Michigan football lost a pair of talented receivers in Donovan Peoples-Jones Andrew Tarik Black, but Cornelius Johnson might be able to fill their shoes just fine.
It’s still very early when it comes to evaluating the 2019 recruiting class and its ultimate impact on the Michigan football program.
But so far, the results have been pretty good. A number of guys from 2019 contributed right away last season. Daxton Hill eventually worked his way into a key role on defense, while Zach Charbonnet was in a back-by-committee from role the opening game.
Other freshmen such as Giles Jackson, Mike Sainristil, Chris Hinton and Anthony Solomon also made their presence felt either on offense, defense or special teams. Another guy that made a positive impression in limited action was wideout Cornelius Johnson.
And he’s a guy that Michigan football fans can’t sleep on heading into the 2020 season.
Certainly, there are lots of reasons to feel good about the Wolverines wide receivers, even after the departures of Tarik Black and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Peoples-Jones, of course, declared for the NFL draft, while Black decided to transfer. Obviously, many Michigan fans were the 6-foot-3 Black, who showed so much promise early in his career, would stick around, but he wants a fresh start and that’s led to a golden opportunity for Johnson.
Michigan returns Nico Collins, who is one of the better receivers in the Big Ten. But outside of him, the rest of the receivers are shifty, slot types like Ronnie Bell, Jackson and Sainristil. Even incoming freshman A.J. Henning, who is 5-foot-10 fits that mold more of the speed-in-space receiver.
But in terms of having a bigger-bodied guy opposite Collins, someone who can stretch the field, well, Johnson is the ideal candidate, especially after he flashed during the 2019 season.
Johnson finished the season with four receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. He caught two passes for 19 yards against Middle Tennessee State, then later in the year, he found the end zone on a 39-yard touchdown reception against Michigan State.
That play showed what Johnson is capable of and looking back at his high school film, he has all the skills to be a really good deep threat.
So even though Peoples-Jones and Black will be missed, Johnson is more than capable of breaking out next season and that’s why if you are talking about sleepers, he has to be at the top of the list.