Michigan still buzzing about Amara Darboh's practice catch
ANN ARBOR -- Freshman Amara Darboh generated buzz in fall camp for his size and athleticism at receiver, but the public rarely got to see him during games.
But his teammates see him every day in practice -- and he continues to generate excitement.
That includes a catch in a recent Outback Bowl practice that prompted quarterback Devin Gardner to tweet: "Today in practice I witnessed the single greatest catch I've ever seen in person."
Gardner attached a photo to the tweet that shows Darboh making a leaping, one-handed grab along the right sideline.
Safety Jordan Kovacs got a good look at it -- he was on defense for the play.
"It was pretty impressive," the senior said. "He just went up and snagged it with one hand over a defender. He made something out of nothing. It was a pretty cool catch.
"I was right on the sideline by it, so he was jumping over me too. But it was pretty cool."
Michigan hasn't relied much on Darboh, nor fellow true freshman Jehu Chesson, this season. Darboh has played mostly on special teams and didn't record a catch, while Chesson is redshirting.
But with starter Roy Roundtree graduating, reserve Jerald Robinson transferring and Gardner playing quarterback, Michigan almost certainly will need at least one, and perhaps both, to play a role next year.
Only Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo have significant experience among the projected returners.
Chesson and Darboh hold promise, and provide size -- both stand 6-foot-2 -- for a unit that otherwise will lack it next year. After refining their technique, Kovacs says both could provide what Michigan will need.
"Very explosive athletes," he said. "They have great hands. Amara (recently has) made a couple big-time catches that really caught my eye.
"I'm sure there will be a learning curve for them, as there is for everybody, but we look forward to their development because they are very good athletes. They run great routes, have good hands, and I think they'll continue to work in the weight room and get better there."
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