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Michigan wide receiver Tarik Black is eager to return to the lineup after missing all but three games because of a broken left foot.

Healthy Tarik Black ready to make an impact for Michigan WRs

Rachel Lenzi

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Tarik Black seems like such a difference maker, is he at full strength? — @M25thHour, via Twitter

Tarik Black is healthy, he is at full strength in spring practices and he can be a difference maker for Michigan at wide receiver this fall.

Black returns to the lineup this fall with plenty of promise. His freshman season at Michigan ended prematurely, when he sustained a broken foot three games into the 2017 season. But by that point, Black had made an impact on Michigan’s wide receivers. Black caught 11 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown, including 2 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown in his college debut Sept. 1 against Florida, in Michigan’s 2017 season opener in Arlington, Texas.

He was on pace for nearly 650 yards receiving as a freshman, which would have been more than double the production of Grant Perry, who led Michigan with 303 receiving yards in 2017.

Black will return to Michigan’s lineup refreshed.

“I’m going to come back this year and do everything I can,” Black said. “I just want to be the best receiver for our team, and help us win games.”

He brings some qualities that Michigan’s wide receivers lacked last season.

The 6-foot-3 wide receiver from Connecticut is fast, rangy, instinctive and aggressive. Black exhibited poise and productivity for a freshman as he went against older, more experienced defenders from Florida, Cincinnati and Air Force. Black also has a knack for being where the football is and is sure-handed. This will only boost Michigan’s wide receivers, who caught only 2 touchdowns in 2017 without Black. (Tight ends Zach Gentry and Sean McKeon combined for 5 touchdowns.)

Black is healthy for the first time since before he broke his left foot seven months ago against Air Force. He is fully involved in spring practices.  He’s making a point to study opposing defenses and to hone skills such as creating more separation, working on his hand releases and further adjusting to the speed of the game.

Black is motivated to make up for what he missed last season. Cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich said Black hasn’t missed a beat in spring practices. When Black returns to the field in September, Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh expects him to take a more significant role in the offense, and believes he will benefit from what Harbaugh said is improved pass protection. That should put Black in a position to flourish.

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