Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By DAVE HOGG  |  Last updated 9/11/13
Jeremy Gallon is easy to lose on a football field. He's officially listed as being 5'8", but that measurement must have been taken while he was standing on a textbook. He's probably 5'6" - a fact that didn't escape Michigan coach Brady Hoke's attention for long. Hoke said that when he took over the program and met Gallon for the first time, his first impression was, well, brief. "Short." While Calvin Johnson has the ideal build for a wide receiver -- tall, strong, world-class speed and jumping ability -- Gallon looks more like the kid that would be a late-round pick in an intramural game. That might be why opposing teams haven't quite figured out that they need to spend a lot of time looking for No. 21. In two games, Gallon has caught 12 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns, including his eye-opening three-touchdown game on national television against Notre Dame. "I could have never imagined doing something like this," the fifth-year senior said. "I could imagine myself coming out and playing for my team and being a leader, but a game this big? That's not something I've even dreamed about." Hoke and offensive coordinator Al Borges never doubted that Gallon was going to be a key part of this year's team -- he wouldn't be wearing Desmond Howard's No. 21 jersey if he was going to be sitting on the bench -- but they were looking at him as a Wes Welker-type possession receiver, not a gamebreaker. That's why Hoke and Borges were so disappointed when Amara Darboh sustained a season-ending foot injury in fall camp. He was expected to be the big, fast downfield threat that would complement Gallon's game. Instead, it has been Gallon playing both roles. He's been deadly on short passes at the goal line, which everyone expected, but he also singlehandedly took apart a strong Notre Dame defense for 184 yards. On his first touchdown, he caught a simple crossing route in a crowd of gold helmets, broke a tackle and somehow turned it into a 61-yard score. "It was just a dig route against a Cover-2 defense, and Devin hit me," he said, not entirely sure himself how he had done it. "I made one move, and the guy tried to strip the ball from me, and spun me right out of the group. I just started running, and I saw Jehu Chesson give me a big block and I ran it in for the touchdown." That quote sums up Gallon perfectly -- he's not going to credit himself with a superb play when he can chalk it up to a lucky break and help from his teammates. "This game wasn't me, it was my teammates," he said, moments after leading the Wolverines to the win over the Irish. "This belongs to them -- to the rest of the offense. I can't take the credit. It should go to them." Gallon also stresses that his overnight success has actually come from years of working hard with Devin Gardner. "It's like a brotherhood between us," Gallon said. "We've been working with each other since he first got here, and we will never let anything change that. We just try to let our work off the field show up on the field." Gardner makes it clear that he's looking for all his receivers, but there's no question that he has a special comfort level with Gallon. "He's like a bulldog out there," Gardner said. "We've worked so hard, and everyone is just now seeing the results. This has been going on behind closed doors for years, and we're finally getting the opportunity to display it in front of the biggest crowds in college football." Hoke knew the pair were on to something special when he looked out his office windows and constantly saw them working on pass routes, but his favorite thing about Gallon has nothing to do with his speed or his hands. "He's a very tough kid and he loves to block," Hoke said. "Catching the ball is important for him, probably, but he loves to block. I just know he comes to work every day. That and his love to compete are his two biggest strengths." Michigan is expected to have an easy time of it Saturday against Akron, and with Gallon battling a sore hamstring, he might not put up big numbers against the Zips. When Big Ten play begins, though, the Wolverines know that the littlest guy on the field is going to be one of the keys to winning an elusive Big Ten championship.
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