Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mike Kwiatkowski, #81

Mike Kwiatkowski
Listed as a 6'5", 235-pounder, Kwiatkowski attended Macomb (MI) Dakota but graduated in 2008 without any scholarship offers, despite some fairly solid production with 26 receptions, 351 yards, and 7 touchdowns as a senior.

He enrolled at Michigan and spent a couple years as a student before making the team prior to the 2010 season.  Rich Rodriguez used him as a scout team offensive guard, but with Brady Hoke's arrival in 2011, Kwiatkowski moved to his more natural position of tight end.  He played as a backup in two games in 2011.  Penciled in as a backup again in 2012, Kwiatkowski stepped in when fellow fifth year senior Brandon Moore injured his knee.  The walk-on would go on to start six games as a senior, making 4 receptions for 37 yards throughout the season.

6 starts; 4 receptions, 37 yards

Academic All-Big Ten in 2012

As you can tell by my season countdown preview for Kwiatkowski from last season, he didn't completely come out of the blue.  In the few clips that I had seen of him from spring practices and such, I thought he had the right size and athleticism to be a contributor.  I didn't expect him to be a starter because Moore seemed to have that job wrapped up, but the injury helped pave the way.  Kwiatkowski turned out to be a solid blocker (perhaps helped by that one season as a scout team offensive lineman) and a capable receiver (I don't remember a single drop), although he wasn't outstanding in any particular phase.  To start six games and catch a few passes is a pretty good deal for someone who only joined the team during what amounted to his redshirt sophomore year.

. . . being a walk-on who turned into a solid player.  I wish he had a couple more years left, because I think Michigan could really use him over the next couple seasons.

I think Kwiatkowski's football playing days are over.  He does not have the speed and athleticism to be a receiving tight end, and he doesn't have the mass or power to be a blocking tight end at the next level.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, it says he's Academic All-Big Ten with a degree in brain, behavior and cognitive science and plans to be a pharmacist. There's an excellent chance he'll spend decades joining us at the Big House with a very successful career and some pretty sweet stories. Nice college experience, right?