Michigan's Jeremy Gallon having a memorable season


Michigan's offense isn't good this season. The Wolverines have averaged just 336.3 yards per game in Big Ten play -- and that's with a 751-yard outing against Indiana figured in.

Take out that game against one of the worst defenses in the nation, and Michigan is averaging just 267.2 yards per game in league action. No wonder offensive coordinator Al Borges is taking heat, which he says doesn't bother him.

"I've done this a long time," he said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. "I promise you, other places I've been, my first name's been a cuss word. This isn't the first place where it's been like that."

Perhaps the lone bright spot among Michigan's skill-position players has been senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, who went into the season as a question mark but leaves it as a resounding exclamation point.

Gallon was considered an iffy pro prospect before the season. He lacks size (he's listed at 5-foot-8, 184 pounds) and hadn't been all that productive (84 receptions and eight TDs in his first three seasons). But he has 71 receptions for 1,109 yards and eight TDs. He is second in the league in receptions and receiving yards and tied for third in TD catches. Gallon is the only Michigan wide receiver with more than 12 receptions, meaning he is the focal point of every opponents' secondary.

All that production has resulted in an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game, which is televised by NFL Network.

He is most comfortable in the slot -- not surprising when you consider he was recruited to Michigan by spread-offense proponent Rich Rodriguez and played in a single wing offense at powerhouse Apopka (Fla.) High. But he has showed this season that he can be effective as an outside receiver, too.

Gallon is Michigan's first 1,000-yard receiver since Mario Manningham in 2007 (1,174 yards) and just the 13th in school history. He also has caught a pass in 37 consecutive games, one shy of the school record owned by Braylon Edwards.

His 71 receptions are tied for eighth-most in a season in school history, and he has a chance Saturday against archrival Ohio State to pass Anthony Carter and move into fourth place on the school's career receptions list. Carter had 161 catches; Gallon is six behind.

Gallon likely will spend much of the day Saturday going up against Ohio State junior cornerback Bradley Roby, who already has announced he is going pro. Roby has struggled in coverage this season, and assuming Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner gets time to throw -- never a safe assumption because of the mess that is Michigan's offensive line -- Gallon could do some damage.

While he is not in NFL Media senior draft analyst Gil Brandt's list of the nation's top 100 seniors, Brandt nevertheless likes Gallon. "He's a matchup nightmare for bigger, slower defensive backs," Brandt said. "I see him as a third-day draft pick in May, but he has a chance to play better than his draft position in the NFL."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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