As it is Spring and the post-Paulus era has given me far less Blue discussion fodder, I'm interested in the possibility of Greg Mathews getting the #1 jersey for the fall.
Obviously, he hasn't had nearly the career as other #1's (no 80 catch, 1,000 yard seasons, etc.), but I think it bears considering that Mathews stats were trending towards a breakout Junior and Senior season before last season's offensive collapse. With more consistent qb play, I'm inclined to think that Mathews stats, even with his brief injury last season, could have been drastically more impressive at this point in his career. Perhaps, the coaching staff should consider the epic drop-off of qb talent last year and revive this important tradition for a guy that seemingly could have earned it with his numbers. The guy had nearly 40 catches from the 3 spot in the Mallett/Henne 07 season and with Mario/Adrian gone, he seemed poised to take the reigns. Though we'll have to wait until the 09 season to see how good he can be as a first option with a qb with reasonable accuracy (assuming Forcier's the guy), I think the coaching staff could recognize Greg, not as a statistical marvel, but as a senior whose weathered the rough transition and is now ready to lead.
For aesthetics sake, reviving the #1 tradition this year could give some of the younger guys something to strive for. Even for me, growing up out of state (SEC country) and not a Michigan fan, I remember always thinking the #1 was a pretty bad-ass tradition - one that said 'this guy has worked hard and will soon be playing on Sundays'. While Mathews numbers might not add up, I've always heard that Mathews is a solid worker (07 Maulbetsch Award) and the #1 could cement his status as the natural leader of our young receiving corps.
Tough sell, but thoughts?