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April 24, 2013

By The Numbers: Tight-end production has fallen off

Talking about tight ends has become all the rage in the past 24 hours with the commitment of Ian Bunting and the collection of talent the Wolverines will soon boast. It's been a long time coming for a position that has largely become dormant.

  • Michigan tight ends have not accounted for 20.0 percent or more of the team's receptions since the 2002 season (22.0), reaching a high of 18.9 percent during the past 10 years.

    During the Rich Rodriguez era from 2008-10, the use of tight ends was especially meager, with the unit producing only 48 receptions in three seasons, though tight ends did score seven TDs during that span.

  • U-M enjoyed a golden age in the mid- to late-1990s. With the presence of Jerame Tuman, Mark Campbell, Aaron Shea (who eventually moved to fullback) and others, Michigan tight ends totaled at least 21.1 percent of the team's receptions from 1995-1998, including a 25-year high of 28.4 percent in 1995.

    Those tight ends also factored into the red zone significantly, catching 17 touchdowns during the four campaigns.

  • Though the Rodriguez years were poor, they do not stand alone; Michigan tight ends caught fewer than 10 percent of the overall team receptions in 2010, 2008, 1999, 1991, 1990 and 1989.

  • Michigan tight ends were responsible for five TDs in 2012 (all by Devin Funchess), representing the fourth-best haul by the position in the past 25 years.

    Here is a full look at tight end production by the Maize and Blue since 1988.

    Year
    Rec. (Pct. of Team)
    Yards (Pct.)
    TDs (Pct.)
    2012
    20 (11.8)
    278 (10.7)
    5 (25.0)
    2011
    25 (16.1)
    262 (11.0)
    5 (22.7)
    2010
    19 (7.8)
    266 (8.2)
    3 (13.0)
    2009
    21 (11.1)
    283 (11.9)
    3 (20.0)
    2008
    8 (4.8)
    110 (6.4)
    1 (9.1)
    2007
    27 (12.0)
    327 (11.4)
    2 (8.0)
    2006
    39 (18.9)
    393 (15.5)
    3 (13.6)
    2005
    40 (16.8)
    422 (15.8)
    4 (17.4)
    2004
    35 (14.1)
    341 (12.2)
    2 (8.0)
    2003
    27 (9.5)
    354 (10.1)
    4 (15.4)
    2002
    57 (22.0)
    633 (20.9)
    5 (23.8)
    2001
    52 (24.1)
    471 (18.2)
    3 (15.0)
    2000
    21 (11.1)
    167 (6.0)
    2 (7.7)
    1999
    20 (7.8)
    249 (7.8)
    4 (17.4)
    1998
    53 (22.3)
    490 (16.7)
    3 (16.7)
    1997
    44 (21.1)
    583 (23.7)
    6 (35.3)
    1996
    51 (27.1)
    739 (28.8)
    6 (40.0)
    1995
    54 (28.4)
    479 (19.0)
    2 (12.5)
    1994
    37 (19.7)
    357 (14.1)
    3 (23.1)
    1993
    25 (12.8)
    234 (9.0)
    0 (0.0)
    1992
    40 (20.0)
    473 (19.8)
    6 (24.0)
    1991
    11 (5.9)
    99 (4.4)
    1 (4.0)
    1990
    15 (9.2)
    112 (5.6)
    1 (4.5)
    1989
    12 (8.1)
    110 (5.7)
    3 (15.8)
    1988
    26 (20.0)
    406 (22.2)
    2 (16.7)
    25-year highs are in bold



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