February 8, 2008

Receivers add much-needed speed to U-M roster

Michigan receiver signees Darryl Stonum, Michael Shaw and Terrence Robinson don't share much physically. Stonum is 6-3, Shaw is 6-0 and Robinson 5-9. However, they do have something in common - speed. Each runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, and that speed has first-year receivers coach Tony Dews smiling …

Stonum, a four-star recruit from Stafford, Texas, has been enrolled at Michigan since January and is working to add muscle to his 185-pound frame. Dews has spent some time talking to Stonum already and believes the freshman could play quickly for U-M next fall.

"He's here working out now so he's certainly going to have an advantage when it comes to being ready to play a little earlier," Dews said. "At least we'll get a chance in spring ball to see what kind of chance he has. I'm really excited about him because he can certainly go -- he can fly."

While Stonum has the size to perhaps play on the outside, running sideline patterns and going deep, Robinson is a natural fit inside. He has the ability, though, to play a few places.

"Terrence is another very athletic guy that can run," Dews said. "He's a very fast athlete and has played multiple positions including quarterback in the spread … he's played receiver and he's played running back."

Shaw was an unexpected get for the Maize and Blue. He announced for Michigan at an afternoon press conference on National Signing Day, stunning Nittany Lions' fans that had cheered for him for months after Shaw committed to go to Penn State. Dews said a number of U-M coaches deserve credit for convincing Shaw to become a Wolverine.

"When we were at West Virginia, I was recruiting Mike a little bit," Dews said. "Our staff really had a chance to get to know him, our coordinator [Calvin Magee] and Rich [Rodriguez] had seen him on tape and we certainly were going to recruit him and take him at West Virginia if we could get him. With the transition, we hit him now with coach [Bruce] Tall because it was his area and coach Tall took over the recruitment of him. Coach Magee, coach [Fred] Jackson, everybody kind of had their hand in it.

"Certainly we're getting a pretty good football player that committed to Penn State. As far as his abilities, he's able to play running back and slot receiver for what we do with our slots. He's a great candidate and he'll do really well, he'll excel at that spot. We'll get him the ball in space and let him play. I think that's one of his best assets is his ability to run and make people miss in space."

While Dews had a hand in securing commitments from Shaw and Robinson, he spent most of his time in Detroit, trying to land four-star defensive end Nick Perry. Dews wouldn't comment about Perry, but clearly hopes to have better success in Michigan's biggest city in future years. Dews will also recruit Virginia and California.

"We were at a really good place in my opinion, but it's just like a fast car -- you find that there's an extra gear and now being here on campus and in Ann Arbor, this place has an extra gear," he said. "There's a lot that goes into recruiting and actually coming here and seeing how the whole thing works at Michigan is pretty neat. I feel very fortunate and very lucky that I get to recruit kids and coach at such a historic university."

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