Gardner on Funchess: “He can probably be the best receiver to ever play here”

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By Alejandro Zúñiga, Managing Sports Editor
Published September 1, 2014

Junior Devin Funchess is Michigan football’s newest No. 1, a uniform number given to an exclusive group of Wolverine wide receivers.

On Saturday against Appalachian State, Funchess lived up to his new designation, hauling in three touchdown passes and seven receptions total for 95 yards.

In the process, he became the first Michigan receiver in the program’s 135-year history ever to catch three scores in a season opener.

And Monday, senior quarterback Devin Gardner offered his opinion on Funchess’ talent.

“He can probably be the best receiver to ever play here,” Gardner said at his press conference.

One reporter replied, “That’s a pretty big statement,” to which the quarterback asserted, “Yeah, it is.”

Michigan has fielded a slew of talented receivers, from Braylon Edwards — the last to wear No. 1 — to Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, to single-season receiving yards leader Jeremy Gallon.

Funchess’ combination of his 6-foot-5 frame, soft hands, speed and power make him a force to be reckoned with, one that Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield said would create matchup issues for every team in the nation.

And if Gardner’s prediction is correct, Funchess will become another household name joining the list of greats who have worn No. 1.

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Alejandro Zúñiga | Greg Garno | Alexa Dettelbach | Max Cohen