Video interview by Sam Webb
In a sense, it was kind of a win-win situation for Devin Funchess last season.
Leaving the program early after his junior season amidst the peak of the program's underperformance, to be drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Of course, the Wolverines went on to hire Jim Harbaugh and the Panthers had an incredibly successful season and eventually lost in the Super Bowl.
Even with his busy NFL schedule, he was still able to catch up with his alma mater and see what they were able to do year one under Harbaugh.
"I got up there a couple of times," Funchess said. "They're putting us back on the map, Michigan is a (big name) in the Big Ten and that's what they need to do. I don't care about all the preseason ranking that they have out there but they just have to go in there and have the workmen mentality and go back and know they lost the key games they were supposed to lose and go from there."
Funchess also discussed his thoughts on the Wolverines' head man and believes Harbaugh is doing things the right way to get U-M back on the right track.
"I think he's doing it right," Funchess said. "He's setting the tone and going out there and getting the guys. He's getting out there and taking his time off to be away from his family to go out there and meet with the kids. It's not about going out there and showboating and doing all of that, he wants these kids and wants to teach them with the NFL staff that he has. I think he's doing it right."
Preparations are underway for Funchess' second season in the NFL, with talented receiver Kelvin Benjamin expected to return from an ACL injury that sidelined him an entire season, the wide receiver touches have become even more of a challenge.
With Panthers head coach praising Funchess recently, he says its not up for him to decide how he fits into the Panthers offense next season.
"I'm comfortable that's up for the coaches to decide," Funchess said. "Just at any level, you can't decide or dictate what you're going to do out there on the field. I'm more comfortable, I'm just trying to prove a point that I am what they went up to pick for three picks, that's what I'm trying to do out there."
It's never easy to get to back-to-back Super Bowls, but that is obviously the goal for the Panthers next season. The defense suffered a major blow when the Panthers lost Josh Norman to the Redskins during the offseason. Despite the loss, Funchess believes that the Panthers are ready to go.
"It's never about one person and there's no 'I' in team," Funchess said. "It's not one person, we've got phenomenal guys back there. We've got a plethora of guys in the defensive backfield so I'm not really worried about that. We're going to keep it moving and know what our goal is for the season."