Former Farmington Harrison football player has made big impact playing at U of M
Published November 20, 2013
FARMINGTON HILLS — For somebody who said he didn’t think football was really his sport when he was younger, things turned out pretty nicely for Devin Funchess.
Funchess, who attended Farmington Hills Harrison, is in his second year with the University of Michigan football team.
Since joining the Wolverines, Funchess, who plays tight end, has played a big role on Michigan’s offensive unit. Some of the accolades Funchess received for his play during his freshman season included being selected to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, as well as the ESPN.com and BTN.com All-Big Ten Freshman Team.
Last season, Funchess had 15 receptions for 234 yards, and his five touchdown catches tied him for fourth most for a tight end in the history of Michigan’s football program.
This season, Funchess has been named John Mackey Award Tight End of the Week (Oct. 5) and was twice named College Football Performance Award National Tight End of the Week (Oct. 5, 12).
The opportunity to be recruited by Michigan is an opportunity most people don’t get, and Funchess recalled what the experience was like.
“It was great,” he said. “When I got my first scholarship (offer) from a MAC (Mid-American Conference) school, I was (kind of) excited. (When) Michigan came, I was more excited about that, (knowing) I was a big-time recruit with a Big Ten offer.”
Funchess offered his thoughts as to what he would tell a middle school or high school athlete who would also like to have the opportunity to play at the Division I level.
“Take your schooling serious, and always work harder than (the) person next to you,” he said.
In an effort to pay tribute to “Michigan Football Legends,” Funchess was selected to wear Ron Kramer’s (1954-1956) No. 87 jersey for the remainder of his career. Kramer was a consensus All-American two times at Michigan (1955-56), along with being a three-time All-Big Ten first-team selection (1954-56).
Funchess has given some thought as to what it means to wear the No. 87 jersey.
“I think it’s (a) great honor,” he said. “I’ve heard and read about him, and (what) a spectacular athlete he was. Trying to represent his name as best I can.”
Funchess has also thought about the opportunity that could be waiting after college football.
“Try as hard as I can to try to go professional, but still get my degree,” he said. “Focus on that, (and) try to attain the goal of getting to the next level.”