Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 21 of 267

M Leadership Hailed Beyond Just The Raw Numbers Wide receiver Roy Roundtree led Michigan's receiving corps in 2010, making 72 catches for 935 yards and seven touchdowns. He appeared primed for a 1,000-yard season the following year. That's not exactly the way it played out. Brady Hoke's coaching staff came in with a different approach and priorities, and Roundtree's numbers plummeted. He secured 19 catches for 355 yards and two touchdowns. The media asked question after question regarding the big dropoff during and after the 2011 season, but Roundtree in no way moaned about his statistical decline. At the same time, Michigan went from 7-6 to 11-2 and Sugar Bowl champions over the course of the same two years. And Roundtree soared in the estimation of his coaches. "Roy never once said, 'Why aren't I getting he ball?'" U-M wideouts coach Jeff Hecklinski said. "Never once did he say that. He went from having almost 1,000 yards to having 300 yards. Never once did he complain. "Because Roy knew Michigan was bigger than just one person. He knew winning at Michigan would provide more than just me getting 1,000 yards and going 5-6. That mentality is passed down from Coach Hoke, but also from guys like Roy." Now, Hecklinski said, that sort of attitude permeates the room of wide receivers with which he meets daily during the football season. Seniors Jeremy Gallon, Drew Dileo, Jeremy Jackson and Joe Reynolds have adopted the same approach, one that works perfectly in what U-M is trying to accomplish on offense. Drew Dileo (above) and fellow senior wideouts Jeremy Jackson and Joe Reynolds contribute to U-M apart from their receiving numbers by setting an example with their work ethic. photo by lon horwedel "The four seniors all have that same mentality," Hecklinski said. "When Coach got here, those kids were coming in to be sophomores. Now, you're seeing the kids who were developed under the team mentality. 'It doesn't matter what my numbers are.'" If the coaching staff can get all of its players thinking along those lines, it will be way ahead of the game, Hecklinski said. Roundtree provides the perfect example when coaches point toward the sort of unselfishness they desire to develop in players, and they're hoping it grows from there. "When we talk about seniors leaving a legacy, you talk about the Michigan history and what each senior passes on, that's what Future Schedules 2014 DateOpponent Aug. 30 Appalachian State at Notre Dame Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Miami (Ohio) Sept. 20 Utah Sept. 27 Minnesota at Rutgers Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Penn State Oct. 18 Bye Oct. 25 at Michigan State Nov. 1 Indiana Nov. 8 at Northwestern Nov. 15 Bye Nov. 22 Maryland Nov. 29 at Ohio State Dec. 6 Big Ten Championship Game 2015 DateOpponent at Utah Sept. 3 Sept. 12 Oregon State Sept. 19 UNLV Sept. 26 Brigham Young Oct. 3 at Maryland Northwestern Oct. 10 Oct. 17 Michigan State Oct. 24 Bye Oct. 31 at Minnesota Nov. 7 Rutgers Nov. 14 at Indiana Nov. 21 at Penn State Nov. 28 Ohio State Dec. 5 Big Ten Championship Game 20  ■  The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview they pass on — that this is bigger than you," he said. "Accept your role, do what the team needs you to do to win. At the end of the day, Michigan will repay you for that." Another aspect of leadership, the wideouts coach noted, involves the simple day-to-day going about of one's business. That's why someone like Reynolds, a fifth-year senior walk-on, has made such an impact. Reynolds saw the field a year ago, and he will again, because he combines some skills with a gritty work ethic. He'll also influence Michigan games this year beyond just what he does on the field, Hecklinski noted. His fingerprints will also appear on the preparedness of other Michigan wideouts. "He's become more of a leader because guys like Jeremy Gallon, guys like Drew [Dileo], look at him and say, 'Okay, I'm going to work like him,'" Hecklinski noted. "Now, you have a leader from an unexpected source. You have a leader from somebody who other guys look to and say, 'Wow, if he can do it, I can do it.' "Joe is a very strong voice on this team and in this program. When you have guys that work like that, when you have guys who are dependable like him, they live here. It starts with one, and you get a second, then you get a third, then a fourth … "Now, all of a sudden, you have things just grow. That's what Joe has helped do. Joe is the one guy that, when he leaves here, should be most proud. He's had a strong hand in helping put this together."

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