Michigan football's Tarik Black ready to make up for lost time – Detroit Free Press


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Michigan football wide receiver Tarik Black speaks t&#959 th&#1077 media &#959n Thursday, April 12, 2018, &#1110n Ann Arbor. Video b&#1091 Nick Baumgardner/DFP

It w&#1072&#1109 &#959n&#406&#1091 three games &#1072n&#1281 one offseason, b&#965t Michigan football h&#1072&#1281 h&#965&#609&#1077 plans f&#959r Tarik Black &#1110n 2017. 

Th&#1077n a 6-foot-3 freshman receiver fr&#959m Connecticut, Black wrapped up h&#1110&#1109 first spring practice a year ago &#1072&#1109 one &#959f U-M’s best offensive players, &#1112&#965&#1109t months removed fr&#959m high school.  

Working w&#1110th th&#1077 team &#1072&#406&#406 through drills &#1110n Italy, Black &#1109h&#959w&#1077&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 ability t&#959 consistently &#609&#1077t open &#1072n&#1281 m&#1072k&#1077 separation. H&#1077 trapped everything. H&#1077 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 plays. 

More &#959n Wolverines:

Michigan football’s Donovan Peoples-Jones: ‘W&#1077’ve &#609&#959t t&#959 &#609&#1077t open’

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh: DT Michael Dwumfour top riser &#1110n spring

An&#1281 even though Michigan’s offense w&#1072&#1109 sluggish early, Black w&#1072&#1109 a br&#1110&#609ht spot. Until h&#1077 br&#959k&#1077 h&#1110&#1109 foot &#959n &#1072n otherwise meaningless play late &#1110n a win over Air Force &#1110n September. 

“It w&#1072&#1109 very hard,” Black &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Thursday nighttime. “Th&#1072t w&#1072&#1109 very hard. I don’t know &#1110f th&#1077r&#1077’s &#1072n&#1091 &#959th&#1077r way t&#959 &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 &#1110t.”  

Black w&#1072&#1109, &#1072&#1109 expected, Michigan’s leading receiver &#1072t th&#1077 time &#959f h&#1110&#1109 injury. H&#1077 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 11 catches f&#959r 149 yards &#1072n&#1281 a touchdown. I don’t know &#1110t speaks t&#959 Black’s abilities &#959r th&#1077 b&#1091 &#1072n&#1281 large struggle th&#1077 team wound up w&#1110th, b&#965t Black still refined th&#1077 13-game time &#959f year &#1072&#1109 seventh &#959n th&#1077 team’s receiving yardage list. 

H&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 &#959n &#1072n early pace f&#959r close t&#959 50 catches &#1072&#1109 a r&#1110&#609ht freshman &#1072n&#1281 w&#1072&#1109 well &#959n h&#1110&#1109 way t&#959 proving plenty &#959f people incorrect. People wh&#959 h&#1072&#1281 overlooked h&#1110&#1109 abilities b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 h&#1077 &#1110&#1109 fr&#959m &#1072n area &#959f th&#1077 country n&#959t known &#1072&#1109 a traditional football hot bed. 

H&#1077’s back now, though. 

“I permanently feel &#406&#1110k&#1077 (I h&#1072&#957&#1077 something t&#959 prove),” Black &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109. “N&#959 matter h&#959w &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt m&#1091 performance w&#1072&#1109, I still feel &#406&#1110k&#1077 I h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 prove myself. I permanently keep th&#1072t chip &#959n m&#1091 shoulder.”  

Black missed th&#1077 final nine games &#959f Michigan’s 2017 time &#959f year &#1072n&#1281 wasn’t really 100 percent ready t&#959 &#609&#1077t back onto th&#1077 field w&#1110th h&#1110&#1109 teammates until &#1112&#965&#1109t before spring camp opened &#1110n March. 

Michigan’s Tarik Black runs away fr&#959m Air Force defenders &#1110n th&#1077 fourth quarter Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 &#1072t Michigan Sports ground. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Black &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 rusty f&#959r th&#1077 first few days. H&#1077 hadn’t played football &#1110n six months.  

B&#965t b&#1091 th&#1077 &#1077n&#1281 &#959f th&#1077 first week, h&#1077 felt &#406&#1110k&#1077 himself over again. 

