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Sunday, August 7, 2011
Hoke redshirts Stonum, suspends two

By Adam Rittenberg

Talented wide receiver Darryl Stonum will have a chance to suit up for Michigan again.

Just not this year.

Wolverines coach Brady Hoke announced Sunday that Stonum will redshirt the 2011 season as part of his discipline for a drunken driving arrest in May, Stonum's second such offense during his college career. Stonum, who has been indefinitely suspended following his May 6 arrest, pleaded guilty in June to operating while visibly impaired as part of an agreement.

The team's No. 2 receiver in 2010 will have one season of eligibility remaining in 2012.

Hoke never ruled out Stonum's return to the team, but a significant playing-time suspension seemed likely because of Stonum's previous legal problems (another DUI arrest early in his career, probation violations leading to a three-day jail term). Still, it's never easy for a coach to sit a key player for the entire season. Hoke made a good call here, but it probably wasn't an easy decision.
"While it would be great to have Darryl on the field this season, we feel it is in his best interest and the best interest of our program for him to redshirt," Hoke said in a prepared statement. “Darryl will continue to be an important part of our team and family. He has done everything we have asked him to do, but our number one priority is to help Darryl grow as a person."

Hoke also announced Sunday that punter Will Hagerup is suspended for the first four games and wide receiver Terrence Robinson is suspended for a game for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Stonum's size and athleticism will be missed, although Michigan has decent depth at receiver with Roy Roundtree, Junior Hemingway and others. Hagerup's absence could really sting because Michigan has no other punters on the roster. Incoming freshman Matt Wile, a strong candidate to take over the place-kicking duties, also most likely will punt for the first four games. Wile could be a huge factor for Michigan as it tries to clean up its shoddy kicking game.

Michigan opens preseason practice Monday.