2024 Spring Football Preview: Wide Receiver

Tag: Kendrick Bell

8Mar 2024
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2024 Spring Football Preview: Wide Receiver

Semaj Morgan (image via MGoBlue)

2023 Starters: Cornelius Johnson, Roman Wilson
Losses: Darrius Clemons (Oregon State), Johnson (NFL), Wilson (NFL)
Returning players: Eamonn Dennis (RS Sr.), Peyton O’Leary (RS Jr.), Tyler Morris (RS So.), Karmello English (So.), Frederick Moore (So.), Semaj Morgan (So.), Kendrick Bell (RS Fr.)
Newcomer: Channing Goodwin (Fr.)
Projected starters: Morris, Morgan

For some teams who play three and four wide receivers on every down, losing two senior wide receivers might not seem like a huge deal. So in the context of college football, the departures of Cornelius Johnson (47 catches, 604 yards, 1 touchdown) and Roman Wilson (48, 789, 12) might not seem like a huge deal. Johnson was the large-ish possession receiver, and Wilson was the speedy deep and intermediate threat. And then there were usually a couple tight ends roaming all over the place. Altogether, Michigan got just 47 other receptions from receivers not named Johnson or Wilson, and 3 of those came from Clemons, who is now plying his trade for the Beavers.

Based on playing time and targets last season, the two front-runners for starting roles in 2024 should be Morris and Morgan. Morris started four games – so he’s kind of a returning starter, I guess – and made 13 catches for 197 yards and 1 touchdown. But that one touchdown was a huge, key play when he got matched up against a linebacker against Alabama in the Rose Bowl and caught a crossing route for a 38-yard touchdown. Meanwhile, Morgan caught 22 passes for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he also had an 87-yard punt return against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game. He showed some downfield receiving chops in high school, but so far he’s been more of a catch-and-run guy with jitterbug moves – witness his screen catch for a TD against Washington – and adding in 4 carries for 67 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Last year’s spring game star was walk-on Peyton O’Leary (2 catches, 13 yards, 1 touchdown), who could factor in more this season if Michigan needs a big possession guy at 6’4″ and 190 lbs. Frederick Moore (4 catches, 32 yards) and Karmello English (1 catch, 6 yards, 1 touchdown) will also factor in somehow. Some people think Moore could be the fastest player on the team.

Players with less of a chance to make an impact include fifth year senior Eamonn Dennis (who has yet to make a catch in his career but plays a lot of special teams), Kendrick Bell (who was a high school quarterback until making the position switch last year), and early enrollee freshman Channing Goodwin. Bell’s brother Ronnie is now a wide receiver in the NFL with the 49ers, and Goodwin has some good bloodlines, as his father was a lineman for Michigan and in the NFL. But it’s unlikely that any of them play a huge role in 2024.

12Apr 2023
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2023 Season Countdown: #134 Kendrick Bell

Kendrick Bell (image via On3)

Name: Kendrick Bell
180 lbs.
High school: 
Kansas City (MO) Park Hill
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
Bell was a senior in high school (LINK). He completed 224/339 passes (72%) for 35 touchdowns and ran for 670 yards and 10 touchdowns.
TTB Rating:

Bell, who is the younger brother of outgoing receiver Ronnie Bell, has put up some gaudy numbers at Park Hill the past couple seasons. An athletic quarterback who can create on the move, he threw for a whopping 35 scores and ran for 10 more, accounting for 45 total touchdowns. For a team that played 11 games, that’s more than 4 touchdowns per game for which he was responsible. A lot of people were surprised when he was offered by Michigan, though, because he was an under-the-radar recruit – just like his brother, who is likely to get drafted.

I’m not sure where the younger Bell fits in Michigan’s roster. Listed and announced as a quarterback by Jim Harbaugh, that’s probably going to be the first place he gets a shot. Will he stick around there for his entire career? Michigan has J.J. McCarthy for 2023 and possibly 2024, and 5-star quarterback Jadyn Davis arrives in 2024. Eventually, I think Bell is going to have to play safety or receiver. In the meantime, he’s very thin at 180 pounds and has several guys ahead of him, including McCarthy, Jack Tuttle, Davis Warren, and a running option in Alex Orji. I’m expecting Bell to redshirt this season, and perhaps he will be a guy whose position gets re-evaluated on a yearly basis.

Prediction: Redshirt

24Feb 2023
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Kendrick Bell, Wolverine

Kansas City (OH) Park Hill quarterback Kendrick Bell (image via KSHB)

Kansas City (MO) Park Hill quarterback Kendrick Bell committed to Michigan back in October of 2022. Again, as I was in the throes of football season, I did not have time to put together a commitment post, especially of a player nobody really thought was a Michigan-level prospect at the time. Of course, that runs in his family, since his brother Ronnie Bell was a basketball player and not much of a football prospect until Michigan hopped in with an offer. Kendrick picked Michigan over UMass and Northern Iowa.

Bell is listed at 6’3″ and 180 lbs. As a senior in 2022, Bell completed 224/339 passes (72%) for 3,570 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also ran for 670 yards and 10 touchdowns.

ESPN: 3-star, 77 grade, #19 dual-threat QB
On3: 3-star, 88 grade, #25 ATH
Rivals: 3-star, 5.6 grade, #38 ATH
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #95 ATH

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12Oct 2022
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Visitors: Michigan vs. Penn State

Jyaire Hill (image via E.J. Holland/On3)


Kendrick Bell – WR – Kansas City (MO) Park Hill: Bell is a 6’3″, 180-pounder with offers from Michigan and UMass. He’s the younger brother of Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell.

Arion Carter – LB – Smyrna (TN) Smyrna: Carter is a 6’1″, 210 lb. prospect who is committed to Memphis; he also has offers from Alabama, LSU, Michigan, and Ohio State, among others. He’s a 3-star and the #38 athlete in the class. This is an official visit. UPDATE: Carter is now visiting Tennessee instead of Michigan this weekend.

Jyaire Hill – CB – Kankakee (IL) Kankakee: Hill is a 6’1″, 170-pounder with offers from Auburn, Illinois, Michigan, and Washington, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #13 cornerback, and #147 overall.

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