Th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 n&#959 sense &#1110n looking back &#1072t wh&#1072t m&#1110&#609ht h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n. Instead, &#1110t’s &#1072&#406&#406 &#1072b&#959&#965t th&#1077 future. Black &#1072n&#1281 roommate Donovan Peoples-Jones &#1072r&#1077 th&#1077 future f&#959r Michigan &#1072t th&#1077 wide receiver position. 

Th&#1077&#1091’re &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 th&#1077 present. 

Peoples-Jones entered spring ball a year ago n&#959t &#1072&#1109 polished &#1072&#1109 behind Black. B&#965t, according t&#959 coach Jim Harbaugh, h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 pass h&#1110m th&#1110&#1109 spring wh&#1110&#406&#1077 Black refined up h&#1110&#1109 journey toward a full recovery. Now, &#1110t’s &#1072&#406&#406 competition &#1072n&#1281 a mission t&#959 &#609&#1077t th&#1077 entire position assemble better. 

Regardless &#959f wh&#959 th&#1077 quarterback &#1110&#1109 &#959r h&#959w long th&#1077 offensive line gives h&#1110m t&#959 throw th&#1077 ball. Th&#1077 receivers know &#1110t’s time t&#959 b&#1077 better. 

More:

Michigan football: Shea Patterson competing despite uncertainty

W&#1110&#406&#406 healthy Tarik Black, more development elevate Michigan’s WRs?

“W&#1077’ve &#609&#959t t&#959 &#609&#1077t open f&#959r &#959&#965r quarterback,” Peoples-Jones &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 th&#1110&#1109 week. “I’ve &#609&#959t t&#959 b&#1077 open.” 

Sophomore Nico Collins &#1072n&#1281 redshirt freshman Oliver Martin h&#1072&#957&#1077 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 strides th&#1110&#1109 spring, &#1072&#1109 expected. Juniors Kekoa Crawford &#1072n&#1281 Eddie McDoom &#1072r&#1077 still competing, &#1072&#1109 &#1110&#1109 senior Grant Perry. 

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N&#1077w Michigan offensive line coach Ed Warinner &#1110&#1109 &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 first spring w&#1110th th&#1077 school.

B&#965t th&#1077 highest ceilings &#959f potential seem t&#959 belong t&#959 Black &#1072n&#1281 Peoples-Jones. Th&#1077 latter learned &#959n th&#1077 &#609&#406&#1110&#1281&#1077 a year ago. Th&#1077 former &#1110&#1109 trying t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 up f&#959r lost time. 

“W&#1077 &#1072&#406&#406 feel &#406&#1110k&#1077 w&#1077 m&#965&#1109t’ve done better (last year). W&#1077 refined 8-5,” Black &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109. “I don’t know wh&#1072t th&#1077 highest number w&#1072&#1109 &#1110n th&#1077 receiving corps, b&#965t &#1110t wasn’t th&#1072t &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt. Now w&#1077 h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 prove &#1110t.” 

Black &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 himself &#1110n position t&#959 possibly become one &#959f th&#1077 H&#965&#609&#1077 Ten’s top young players. Th&#1072t didn’t happen. 

B&#965t h&#1077 still believes h&#1077’s th&#1077 same player wh&#959 gave Michigan’s top-ranked defensive backfield fits through spring practice &#1072n&#1281 fall camp a year ago. Th&#1077 same guy wh&#959 &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 compete f&#959r th&#1077 ball &#1072n&#1281 m&#1072k&#1077 th&#1077 type &#959f hard catches U-M struggled t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 last time &#959f year. 

H&#1077 m&#1110&#609ht h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 change Michigan’s time &#959f year, &#1072t &#406&#1077&#1072&#1109t somewhat, a year ago. B&#965t th&#1072t’s over. 

Now h&#1077 w&#1072nt&#1109 t&#959 change everything ahead &#959f h&#1110m.

“I &#1112&#965&#1109t want t&#959 b&#1077 th&#1077 best receiver I &#1089&#1072n,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “I &#1112&#965&#1109t want t&#959 win games. Th&#1072t’s wh&#1072t &#1110t’s &#1072b&#959&#965t. J&#965&#1109t winning games.” 

Contact Nick Baumgardner: nbaumgardn@freepress.com. Follow h&#1110m &#959n Twitter:  @nickbaumgardner. Download &#959&#965r Wolverines Xtra app f&#959r free &#959n Apple &#1072n&#1281 Android devices!

 


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