Michigan Football Predictions: Why Devin Funchess Will Be a Great Tight End

Paul GrossingerAnalyst IIMarch 22, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 03:  Head coach Brady Hoke of the Michigan Wolverines talks with his players against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 3, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Michigan football has spent years without a great tight end, so it's exciting to see Devin Funchess with his potential to become a great Wolverine.

Funchess, a highly-touted tight end recruit from Michigan's 2012 recruiting class, is the Wolverines' best hope for a future stud at the position. He was recruited by several top national programs, including Michigan State, Missouri and Nebraska, but signed with the Wolverines.

ESPN gave him a 4-star 80 grade on the scouting scale and ranked him the fifth best tight end prospect in the nation.

Funchess brings height, athleticism and skill to the tight end position. He is 6' 4" and 215 pounds, which is very tall and lean for the position. Funchess' calling card is his pass-catching ability. He has the speed, route running ability and long arms to catch balls like a wide receiver.

In fact, he could fill that role for the Wolverines, but will likely be used as a spread tight end in Michigan's offense. That will be particularly useful. When paired with deep threat Jerald Robinson and consistent wideout Roy Roundtree, the Wolverines will have a very balanced core of receiving weapons for Denard Robinson to work with this season.  

Funchess already has the skill to contribute to Michigan's offense. He has big hands, very good body control, concentration and route running ability. In that way, he combines good raw athleticism with the advanced skill level that coach Brady Hoke needs at the position.

Nonetheless, he has several important things to work on in order to reach his potential. In particular, Funchess must add strength. He is too lean to take repeated punishment at the Big Ten level. He will also need to add bulk in order to occasionally fulfill the blocking duties of a tight end.

While Funchess' path to stardom lies as a pass-catcher, gaining size and blocking ability will only help his development.  

Funchess still has a ways to go to fulfill his promise. However, if he matures and develops, he can be the Wolverines' much-needed star at tight end.