Freshmen Receivers Ready to Contribute

The University of Michigan have had quite the tradition at wide receiver. From names like Anthony Carter to Braylon Edwards, the Wolverines have always had a talented group of pass catchers. This year though, the maize and blue brought in possibly their best trio in recent memory, each ready to contribute something special to the offense.

There's one thing Toney Clemons, Junior Hemingway and Zion Babb won't talk about: redshirting. All three true freshman receivers have been on the Michigan campus for over a month, preparing to see the field this fall.

"It's a lot different than high school already," said Hemingway, a Conway, SC native, "I've been working out, doing 7-7s and it's a lot more hard work than high school."

While the depth chart at receiver is set at the top, there are opportunities for the freshmen to play. Having the chance to have the ball in his hands was enough to sway Babb onto the offensive side of the ball, even though he had also been recruited as a defensive back.

"Coach English gave me a choice if I wanted to play defensive back or receiver, I chose receiver but I still might try some defensive back too," he said, adding, "I might give returning kicks a shot too, I want to do whatever it takes to get on the field and contribute.

Babb is a long way from sunny Alhambra, CA where he prepped, but he knew Michigan was the right place for him and has at least planned ahead some for the inevitable change in weather come late fall.

"I couldn't wait to get back to Michigan!" he said excitedly, "ever since my visit, I just wanted to be back here. As for the weather, it's no big deal, I'll get some stuff when the time comes. What I won't wear is sleeves because they make you more fumble prone."

Even though the trio is competing for playing time, there is a definite comradery and chemistry to the group, one that Clemons is fully enjoying.

"Oh, we're tight," he said, "it's great to come in with a group of talented guys like them."

Clemons has also gotten himself acclimated to life in college and in Big Ten football quicker thanks to a little help from cousin and former Michigan receiver Steve Breaston.

"I talk to Steve every day," Clemons reported, "he's doing real well, he loves Arizona, he says it's too hot but he likes it. He was just telling me to work hard and stay focused."

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