Sophomore wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones came into Michigan as a five-star recruit and the one of the best wide receivers in the nation.
In his freshman season, People-Jones didn’t light the world on fire. He caught 22 passes for 277 yards and zero touchdowns.
Heading into his sophomore season, he and fellow sophomore wide receiver Tarik Black were poised to be a dynamic duo for the Wolverines’ offense. Black suffered a foot injury before the season began and the mantle of the No. 1 wide receiver fell to Peoples-Jones.
Peoples-Jones has taken the mantle and stepped up. He’s having fun as Michigan’s offense has found its stride.
“Just playing with my teammates has been so much fun this year,” Peoples-Jones said. “As a player, you want to be efficient. That’s the name of the game. Doing what you got to do.”
People-Jones has been junior quarterback Shea Patterson’s favorite target so far this season. He has a team-high 30 catches and 50 receptions, along with seven touchdowns.
With an average of 14.9 yards per catch, Peoples-Jones is an explosive part of Michigan’s attack. The numbers are backing up the hype he had coming into Ann Arbor with.
In his sophomore season, his role has evolved.
“I think I’ve been more involved in the run, a little bit more involved in the pass,” Peoples-Jones said. “Playing with my teammates has been more fun this year. It definitely makes it more fun to go out there and play every game.”
Senior wide receiver Grant Perry said that Peoples-Jones has grown and matured this season as a leader.
But, Peoples-Jones still has those traits that attracted teams to him.
He can jump, run, catch, all those, just the stuff you can’t teach,” Perry said.
Peoples-Jones is having a good time when he celebrates his touchdowns.
“Just having fun,” Peoples-Jones said. “Being out there with my boys – as a kid, which I am. Just having fun. Enjoying playing football, enjoying playing for the University of Michigan and loving everything about this program.”
His joy just doesn’t have to do with his play. Peoples-Jones is happy to celebrate the accomplishments of his teammates.
“When someone else scores a touchdown, I feel like I scored,” Peoples-Jones said. “Even if I’m not having my best game, I’m still happy to see my boys have success after they grinded away all week, and all their hard work come to fruition.”