There’s a lot to like about our newest breakdown focus, Jaron Dukes, but the biggest is his athleticism. Dukes is a 6 foot 5, 197 pound wide receiver who is playing great football at the high school level, without really even knowing what is right and wrong on the field. And that’s not saying he’s a bad kid, it means that he is playing on pure athleticism and instincts. If that’s a bad thing, I don’t want to know what he’s capable of doing when he’s doing the right thing.
Dukes is a big target that is sure to see some playing time early in his tenure at Michigan, but not before he puts in his share and pays his dues. Once Dukes begins working out and training like a college football player, I don’t think it would be a stretch to see him gain 10-15 pounds, and really add some strength to his game as well. He’s lightning fast, and if he could add some muscle to his physique, he’ll be able to be a complete wide receiver. By that I mean that he’ll be able to hold his own against defenders while run blocking, and shedding would-be tacklers.
The player that most people seem to compare Dukes to is Oregon’s wideout, Dwayne Stanford. I really feel like Dukes and fellow 2013 signee Da’Mario Jones could bring that Braylon Edwards or Mario Manningham connection back to Michigan. Certainly adding Drake Harris will make both players better, especially Dukes. If Dukes could learn from a pure wideout, his ceiling is almost unapproachable.
Before I get lost in his potential, he still needs to work to get there. If players preformed purely on athleticism, I may not have a position on this staff, and Sam McGuffie would be Michigan’s all time leading rusher. I digress, but Dukes needs to learn from the wideouts at Michigan, mainly Jeremy Gallon because of his relationship with Devin Gardner, and his ability to play the wide receiver position. Just needs to work out the kinks a little bit more, and we may see Jaron hoisting a big ten title over his head before it’s all said and done.
As always, Go Blue!