Michigan Football: Roy Roundtree's Health a Crucial Concern for Wolverines

Josh Berenter@JBerenterCorrespondent IAugust 28, 2012

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26:  Roy Roundtree #12 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after a first quarter first down catch while playing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Sixteen days after going under the knife, Roy Roundtree returned to full-contact practice.

According to MLive.com's Nick Baumgardner, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said the Michigan senior receiver needed to have some cartilage cleaned up, so he underwent arthroscopic surgery on Aug. 10.

Just over two weeks later, Roundtree returned to full-contact practice on Sunday, and after meeting with the media on Monday, the 6', 180 pound redshirt senior said he's 100 percent healthy and ready for Michigan's monumental season opener against Alabama at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex.

Roundtree, who originally injured his knee walking back to the huddle in practice, will be the No. 1 option for quarterback Denard Robinson against the Crimson Tide, and will have to carry most of the receiving load this season for the Wolverines.

He is starting as the Z receiver for the first time, coming off his worst season in Ann Arbor, with a career-low 19 catches and two touchdowns last year. But the third-year starter has 123 career catches for 1,724 yards and 12 touchdowns, and has by far the most experience of anyone on the Wolverine receiving corps.

Starting opposite of Roundtree, as the X receiver, is junior Jeremy Gallon, who has just 35 career receptions, for 502 yards and four touchdowns.

Gallon, who has primarily returned punts and kickoffs during his first two seasons in Ann Arbor, assumes the starting role for the first time in his career, and below him, the receiving cupboard is fairly bare for the Wolverines.

The other five receivers on Michigan's depth chart boast a combined 17 career catches.

In short, Roundtree's presence and production will be paramount.

"I'm 100 percent guys. I'll be back," he said to MLive.com's Kyle Meinke. "Yesterday (Sunday), I felt good, just being back in the huddle with Denard and them guys."

This offseason, Roundtree switched his number from 12—which he's donned his whole career—to 21. He takes over No. 21 from graduated receiver Junior Hemingway, and will be the second player to wear the "Michigan Legend" patch on his jersey, in honor of Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard's career as a Wolverine.

No. 21 will have big shoes to fill stepping into the feature receiver role, taking over for Hemingway. And based on the other receivers on Michigan's roster, in order for the Wolverines to make a return trip to a BCS bowl, Roundtree might need to play more like the original No. 21.