Michigan held the first of three scheduled practices in Rome on Thursday, but freshman wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones was held out of the workout, according to Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press.
— Jeff Seidel (@seideljeff) April 27, 2017
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Peoples-Jones was the top-rated player in a 2017 Michigan recruiting class that was ranked No. 5 nationally by the 247Sports composite ranking system. The Detroit Cass Tech graduate was rated as the No. 1 wide receiver in the nation, and the No. 12 player overall. Peoples-Jones was one of 11 members of this recruiting class who were early enrollees.
He told Seidel that he isn’t injured.
“No, I’m good. They just held me out,” Peoples-Jones said.
Peoples-Jones played in Michigan’s spring game, catching 2 passes for 7 yards. He and fellow freshman Tarik Black are expected to compete for starting jobs after Michigan lost its top two wide receivers from last season, Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson, as well as tight end Jake Butt. All three players are hopeful of being selected in this weekend’s NFL draft, which begins Thursday night with the first round.
New passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton said he has been impressed with Peoples-Jones, although he did tell Seidel that the freshman has missed a few practices this spring for undisclosed reasons.
“You see flashes of potential,” Hamilton told Seidel. “We know he has potential. You see flashes of extreme talent. An unusual combination of size, strength, speed and explosion. All the things you look for in guys who can score the ball. It’s just a matter of him getting back on the practice field and getting the reps, that will help him improve.”