Name: Jehu Chesson
Weight: 203 lbs.
High school: St. Louis (MO) Ladue Horton Watkins
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #86
Last year: I ranked Chesson #18 and said he would be a starting wide receiver with 25 catches for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns (LINK). He started twelve games, making 50 catches for 764 yards and 9 touchdowns; he ran 8 times for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns; and he returns 4 kickoffs for 166 yards and 1 touchdown.
Chesson was the offensive breakout star of the Michigan Wolverines in 2015. Earlier in his career, I had lamented his ball skills, and that even reared its ugly head early in the year when Jake Rudock tried to connect with Chesson on deep balls numerous times. The ball was either overthrown or Chesson wouldn’t adjust properly to it. Then about halfway through the year, the light came on for Chesson and he turned into one of the most dynamic receiving threats in the country. He had 33 catches for 632 yards and 7 touchdowns over the final six games, including a 207-yard effort against Indiana. One of the most exciting moments of the year was his kickoff return against Northwestern, which he took 96 yards for a touchdown and was completely untouched.
I have high expectations for Chesson in 2016. I think his game meshes well with Wilton Speight, who has a stronger arm than Rudock. Again, I’m putting my faith in Jim Harbaugh to pick the right quarterback, so hopefully Speight will push the ball down the field at times so he can connect with guys like Chesson. I’ve had questions about Speight’s accuracy on the deep ball, but Chesson can leave corners in the dust and out-leverage safeties. He may not be needed so much in the running game if the Wolverines can run the ball more effectively, but based on what teams saw him do last season, he can be a threat to make defenses pause on end around and jet sweep fakes.
Prediction: Starting wide receiver; 60 catches for 900 yards and 9 touchdowns
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