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March 7, 2019 Happy Birthday Roy Roundtree!

Posted on March 6, 2019 by Barry Gallagher

The purpose of today’s blog is to wish a very Happy Birthday to Michigan Man Roy Roundtree. Roy Randolph Roundtree was born on this day in Ohio. Roundtree grew up to be an excellent high school football player at Trotwood-Madison High School in Dayton, Ohio. By the time he was a senior, he was a highly-regarded college prospect with offers from many Big Ten and MAC schools. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Rich Rodriguez offered Roundtree late in the recruiting process, but Roy was okay with the tardy offer. Apparently, Purdue’s head coach was not happy about it because Roy was headed to Purdue before Rodriguez arrived at Michigan. Oh well, all’s fair in love and recruiting, right?

(Note – Roy Roundtree (#21) is shown above with the 2012 Michigan Football team. He is seated in the front row – next to Jordan Kovacs who is holding the football. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

Part I. Wolverine of the Day: Roy Roundtree

A Slow Start in Ann Arbor

Rich Rodriguez decided to redshirt Roy for his freshman season in 2008. Roy would spend year one of his college career learning the “Spread Offense” and working hard in the classroom.

Roy Roundtree got on the field as a redshirt freshman and caught his first pass against Indiana on September 26, 2009. It was for 35-yards so that made a big impression on everyone in the sold-out Homecoming crowd. His second catch was for a 9-yard touchdown against Michigan State. So, Roundtree had two receptions for 44-yards after eight games, but then he got hot. In the last four games of the season, Roundtree caught 30 passes for 390-yards and two touchdowns to finish the season as Michigan’s leading receiver even though he started less than half the season. Of course, 2009 was a rough year for Rich Rod and the Wolverines. They finished with an overall record of 5 wins and 7 losses. Worse yet, Michigan posted a miserable record of 1-7-0 in the conference which was the poorest conference showing in Michigan Football History.

From Part-Time Receiver to “Go To Guy” in 2010

The talented Roundtree came back ready to play a full season in 2010. Basically, he was Michigan’s “go to” receiver. Roy finished the season with 72 catches for 935 yards and 7 touchdowns. He set a new Michigan record for receiving yardage when he caught 9 passes for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns in the 67-65 triple-overtime win over Illinois. Roy’s outstanding season earned him All-Big Ten second team honors from the media.

Roundtree’s Production Dipped With the Arrival of Hoke and Borgess in 2011, But Improved in 2012

Roy’s productivity took a sharp drive in 2011 with the arrival of Brady Hoke and Al Borgess. Their emphasis on running the ball and the development of Jeremy Gallon hurt his statistics, but he still made big plays when given the opportunity. Who can forget the catch he made to win the game against Notre Dame on September 11, 2011? Roundtree finished the season with only 19 catches for 355 yards and 2 touchdowns. Interestingly, his yard per catch increased to 18.7 yards per catch which was almost six yards better than his average in 2010.

Hoke and Borgess made better use of Roy’s skills in 2012. Roundtree remained a very “big play” receiver in 2012. He posted 31 catches for 580 yards and three touchdowns. Once again, he averaged 18.7 yards per catch. Roy’s efforts earned him All-Big Ten honorable mention from the coaches and the media.

Roy Rountree’s Up and Down Career in Ann Arbor

During his career, Roy Roundtree experienced some “lows” and some “highs” along the way. Here are some “firsts” that he is associated with in both areas:

  • Played on the first, and only, 7 loss Big Ten season (1-7-0) in Michigan football history (2009).
  • Played on the first Brady Hoke team in 2011.
  • Became the first Wolverine to gain 246 receiving yards in a single game against Illinois in 2010.
  • Played on the first Michigan football team to win the Sugar Bowl in January 2012.

So, today is a good day to remember the Michigan football career of Roy Roundtree. He was an excellent player who played a lot of good football on some not so good teams. Smith gave everything he had to his coaches and to Michigan. He will always be remembered for his “big plays” especially the ones he made against Illinois (2010), Notre Dame (2011) and Northwestern (2012).

When he arrived at Michigan his nickname was “Tree” because it worked. When he left Ann Arbor he was called “Big Play” because that’s what he did, he made “BIG PLAYS!” Thank you Roy Roundtree for all the “big plays” you made for Michigan. I hope you have a very happy birthday today! Go Blue!




Part II. March 7, 2019 National Day Calendar Update


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