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Michigan wide receiver transfer Tarik Black committed to Texas on Tuesday evening, per his Instagram. The Connecticut native has one season of eligibility remaining.
Black played three seasons for the Wolverines with his best being his most recent. He hauled in 25 catches for 323 yards and one score. In his first two seasons in Ann Arbor, Black played in only nine games due to injury.
Originally a member of the class of 2017, Black committed to Michigan over Alabama and Auburn.
How he fits at Texas: Black is a big, talented outside receiver from Connecticut that was long regarded as the most promising talent in the Michigan wide receiver room until multiple injuries derailed his career. He’s big and has some speed, the latter point is still there after some injuries and he’s now 6-foot-3, 215 pounds with one season of eligibility remaining. At Michigan he fell behind Nico Collins and Ronnie Bell on the wide receiver pecking order in an offense that also regularly targets tight ends, so he’s moving on for a fresh opportunity. For Texas he could fit into a lot of roles and was in the regular rotation at a few different spots last year in Michigan’s new RPO spread offense. His most obvious fit is outside where he knows how to use his size to get to spots on slants and inside routes. He still has some deep ball threat to his game but he’s closer to being a possession receiver at this point. He’ll likely fit in either as a veteran opposite Brennan Eagles that can be in the right places or a back-up in the X that allows a younger player like Marcus Washington to compete for the second outside receiver starting job. With another year removed from his injuries, Black could be a punisher for teams that want to try and bracket Eagles. – Ian Boyd
Coach says: Strengths – Well-built and good height. Body has matured in a college strength and conditioning program. Good lower body explosiveness and first steps are decisive and quick off the line. Acceleration and straight-line speed appear about average. I am guessing +/- 4.6. Has a lot of usage as the field/Z but some boundary/X as well. Has a plan and executes against press coverage. Shows great change of direction and his old, unofficial shuttle times under 4 seconds would confirm this. Has very good lower body explosiveness and this is evident in his route running as he explodes out of his cuts. Not only a great route runner but a very good route seller. Has very nuanced movements to set up the defenders. Uses every bit of his frame against the defender. Available film shows soft hands and a natural catching motion away from his body. Always physical at the point of attack as a blocker and has above average highlights in that regard. Was an ESPN 300 player coming out of high school. Had a lot of athletic accolades at the high school level. Appears to be a good student as well and it’s fair to expect that he’s coming in as a well-spoken and mature upperclassman who can mentor the younger guys like Tre Watson did for the running back room.
Areas for Improvement / Concern – Frankly, he’s a question mark. Had one foot or the other broken in consecutive years and fell quickly down the depth chart that he stood poised to take over even as a freshman. Saw him get successfully harassed by smaller DBs at times. The physical traits are there which just don’t seem to have translated into real results at the college level. He’s a tale of “what could have been” for Michigan fans and it’s just not clear how much of this falls on the player, the QB play or the injuries.
How this affects Texas: UT needs a veteran wideout for the 2020 season. They need a guy that has played at a high level of D1 football and can bring a maturity to the wide receiver room. Frankly, Sam Ehlinger needs him. After LJ Humphrey and Devin Duvernay were Ehlinger’s go-to guys the last two seasons, the senior signal-caller needs a Tarik Black-type that can come in and stabilize a talented, yet relatively inexperienced WR corps. As of today, Black is quiet about his future plans, but we’ve heard from multiple sources that expect Texas to be right in the thick of things when he does ultimately enroll. Remember, it’s often difficult for a grad transfer to get accepted at UT, but Tom Herman has a penchant for finding those guys, like Calvin Anderson, Tre Watson, and Parker Braun. If Black can be a good percentage of what he used to be, this will help the UT passing attack. – Justin Wells
Header photo courtesy of MGoBlog