Name: Roman Wilson
Weight: 192 lbs.
High school: Honolulu (HI) St. Louis
Position: Wide receiver
Jersey number: #1
Last year: I ranked Wilson #24 and said he would be a part-time starting wide receiver with 30 catches for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns (LINK). He started four games and caught 25 passes for 376 yards and 4 touchdowns, and he ran 2 times for 39 yards and 2 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 78
For the second consecutive year, Wilson made 25 catches in a season. Also for the second consecutive year, he struggled a little bit with nagging injuries that limited his availability and his effectiveness. But when he was available, he showed pretty consistently what his speed could do. With strong-armed quarterback J.J. McCarthy at the helm, Wilson found himself open deep time and time again. Unfortunately, McCarthy’s arm was a little erratic early in the year, so some of the wide-open deep shots ended in frustration. Still, Wilson took a screen 61 yards to the house against Colorado State, he went for 104 yards against TCU, and in between he was keeping defenses honest by occasionally popping open deep to scare people. He also grabbed two carries on the year, turning them into 21- and 18-yard touchdowns on end arounds.
Wilson’s speed is unmatched by the other receivers who have been getting on the field. (Word is that Eamonn Dennis is the fastest receiver, but he has only really played on special teams.) When a team can run the ball like Michigan can, an effective deep target can be a huge weapon. A lot depends on whether McCarthy can perform in 2023 like he did late in 2022. The play action game could be huge for getting Wilson to pop open deep, and on the flip side, if he makes some big plays early in the year, teams are going to have to start respecting that and possibly committing less to stopping the run. Even though I think Cornelius Johnson will lead the team in receptions, Wilson is the guy whose speed could make this offense take the next step in the passing game. Perhaps he and the coaches think so, too, which might be why Wilson will wear #1 this year instead of #14.
Prediction: Starting wide receiver; 38 receptions for 650 yards and 8 touchdowns