May 21, 2017 – Happy Birthday Devin Funchess!

Michigan Football Team 2012 | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Devin Funchess (#19) is shown here with the 2012 Michigan Football Team. He is seated in the fifth row -second man on the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Today is a great day to wish happy birthday to a very recent Michigan Wolverine named Devin Funchess. Devin Funchess was born on this day in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He attended Harrison High School in Farmington where he became an outstanding athlete. Devin starred in football and track and field, but football was his best sport. He was one of the most highly recruited players in Michigan and Brady Hoke convinced him that Michigan was the best place to play college football.

Devin Funchess came to Ann Arbor in the fall of 2012. He was good enough to play in his first year and he played well. He was a rangy tight end who could get open. Funchess started five games in 2012 and earned his first letter. He caught 15 passes for 234-yards and 5 touchdowns during his first season. He became the first Michigan Tight End to earn first team honors on the 2012 Football Writers Association of American Freshman All-American team. Devin also earned honorable mention from the Big Ten Conference writers in 2012. So, his Michigan career was off to a good start, that’s for sure! The only down side was that the Wolverines regressed from their outstanding season in 2011. Michigan finished the season with a final record of 8 wins and 5 losses. They ended the Big Ten season at 6 wins and 2 losses.

Brady Hoke made it clear that 2012 was not an acceptable season for Michigan Football. He challenged himself, his coaches and his players to step things up in 2013. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Michigan slipped to a final record of 7 wins and 6 losses and dropped to 3 wins and 5 losses in the conference. It was not a good year for the Wolverines. Devin Funchess was one of the bright spots, most of the time, for the Michigan offense in 2013. He played in all thirteen games – starting two at tight end and 1 at wide receiver. He was a nightmare match-up for most defenses because of his size and athleticism. However, he was also inconsistent because he seemed to drop 1-2 “catchable” balls in just about every game. The good news was that he made 49 receptions for 748-yards and scored 6 touchdowns. Devin played well enough to earn first team All-Conference honors at Tight End in 2013. He was also named the best Tight End in the conference in 2013.

Devin Funchess Michigan Football 2014 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Devin Funchess had a good career at Michigan, albeit a short one. He is the first receiver in Michigan History to catch three touchdown passes in a season opener in 2014. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Athletic Department.

Devin Funchess found himself at a new position in 2014. Coach Hoke decided to switch him from Tight End to Wide Receiver. Once again, Devin was a big part of the Michigan offense. He stepped up his production with 62 receptions for 733-yards and 4 touchdowns. He averaged over 66-yards per game for the season. Unfortunately, the roof fell in on Coach Hoke and his Michigan Football team. Lots of things went wrong at the wrong time which resulted in a dismal season of 5 wins and 7 losses. The Wolverines ended the conference season at 3-5 for the second straight season. Not a good year.

At the end of the season, Brady Hoke was fired and Devin Funchess later announced that he was leaving a year early to play in the National Football League. Devin Funchess ended his Michigan career with some solid numbers. He totaled 126 receptions for 1,715 yards and 15 touchdowns in three years of varsity play. He earned three varsity letters and earned some nice recognition for his efforts. As you probably know, he is doing just fine in the NFL.

During his career, Devin Funchess was part of some important Michigan football “firsts.” Here are the ones that I came up with:

  • Devin Funchess played in the first ever games against Akron and Kansas State in 2013.
  • Funchess played in the first ever game against Rutgers in 2014.
  • Devin Funchess, and his teammates, played in front of the largest crowd in Michigan football history (115,109) on September 7, 2013 against Notre Dame.
  • Funchess was the first Michigan Tight End to earn first team Freshman All-American honors in 2012.
  • Devin Funchess became the first Michigan receiver to catch three touchdown passes in a season opener against Appalachian State on August 30, 2014. (Michigan won 52-14).

So, today is a good day to remember Devin Funchess. He was an excellent player who brought Michigan fans to their feet many times during his three seasons in the Big House. He was usually a bright spot in a difficult time for Wolverine Football. Thank you, Devin Funchess, for your contributions to the great history that is Michigan football. I hope you have a very happy birthday today! Go Blue!

To find out more about Devin Funchess check out the links below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devin_Funchess

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/2014fbt.htm

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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