Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Roy Roundtree, #21

Roy Roundtree
Roundtree attended Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison and graduated high school with running back Michael Shaw and tight end Brandon Moore, both of whom would also select Michigan.  As a junior in high school, he had 48 catches for 851 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Roundtree was a 4-star to Rivals, the #44 wide receiver, and the #17 player in the state of Ohio.  To Scout he was a 3-star and the #89 wide receiver.  He had been committed to Purdue, but flipped to Michigan on National Signing Day of 2008, angering then Purdue coach Joe Tiller.

Roundtree redshirted as a freshman in 2008.  He played sparingly in the first eight games of 2009, but he exploded onto the scene during the final four games, each of which he started.  He finished the season with 32 receptions for 434 yards and 3 touchdowns, of which 30 catches, 390 yards, and all 3 touchdowns came  during those four starts.  His biggest catch of the year was the game-tying touchdown reception from Tate Forcier against Michigan State (a game Michigan would eventually lose).  He also had a 76-yard catch-and-run against Illinois on which he was tackled at the 1-yard line (and Michigan failed to score), so he received some flak for getting chased down from behind.  He was named All-Big Ten Second Team in 2010 when he caught 72 passes for 935 yards and 7 touchdowns, including a Michigan record 246 yards against Illinois on 9 catches with 2 touchdowns.  However, he was about to suffer a serious drop-off in production with the arrival of Brady Hoke, who moved Roundtree from slot to outside receiver, which limited him to 19 catches for 355 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2011.  The highlight of his redshirt junior season was the game-winning touchdown catch against Notre Dame.  As a fifth year senior in 2012, Roundtree snagged 31 passes for 580 yards and 3 touchdowns, earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.

154 receptions, 2,304 yards, 15 touchdowns; 1 kickoff return for 19 yards; 2 tackles

Prior to the 2011 season, I was in support of giving Roundtree the #1 jersey, not just for his performance in 2010 but because of his leadership, his blocking, and his knack for big plays.  Despite being scrawny at 6'0" and under 180 lbs. for most of his career, Roundtree was willing to battle in the air for jump balls and throw his body around to set up running backs and his fellow receivers.  Even when his production dropped from 72 receptions to 19, he said all the right things.  He came up in big moments, with big catches against MSU in 2009, Notre Dame in 2011, Northwestern in 2012, and numerous others.  And this is a guy who had five  70+ yard receptions.  To give some perspective, Braylon Edwards never even had one.  And nobody else in Michigan history has had more than one.  That's not to say that Roundtree was better than Edwards, David Terrell, Mario Manningham, etc., but this guy was a legitimate big play wide receiver.

It's going to be tough for Roundtree to make an impact at the next level.  He was not invited to the NFL Combine, likely due to a lack of great production over the past couple seasons.  He has a very slight build, he has had problems with drops in the past, and he's not an absolute blazer.  Although I do not expect him to get drafted in April, I would expect him to be signed as a free agent, and I could see him latching onto a team as a practice squad player.  I could see him being one of those types of players who pops up late in the NFL seasons after one guy gets suspended for drinking and driving and another guy tears an ACL.


  1. I believe the "guy in a wizard hat selling snake oil" quote was from joe Tiller, not Danny Hope.

  2. Nice writeup. Fascinating point about the quantity of big plays. For me, he'll always be remembered fondly, for the Under-The-Lights/ND game more than anything. He seemed like a fun-loving guy, resilient, and hard-working. I had a few opportunities to be near the players before games and Roy seemed like the most excited and extroverted kid. LOL@ the last line of the projection.