Black, a fourth-year senior in 2020, left the Michigan Wolverines after finishing his bachelor’s degree to join the Forty Acres for a season. Thanks to the curveball the COVID-19 pandemic threw at last year’s college football season, he was granted an extra year of eligibility, but is still opting to pursue his dreams among professional football’s great.
It’s a confounding decision to go pro considering Black hasn’t developed at the rate expected, and with some of the wide receiver holes the Longhorns will have to fill in 2021.
Turns out, there’s perhaps a rhyme to Black’s reason.
Black is a big guy, standing at 6’3 and roughly 220 pounds.
As a senior in 2020, he only had 10 catches for 240 yards and a lone touchdown grab.
How much that poor stat line falls on Black is mostly unclear, given last year’s quarterback play out of then-senior Sam Ehlinger, who’s also off to chase his NFL dreams this offseason.
However, strikingly, Black also averaged 24 yards per catch last season, which would have led the Longhorns last year if not for Kelvontay Dixon’s three grabs for 76 yards. Strikingly, even though Black looked slow on his longest catch of the season, a 72-yard catch against Baylor, he ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at Texas Pro Day, along with posting a 40-inch vertical and an 11-foot broad jump.
Black’s junior season at Michigan saw a similar letdown as he experienced at Texas.
During a full 12-game 2019 regular season, Black only managed to make 24 catches for 323 yards and a touchdown catch, averaging nearly 13 yards per reception. Granted, Michigan’s quarterback play that season was historically weak for a program led by the same head coach who helped developed former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. It’s also worth noting that, much like the Longhorns in 2020, Michigan concentrated on the run.