Hill's pledge continues TE emphasis

Michigan knew one of its needs in the last recruiting cycle was increasing both its depth and talent level at tight end. And following a two tight end haul in the Class of 2012, the Wolverines expected tight end would be a place they would look to add more players in 2013 as well.

Michigan kind of has to as it transitions from a spread offense to a pro-style one. Last season, Michigan used mostly three tight ends: Kevin Koger, Steve Watson and Brandon Moore.

The Wolverines won’t be able to do that in the future.

“We were pretty set with the three guys we were playing and we don’t do as much two tight end stuff now as we will,” tight ends coach Dan Ferrigno said last week. “Where we will need four guys and we got away with three guys.

“So those roles will increase as the years go by for those guys.”

Entering the 2012 season, Michigan will have four scholarship tight ends on the roster: Moore, converted wide receiver Ricardo Miller and two true freshmen -- Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison) and A.J. Williams (Cincinnati/Sycamore).

Moore will be gone after next season, which means the Wolverines, at minimum, knew they had to add one more tight end for 2013 and did on Monday when Khalid Hill (Detroit/Crockett Tech) verbally committed to Michigan. Ferrigno is not allowed to discuss Hill until Feb. 2013 due to NCAA guidelines.

“You want to get the right guy,” Ferrigno said last week about tight end recruitment. “You don’t just want to take a guy to take a guy. I’m very pleased with the two guys that we got and next year we’ll address that need.

“We’re already addressing it and we have a pretty good list of kids that we like so we’ll get more guys in here.”

Less than a week later, Michigan did.

Hill, a 6-foot-2, 223-pound tight end, is another sign of how Michigan plans to recruit tight ends in the future -- something the Wolverines already showed with the signing of pass-catching hybrid Funchess.

“He’s more like what we’ve recruited to before,” Ferrigno said of Funchess. “We didn’t get a chance to recruit many tight ends a year ago.

“Usually, we’ll recruit a guy with Devin’s skill set and then recruit more conventional tight ends also. Devin, as his position, he’ll be asked to play like a tight end but he’ll also play like a fullback and a receiver.”