Devin Gardner and the Michigan Wolverines have a chance to do something special on offense in 2013, but he'll need Jeremy Gallon to step up and play up to his potential to make it happen.
Gallon isn't the only weapon in Garner's arsenal who must play a big role for Michigan's offense to thrive this upcoming season, either.
Gardner stepped in for an injured Denard Robinson with five games remaining last season. The young man showed real promise in those contests, throwing for 1,219 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions against some stiff competition.
He's ready to take the next step as the undisputed leader of the Wolverines in 2013, but he can't do it alone. Here are the young men who must step up and play to their potential this upcoming season for Michigan's offense to thrive.
Jeremy Gallon, Wide Receiver
Last year's leading receiver will be the go-to guy for Gardner in 2013, and Gallon must continue playing bigger than his size.
Last year, Gallon caught 49 passes for 829 yards and four touchdowns.
At 5'8" and just 187 pounds, Gallon has always made his mark by being quicker and smarter than his opponents. He's improved every single year since joining the Wolverines back in 2010, and he'll need to continue his upward trajectory for Michigan's offense to take off this year.
It's clear from the way Gallon and Gardner came together in the Outback Bowl this past January that the two of them started developing some terrific chemistry. Gallon ended the contest with nine receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns, and if not for some inaccurate passes early by Gardner, his total would have been even more impressive.
Look for these two players to continue building off of last year's finale toward an awesome 2013 season.
Devin Funchess, Tight End
If Funchess' freshman season was any indication, he's going to be a dynamo in the red zone and an explosive player between the 20s. In a limited role, Funchess caught 15 passes for 234 yards and five touchdowns, which led the entire team.
This young man is only going to get better, too.
At 6'5" and 230 pounds, Funchess possesses prototypical size to not only excel in college but in the NFL as well. He brings excellent speed and athleticism to complete the package, and he'll surely become one of Gardner's top targets as the 2013 season progresses.
After the 2012 season, Funchess was recognized as the only tight end to be included in the Football Writers Association of America's all-freshman team (h/t MLive.com's Kyle Meinke). That won't likely be the last time he receives national recognition, either.
Fitz Toussaint, Running Back
A quarterback's best friend is a consistent running game.
With Taylor Lewan returning for his senior season, Toussaint will have plenty of holes opening up on the left side, and he needs to make the most of his opportunities.
Last year, Toussaint was the team's second-leading rusher behind Robinson after an excellent 2011 season that saw him run for over 1,000 yards with nine touchdowns.
The running back totaled 514 yards and five rushing touchdowns while playing second fiddle to the run-first quarterback in 2012, though his season was cut short by the broken leg that caused him to miss the team's final three games.
Now that Gardner is the man behind center, the offense will become more dependent upon a traditional approach, meaning Toussaint will have more opportunities to run the ball.
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