Thursday, July 2, 2015

2015 Season Countdown: #59 Da'Mario Jones

Da'Mario Jones
Name: Da'Mario Jones
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 199 lbs.
High school: Westland (MI) John Glenn
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #10
Last year: I ranked Jones #61 and said he would be a backup wide receiver with 2 catches for 29 yards. He caught 1 pass for 11 yards.

The deployment of Jones was a little confusing last year, to be honest. He was the type of player who Brady Hoke liked to use in the slot, but when few receivers were effective, Jones never seemed to get much of a shot to play. The coaching staff stuck with the same guys over and over, guys who couldn't get the job done. He made his 1 catch for 11 yards in the Miami-OH game early in the season, and that was it.

Jones looks like a slot guy and maybe a player who could help with returns, but there have been questions about his hands. He did not create any buzz during the spring, and that does not bode well for his future. Still, I have hopes for him as an athlete and I think he can help the team in a few ways. I have heard rumors about him as a transfer candidate, and Michigan gave incoming freshman quarterback Zach Gentry the #10 jersey also. Since two players can't be on the field with the same number - and I've heard that the coaches do plan to use Gentry this year - then something might have to give. Regardless, I'm putting Jones here at #59 because I think he has the talent to be a contributor in multiple phases of the game.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver, special teamer


  1. "He was the type of player who Brady Hoke liked to use in the slot, but when few receivers were effective, Jones never seemed to get much of a shot to play."

    I think I see the problem. He weighs only 199 pounds. TOO SMALL for Hoke! Kidding ..... partly.

  2. The simplest explanation for Jones not playing is that he is not very good. Maybe Dever, for example, is just a better football player.

    It seems like every year our fanbase has inexplicably high expectations for WRs (beyond the normal hype that comes with freshman recruit), especially taller ones who they can envision catching fade passes in the corner of the end zone. (This is a much more popular fantasy than the more common 3 yard slants for a TD it seems.)

    This year the lead overhyped guys seem to be Ways, last year it was the whole WR corps pretty much but Funchess, Darboh, and Jones all got talked up a lot. That's not even touching Harris and Canteen (but they're true freshman so you can excuse that to a degree.) A few years earlier it was Jerald Robinson. The next Jason Avant is the new The next Mike Hart.

    The interesting thing is that the one guy who actually WAS an elite WR wasn't really appreciated until his senior year and was considered a 'slot' specialist. I'm of course referring to Gallon.

    In conclusion -- we as a fanbase are not very rational about WR expectations. There's a strong relationship between height and hype for WRs, but it rarely correlates to on-field production.

    Back to Jones -- he's got 2 years and he seems destined to be locked in as a 4th or 5th guy at best. Hopefully he helps on special teams. Maybe he gets some snaps in 4-wide sets. Good spot for him in the rankings since, unlike Dukes, he seems to have earned some game opportunities and may have a shot for a promotion under the new staff.

  3. Q: What makes Jones look like a slot guy more than an outside guys? If hands are the issue, I would think you'd rather but a guy with shaky hands on the outside for low probability boom/bust type plays than slots who are typically better possession "move the sticks" types.

    1. I'm talking about his body, the way he moves, etc. I agree with you that slot guys should be sure-handed. Of course, if he's a slot guy and he has trouble catching, that is probably a good explanation for why he isn't seeing the field more.

  4. " ... and I've heard that the coaches do plan to use Gentry this year ..."

    Wait ... What?????

    That's a real pregnant comment you left us with there Thunder.

  5. Thunder, you've heard coaches plan to use Gentry this year? That's news to me . please elaborate.

    1. Well, I haven't ranked him yet...and we're past the point of redshirt predictions since we're already at #59. I'll profile Gentry soon enough, young grasshopper.

    2. Agree 100% that Gentry plays. He is Harbaugh's first QB recruit to arrive on campus and even if Rudock comes in and plays well, JH needs to develop competent depth in a hurry. It was obvious (and unsurprising) JH was not enamored with what he saw this spring.

  6. Can't remember when we've had such poor talent at WR for such a long stretch. We don't have a single Big Ten caliber starter on the roster, and it's not like we don't have plenty of bodies. But not one of them has been worth a darn so far...

    1. thats what happens when upon taking over hoke signs 2 average, low ceiling types from the midwest to add to rich rods marginal WR holdovers (other than gallon) and then follows it up with one of the worst WR classes in recent memory. that 2013 class alone of dukes, jones and york, all MAC level players, is a killer but its even worse when combined with 2012 class.

      some of 2014 and 2015 guys appear to have potential but theyre not immediate game breakers (other than maybe cole) - so when adding it all up, its makes for pretty unimpressive WR roster. big time programs must stack talent in consecutive classes to compete with the big boys - and if by chance 1 class misses on certain position, its even more imperative to hit on stars in next class.

      WR can be added to QB, RB, edge players, etc in terms of hokes miserable personnel failures and inability to manage a roster. so refreshing to see harbaugh not only attacking prospects with legit speed at vital spots but also versatile athletes, not just positions stacked with carbon copies of similar marginal athletes

    2. That's a bit overstated. Most teams would be very happy to have Darboh as their #2 WR, and Chesson could be a fine #3. We are just missing a speedy, Manningham-like #1. Maybe Cole or Harris will be that.

    3. Or Canteen!

      Look at the offer lists of the top 5 talents (Darboh, Chesson, Canteen, Cole, Harris) and tell me a few of these kids aren't starters at Northwestern or Purdue. The problem is that Hoke took a bunch of under-the-radar recruits like York, Dukes, Jones, Ways because they were big. Combine that with the top 5-6 guys not exactly breaking out (yet), and you have a very underwhelming group. There's talent there though - I don't think it's nearly as dire as people are making it out to be.

    4. Ways is a legit prospect. Agree that some of the others were stretches. Hoke completely overreacted to the size issues inherited from RR by chasing questionable tall recruits.

      We will definitely get a fresh look at the WR's with Rudock running JH's offense. The passing game was such an all around joke the last few years. Not sure any of these WR's dazzle us, but they will be better able to show what they can really do.

    5. Most teams would be very happy to have Darboh as a #2? What's he done to prove that?

      it's possible that our WRs will flourish in a more coherent offense, but we're just guessing with all of them.

    6. Well last year was his first year really playing, and he caught 36 passes for 473 yards in the train-wreck passing offense of last year (10 TDs, 18 interceptions, etc). He was the Lloyd Carr memorial blocking WR with few-or-no catches as a true frosh, and injured as a redshirt frosh.

    7. @ Painter Smurf 12:56 a.m.

      I agree that Ways is a legitimate prospect. I like him. And he was the #497 overall recruit, which isn't that big of a stretch. Harbaugh has taken several guys who are 1,000 or 1,500 spots lower than him in the 247 Composite.

      @ Anonymous 12:58 a.m.

      I don't know if "happy" is the right word, but almost every team has a possession guy who can be sure-handed, move the chains, etc. Darboh can be that guy. In some ways, he was Michigan's #1 receiver last year because Funchess was injured or in a funk almost the entire season. If somebody else can be a deep threat - particularly in the slot - then that opens things up for Darboh. But with Michigan's offense last year, teams could be very aggressive and didn't give Darboh much room. If you put Jeremy Gallon or Roy Roundtree in the slot, I think Darboh could have 600 or 700 yards as a complementary receiver.

  7. Thunder,

    Do you think Gentry could be used as a quarterback/Tight End/Athlete on offense this year?