July 11, 2006

Breakout Player: Tyler Ecker

Each fall, Michigan football produces a few new stars. The Wolverine.com's look at potential 2006 breakout players continues with senior tight end Tyler Ecker.

Why He'll Breakout: Every Michigan quarterback in recent memory has established a go-to receiver early in the season. In each case, that target has gone on to have a huge year. Tom Brady looked to Tai Streets and then David Terrell in crunch time.

Drew Henson also looked Terrell's way when he needed a play. John Navarre looked first to Marquise Walker, then to Bennie Joppru and finally to Braylon Edwards. Chad Henne, of course, turned to Edwards in his freshman campaign and Jason Avant in 2005.

As the fall approaches, Michigan fans are left to ponder who that go-to guy will be in 2006. With a relatively young and unproven wide receiver corps and an offense with a renewed emphasis on the running game and keeping defenses off balance, there's a 6-5, 251 pound senior tight end with a ton of experience that is an awfully good candidate.

In fact, there's already good evidence to suggest that Tyler Ecker will be that player. With Notre Dame all but eliminating Jason Avant (until Avant willed a big play late) in Ann Arbor last season, Henne turned to Ecker and he turned in a career best seven catches and 74 yards.

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