CHICAGO -- Though small in stature former Michigan wide receiver now New England Patriot pass catcher Jeremy Gallon put up big time numbers as a Wolverine in 2013.
89 grabs for 1,373 yards to go with nine touchdowns, Gallon even set a Big Ten single game record with 369 receiving yards on 14 catches in a 63-47 win over Indiana.
Looking to 2014, senior quarterback Devin Gardner didn’t appear too worried when asked at Big Ten media day in Chicago how he and Michigan will replace Gallon this fall, noting several options will be available.
“We’ve got a lot of yards to replace in Jeremy Gallon, but I feel like we’re a lot deeper this year,” Gardner said. “A lot of guys got a chance to play, got their feet wet and got a chance to catch some balls in games.
“I said before, you can’t replace game experience. I feel like we’ve got a lot of game experience now and guys are going to get a lot of quick game experience and touch the ball a lot. It is going to be exciting.”
The obvious choice to capture the bulk of opportunity in Gallon’s stead is junior wide out Devin Funchess.
Beginning 2013 as a tight end, Funchess is out wide for good catching 49 passes for 748-yards and six touchdowns a year ago.
But who else?
Redshirt sophomore Jehu Chesson had his moments last season and according to Gardner the off-season has been very good to him.
“I’m so proud of Jehu in the way he’s worked and the way he has responded to people saying that he was just a guy out there and not be very productive,” Gardner said. “He’s come on this summer and has been great in seven on sevens and great in workouts.
“I’m really excited for Jehu. Jehu is a good guy. He’s a great guy off the field and I feel like it is all coming together for him.
“It is great to see things like that, when it is such a great guy off the field and he’s worked so hard. He comes into this own. I’m excited to see when he gets a chance to do it this year.”
Asked several times about now redshirt sophomore Amara Darboh, coming off a season ending foot injury, Gardner played it coy, only stating Darboh, “is back,” and to just wait and see.
True freshman and early-enrolled freshman Freddy Canteen made a splash this spring with consistent play throughout the 15 practices as well as an eye-popping performance in the actual spring game held at Michigan Stadium.
Though prudent to ever count too much on a freshman, Gardner is eager to work with a trio of freshman in Canteen, Drake Harris and Maurice Ways.
“They’ve done well,” Gardner said. “Drake (Harris) hasn’t been able to participate as much as Freddy (Canteen). He just started getting it going with his injury and all that.
“Freddy has been full go. He has been going really hard and I’m really excited about him. Drake has made a lot of big deal plays too. I’m really excited about him too.”
Michigan also returns sophomores Csont’e York and Da’Mario Jones who saw limited action mostly on special teams last season, as well as redshirt freshman Jaron Dukes, not to mention wild card junior Dennis Norfleet.