May 30, 2007

Michigan's best receiving duo ever?

Michigan wideouts Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington became the first pair of U-M receiver teammates to each catch eight touchdowns in the same season. Their 17 total touchdowns rank fourth among combined scores by a Wolverine tandem. This year, the two could smash the record of 21 set by Desmond Howard and Yale Van Dyne in 1991. If they do, are they the best receiving duo Michigan has ever had? Here's a look at the current Top 5 …

5. Amani Toomer and Mercury Hayes in 1995 … Though he was the more highly-regarded of the two, Toomer actually trailed Hayes in receptions during their senior season. Neither player put up astounding individual numbers - Hayes 48 catches and Toomer 44 grabs - but perhaps that represents why they truly were a great receiving duo. It was never about one guy being No. 1 and the other guy clearly in the No. 2 role. At either time, in any game, on any play, quarterbacks Scott Dreisbach and Brian Griese knew they could go to Toomer or Hayes for the catch. The two combined for 92 receptions, 1,681 yards and 11 touchdowns.

4. Desmond Howard and Derrick Alexander in 1990 … The year before he won the Heisman, Howard emerged onto the scene Michigan's top producer at the receiver position, but he might not have been the most natural wideout on the team. That honor could have belonged to Alexander, who had 31 receptions for 450 yards and six touchdowns in 1990. Howard stole the limelight, though, with 63 catches for 1,025 yards and 11 touchdowns, while also returning a kick 95 yards for a score against Michigan State.

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