Michigan Mailbag Question: Our Two-Bits on Toney Clemons Leaving
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Question: What do you think of the receiving corps now that Clemons is gone? What do you think of Clemons leaving? Was it a big loss, or not so much? How are the slot receivers shaking out? You have not commented yet on Clemons.
Anonymous (left message on one of the articles written)
Thanks for the question and comments.
From a talent and playing time situation, he is not much of a loss. He was probably no better than the fourth split end on the team at this time. As for slots, this is a position where the players need to elevate their level of play if Michigan's offense is to improve.
We would not be surprised if freshmen play a major role this season. Remember that T-Rob is healthy and will be a factor, not only at slot receiver, but also as a punt and kick returner.
Let's hope that all the other 2009 commits make it in this year to help round out the slot position. From a team stand point, Clemons leaving was much more of a loss.
From all indications, Clemons was a great team player, the type of player every program needs. He took one for the team last spring when he played slot receiver. Michigan had exactly zero players with the skill set to succeed in the slot receiver position.
Even though it was a terrible fit for him, Clemons gladly played the position to help the team. He put the team in front of his own best interests. Any time you lose this type of player, it hurts the team.
Some have said that he is a player without a position. This is simply not true. Clemons loves Michigan for all that the University offers outside of the football program. It's part of the reason he stayed around, despite knowing he was not going to play much.
It did not help that Clemons and some family members had a rift with Coach Rod and crew, dating back to his junior year in high school when he was being recruited by West Virginia.
In doing so, he hurt his chances at playing split end in Michigan's offense. He lost time in spring, and then lost more time due to injury in summer and fall practices that put Clemons so far behind he had no chance to catch up.
People have brought up his dropped balls in games and say he's too slow.
We disagree. He is every bit as fast, probably faster, than Mathews. Koger played tight end, slot receiver, and split end positions last year in different formations, so I do not see how Clemons is too big or slow for those positions.
As for dropped passes, sure, he dropped some, so did other Michigan split ends, and with Clemons playing so much in slot, this hurt. Split ends face a number of different factors than slots, for instance, the ball arrives at a different angle and is in the air longer.
A number of wide receiver coaches have told us that this is the reason they do not like to move split ends into the slot.
They are two completely different positions. Remember Breaston having problems catching the DAMN ball as a split end, but doing much better catching the ball as a slot receiver
At the end of the day, Clemons will always love Michigan, and consider himself a Michigan man. I just hope everyone will still consider him one of the Michigan family. The kid gave his all while here. He deserves it.
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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine
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