ANN ARBOR -- Sophomore Devin Funchess plays tight end – but is pretty good at playing wide receiver , too.
On Saturday, Funchess caught a career-high seven catches for 151-yards and touchdown in Michigan’s 42-13 win over Minnesota.
And made most of his plays on the outside playing wide receiver for the Wolverines.
“He’s a bit of a mismatch problem,” said Michigan coach Brady Hoke. “He’s got a lot of length to him. He’s got good speed. I think he played out in space like that all throughout high school. He never really was an on the line tight end. I think he still has that ability.”
At 6-foot-5, 235-pounds, Funchess’ speed and size are unique for his skill set. And as he develops further, Hoke said he will continue to get more looks at both positions.
“Especially, when you look at his development from a physical standpoint over his career here. He’s going to be a little bigger. He’s going to be a little stronger. And that’s going to help him a little bit,” said Hoke.
The player that could benefit the most from Funchess’ emergence on the outside, could be Michigan fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, said Hoke.
“I think it is something that helps out Jeremy in the long run,” said Hoke.
Gardner Running Less?
Quarterback Devin Gardner had rushed for 301-yards in Michigan’s first four games this season.
Against Minnesota, he had only seven carries for 29-yards, and that was by design, said Hoke –citing the Wolverines want to feature the tailbacks more in the run game.
“By design? Totally,” Hoke said. “Cause we wanted run the ball with the tailback. That opened up all the big plays when they had nine guys in the box, cause of threat of run. …We want to run the football.”
Moving forward, Will Gardner continue to be featured less in the run game?
Hoke replied: “I think you’ll see us do what we need to win. But we want to get the tailbacks the carries to take pressure off the quarterback.”