Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #25 Amara Darboh

Amara Darboh and Jeremy Gallon (image via MGoBlog.com)
Name: Amara Darboh
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 213 lbs.
High school: Des Moines (IA) Dowling Catholic
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #82
Last year: I ranked Darboh #55 and said he would be a backup wide receiver. He was a backup wide receiver and special teamer who made 5 tackles.

Darboh entered last season as the more likely freshman receiver to play, due to his superior size over Jehu Chesson. He hit the field but never touched the ball. Michigan used him as a gunner on punt coverage, where he was probably a little bit bigger than most punt team gunners and made 5 tackles throughout the season. This spring a couple videos popped up on social media of Darboh making leaping catches, one-handed catches, etc. during workouts. The spring game wasn't the showcase for him that some expected, but it was somewhat limited in its passing due to a shortage of quarterbacks.

Someone is going to need to take Roy Roundtree's spot at flanker, and I expect that to be Jeremy Gallon moving over from split end. That means someone is going to need to take Gallon's spot at split end, and I expect that to be Darboh. He has the size to be a good blocker, and the athleticism is obviously there to make some acrobatic catches. I don't think Darboh will put up huge numbers because there are other receiving options (Devin Funchess, Jehu Chesson, Drew Dileo, etc.), but I think he will be the nominal starter at split end and attempt to make his case for the top wideout going into 2014.

Prediction: Starting split end; 20 receptions, 300 yards, 3 touchdowns


  1. Hey Magnus, would it be possible to create a quick link at the top (similar to the 20XX Offer Board links) that has the list of the countdown thus far? I know you can click the 2013 season countdown label, but there's still a lot of scrolling and hitting next to go through the list, would be awesome to just have a quick list.

    1. That would be nice.

    2. Or even a sidebar like the interviews.

  2. Darboh could have/better have 3 touchdowns in the first two games...

  3. Nice post and reasonable prediction. While I want to be more optimistic and think Darboh can be the big target this staff (and fans) clearly want, I'm still dubious about him because of playing behind Reynolds and Jackson last year. Or maybe it's our recent history of disappointing WRs making me skeptical. Hype is a good indicator sometimes, but I've heard it for Jerald Robinson and others lately and rarely has it translated. Let's hope Darboh or Chesson breakout and change that.

    1. I've said this before, but Jackson's playing time has little to do with his abilities. Reynolds is an upperclassman with some skill. I'm not dubious whatsoever about Darboh playing behind those two.

    2. Don't know how you can make that argument about Jackson. He's played ahead of others since his freshman year. Must be a reason for that even if it's "knows the playbook" or "runs the called route" - there's obviously SOME ability he has that gets him on the field.

      As for Reynolds - I haven't seen much skill other than blocking. Seems like he has played mostly by default to me.

      I hope Darboh passes these guys. Since he's younger he presumably has more room for improvement, but they have an experience edge so he has to play catch-up.

    3. Lank, do you know who Jeremy Jackson is? Do you know about his bloodline?

      Reynolds actually runs pretty nice routes and has a bit of quickness. As noted in the recent article put up on MGoBlog about Hecklinski, receiver blocking is an utmost priority of his.

    4. There are couple of a nice non pay walled articles floating around at ESPN today, one is linked over at MGoBlog and the other at ESPN on a non pay walled page, both having to do with Michigan wide receiver blocking, both by that scum sucker Rothstein. i broke my rule on account of it being on one of my favorite subjects, receivers blocking.


      We all know that wide receiver is a position where incoming Freshmen can often make a splash. Especially when the team wants to throw the football around and the criteria for playing time is get open and catch the football. When the criteria becomes blocking first, and then getting open and catching the football, things get a lot tougher for young players.

      I wouldn't be discouraged on account of Freshman minutes for anybody coming in if whats Heclinski says is indeed the case, "blocking is the quickest route onto the field". Downfield blocking is a lot tougher than catching the football.

    5. @BB

      The nepotism argument crossed my mind but I didn't think it was worthy of being mentioned. C'mon man - this is Michigan football.

      Regarding blocking - it was the same thing with Soup Campbell and even Rich Rodriguez, so nothing new there. I think that's part of why Jackson has played.

    6. Jackson isn't even a good blocker. I don't care if it's Michigan football; coach's sons are coach's sons.

    7. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Michigan RBs place even more importance on blocking than WRs - if anyone is going to get quickly how important blocking is, it's going to be the son of the RB coach.

    8. If you think Jackson's a good blocker, you need to watch the past several years of his career. He had one decent block on a Hopkins TD where he also got his hand caught the defender's facemask, but just watch the guy or read the UFR where he's called out for missing super-easy crackbacks or just failing to even disturb the defender.

    9. So let me get this straight. You believe that that Jackson does literally nothing well and plays only because of who his Dad is? So Michigan coaches are willing to sacrifice the team's chances for victory by playing an inferior player. That would mean undermining the program's integrity, marginalizing everyones hard work, and compromising personal goals and individual careers of the coaching staff. This all for the sake of Fred Jackson's pride?

      That sounds ridiculously implausible to me.

      I know Jackson's a whipping boy for some segments of the fanbase but...man.

    10. Maybe Jackson has the best work ethic ever (hard to make this argument given Jeremy Gallon's reputation) and that's enough to play him...but because he's a coach's son.

      I can't think of a single situation where any of what you listed ever happened to a coach due to nepotism. This is because football coaches tend to run a tight ship and the only people who can conclusively prove this are on the inside. But I'm running out of ways to justify putting an unproductive guy in a Hail Mary package so far from the goal line that there's no chance he'll even sniff the end zone with his speed. Yes, this actually happened. Jackson plays a LOT for having few targets and even fewer catches.

    11. Since this isn't a court of law, no one needs to "conclusively prove" anything. The coaches work hard - the players work hard - all busting their butts to get every little edge they can to win. Not saying every player gives 110% or whatever, but certainly the coaches are not sitting on their butts. No way they undermine everything they say and do to play an inferior player. The players would know it, the other coaches would know it, and it would be bad for the program.

      I wondered the same thing when Jackson was out there at times, but "he's the best option we have" seems a lot more plausible rationale to me than the coaches tossing aside everything they talk about and push for just to play favorites. In that specific instance, maybe he was just one of the top 4 guys on the depth chart ("next man in") and they didn't have time to think through all the optimal personnel for that play. It's a fast paced game. O

      r maybe he's just better at football than Jerald Robinson, Amarah Darboh, Reynolds, Ricard Miller, and the other receivers he's played ahead of for the last 3 years.