Michigan tight ends prospering under Moore


When tight ends coach Sherrone Moore arrived in Ann Arbor from Central Michigan, he knew he landed in a pretty good spot.

Despite a woeful passing attack, tight ends Zach Gentry and Sean McKeon both topped 300 yards last season to finish second and third on the Wolverines in receiving yardage.

To top it off, just months after Moore was brought in, quarterback Shea Patterson was granted immediate eligibility, instantly elevating Michigan?s entire passing attack.

?The crazy thing about Shea when he came in here, you would think he?s been here for years,? Moore said. ?Not only with Zach (Gentry) but with the whole team. ? He?s just got a natural chemistry just cause of the kind of kid he is.?

For the tight ends, that?s paying off through four weeks, as they have combined for 26 receptions and over 200 yards.

?(Gentry and McKeon) have done an outstanding job of being leaders within the room,? Moore said. ?? It?s just been phenomenal to have those guys around and watch them grow from last year to this year.?

Gentry has taken on the brunt of the workload, catching 10 balls for 148 yards, including seven for 127 over the past two weeks. Even before the stats caught up, he was clearly among Shea Patterson?s favorite targets, often acting as his safety valve while wide receivers Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones stretch the field deep.

It culminated in his first touchdown of the year last week, when Gentry muscled a defender to the floor to get free in the end zone.

?The guy was trying to tackle him and he just threw him on the ground,? Moore said. ?Just being able to be physical with his hands so those things are really where he?s starting to excel.

?Being able to get to spots quicker, getting in and out of his breaks quicker, knowing exactly where the quarterback?s gonna be with his thought process. With his background playing quarterback, he kind of knows systems, knows concepts and where guys are supposed to be.?

Moore?s influence on this offense, though, extends beyond just Gentry and McKeon.

The Wolverines? pro-style offense necessitates a number of three tight end sets, which typically include junior Nick Eubanks as a blocking-focused option.

?His physicality, especially in the run game, has really excelled,? Moore said of Eubanks. ?And he?s taken a lot of ownership in that.?

The result is a happy, energized bunch that is providing a major offensive boost.

?We?re in three tight end sets early in the game,? Moore said. ?And I had all three of them yelling at us ?don?t take us off the field cause you saw we scored.? I?m like ?guys, chill out.? ?

On the field, though, he wants them to continue full steam ahead.

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