bad Erik Campbell was let go because he really did a great job here, would have been a great bridge to the past, and he is sure doing a great job at Iowa.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 12:16 p.m.

Roundtree was very impressive! How ever on his big catch I seen him break into the open field and get caught from behind by a defender 35lbs bigger and just as fast if not faster. I don't understand how richrod is going to win in the big ten bringing in guys that should be playing D-3 football? Many teams that have went to the spread have done so because they coundn't compete with the Michigan's and Ohio St's in recruiting. Take a look at his next recruiting class it's all 5'9 170 pounders? Fire RichRod now!


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:23 p.m.

Roundtree is something special...his production in his short amount of playing time is crazy. Explosive. Should put up some big numbers next year...I am so tired of saying that..."Next Year"


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:08 p.m.

The future is bright for this kid and for most of the freshmen on this team. Limiting turnovers is the key. I would hate to see the stat on the number of turnovers U-M has had the past two years. It would sicken any Wolverine fan's stomach.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:47 p.m.

Good job Roy. You played well today