Michigan freshman Donovan Peoples-Jones ‘really locked in’

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Donovan Peoples-Jones

Ann Arbor – Not unexpectedly, Donovan Peoples-Jones has impressed since his arrival at Michigan as an early-enrollee freshman during winter workouts and early in spring practice.

The five-star recruit from Detroit Cass Tech dominated four of Michigan’s “spring combine” categories – 40-yard dash (4.41), vertical (39 inches), broad jump (11 feet, 5 inches) and pro shuttle (3.91).

“Donovan is a special, special person and player,” Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno said after the first spring practice Friday. “He is really locked in, really focused and really wants it. Very mature, has a very good concentration level. He wants to be a student of the game, he wants to do it right, he wants to do it at a high level. It’s really, really nice to see. There’s no letdown, he is going.”

Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh and Jake Butt, quarterback Wilton Speight’s go-to receivers last fall, are moving on to the NFL.

Veterans Moe Ways and Drake Harris who haven’t played much, and Eddie McDoom and Kekoa Crawford, freshmen last season, return. Tarik Black joins Peoples-Jones as an early-enrollee receiver. Speight said he also will rely on veteran tight ends Ian Bunting and T.J. Wheatley.

Blue Chip countdown: UM's Donovan Peoples-Jones has talent, smarts, drive

“I think toward the end of the season I knew at all times where Darboh was going to be where Jehu was going to be, where Jake was going to be,” Speight said. “Ian was right there, too, so the learning curve with the tight ends, Ian is going to bring those guys along. We’re starting fresh with the wide receivers. Moe Ways, Drake, Kekoa, and Eddie, DPJ and Tarik and the rest of the guys are stepping up to the plate.

“It’s not like, ‘Oh, I hope we can mature and get to the point we need to be.’ It’s more, ‘OK, I’ve got to get to the point we need to be and do all the right things to show this is the way we do things.’”

Rashan Gary making fast time impressing NFL scouts