BY HANNAH GENIG, Staff Writer
One of the most stable positions the University of Michigan football team has is the tight end position. And that brings a warm feeling to head coach Jim Harbaugh because he loves to use the tight ends in his offense. There is plenty of skill and potential to go along with the All-American candidate Jake Butt. Here are the names you will see lining up at the tight end position in the maize and blue in 2016.
#88 Jake Butt- Senior
Jake Butt has proven to be an absolute juggernaut not only on Michigan’s offense, but the entire Big Ten Conference altogether. Finishing the 2015 season with 654 yards, three touchdowns and 51 receptions, there is no debate that Butt will be leading the depth chart this season. With a potential NFL draft in the near future, as well as a John Mackey award up for grabs, it seems as if Butt has his work cut out for him, not to mention his newly acquired leadership role as this year’s captain.
#89 Ian Bunting- Junior
Despite a relatively weak finish to last year’s season, with only 72 yards and five receptions, everyone seems optimistic of Bunting’s performance this fall. At 6 foot 7 inches and 252 pounds, Bunting is the biggest of the group and has since demonstrated that his athletic build and quick feet make for a lethal combination. With Jake Butt in his final season, will Bunting be able to acclimate himself into the number one tight end position?
#8 Tyrone Wheatley Jr.- Redshirt Freshman
This particular tight end may offer some good surprises this season. After suffering from an injury last year, it seems as if Wheatley is back on the radar as far as the number two spot goes. Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno has mentioned the speed and agility of this athlete, despite his size and strength. After his impressive performance in the Ford Field practice game, it is apparent that his improvement will persist throughout the season and make a noticeable impact on the offensive game.
Zach Gentry, the four-star quarterback recruit who has transitioned into the tight end position may offer a unique advantage in the passing and receiving relationship. Freshman Sean McKeon was ranked No. 32 for tight ends nationally and has the potential to grow into a strong offensive asset.