'Next man up': UM leading receiver Tarik Black will have foot surgery

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Tarik Black makes a fourth-quarter reception in Michigan's win over Air Force.

Ann Arbor – Michigan leading receiver Tarik Black will require surgery on his left foot, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed Monday.

Black, who suffered the injury Saturday against Air Force, leads the team through three games with 149 yards on 11 receptions. He also had a touchdown in his three starts.

“He’s going to be out,” Harbaugh said during his weekly news conference. “He’s going to need surgery. He’s got a crack in his foot, outside (portion) of his foot.”

Harbaugh said it’s unclear if this is a season-ending injury.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know.”

Running back Ty Isaac also was injured, but Harbaugh indicated it was not serious.

“He’s going to be OK,” Harbaugh said.

More: Wolverines vow to solve red-zone issues as Big Ten beckons

Black, an early-enrollee freshman who has spoken about people “sleeping on” him because he’s from Connecticut, not exactly a recruiting hotbed, could receive a medical redshirt.

During Michigan’s lone touchdown drive late in the game, Black was injured on a third-and-4 play that he converted on a 24-yard reception from Wilton Speight. Black was later taken from the field on a cart.

Black leads the team in receiving, and Grant Perry is second with 10 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. Kekoa Crawford has also been a starter, but Donovan Peoples-Jones, like Black an early-enrollee freshman, had a strong showing in the Air Force game with two catches for 52 yards, including his first collegiate reception for 37. Peoples-Jones also had a punt return for a touchdown.

“Next man up we preach,” receiver Eddie McDoom said Monday. “It’s sad to say he has this injury. I hope he returns very soon, but we have a game to play this week and we’re going to prepare for it.”

More: Michigan: Five things we learned vs. Air Force

The Wolverines will miss plenty from the 6-foot-3, 206-pound Black.

“Tarik is a big-time player,” McDoom said. “He can take it downfield. He’s a very fast guy. He’s very good on his routes. He’s very smart. For him being that young, he’s a very good player.”

Michigan opens its Big Ten schedule Saturday at Purdue. McDoom feels confident he and the receivers can fill the void left by Black’s injury.

“Next man up, just take his place and make those big plays,” McDoom said. “I feel like everyone in the receiving room can do it.”