As expected, Michigan receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones emerging as a star
There is always that added pressure on a five-star recruit, and it comes with the territory, of course. They are expected to be program saviors and, for many of them, they are expected to save immediately.
It doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes it takes a while to adjust to the college game, no matter how talented you are or how great your high school career was. So you wait, and you wait for the moment of emergence.
For Michigan wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, that moment came on Saturday. We had to wait a while for it, but the moment has finally arrived.
The sophomore had three touchdown receptions against SMU, adding to his collection after scoring his first touchdown a week earlier against Western Michigan. It was a long wait, because he went his entire freshman year without scoring a touchdown. He played in all 13 games and had 22 catches as a freshman, but much more was expected of him.
Now, it appears that the Detroit native is finally ready to be a star.
“He’s improved a lot,” Michigan junior safety Josh Metellus said. “He was a great wide receiver coming in as a freshman. You could tell he worked hard. But you could tell this offseason he had a little chip on his shoulder, he wanted to do more for the team.
“He was just putting in a lot of work, and throughout these three games you can tell it’s paid off. I just really like the way he’s progressing.”
The humble Peoples-Jones gives all the credit to his teammates, especially new quarterback Shea Patterson. They’ve grown quickly as a dangerous duo.
“I got a lot of teammates that make my job easy,” Peoples-Jones said after Saturday’s game. “The line did a great job. Shea’s out here delivering beautiful balls that make it very catchable, very easy to catch the ball on the run.”
The feeling is mutual. Patterson thinks the world of Peoples-Jones.
“He’s a freak athlete. I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do,” Patterson said. “Very smart, very fast and very football savvy as well. I know if I throw it up, I just gotta put it in his vicinity. There’s a lot of trust in him.”