Devin Funchess

Devin FunchessDevin Funchess (born May 21, 1994) is an American football wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Michigan. Funchess attended Harrison High School in Farmington Hills, where he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track. As a junior in 2010, he caught 34 passes for 709 yards and five touchdowns, leading his team to the Michigan Division II state championship.
As a senior in 2011, he was named to the Detroit News Blue Chip List after tallying 21 receptions for 452 yards and five touchdowns on offense, while also recording three sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, and three pass break-ups on defense. In track & field, Funchess competed as a long jumper, recording a personal-best leap of 5.53 meters (18 ft, 1.5 in) at the 2011 Oakland County Championships, where he placed 25th. Considered a four-star recruit by ESPN.com, Funchess was listed as the fifth-ranked tight end in the nation in 2012. Funchess committed to the University of Michigan in 2011, becoming one of the top prospects in Michigan’s 2012 recruiting class. Funchess saw extensive playing time as a freshman for the 2012 Michigan football team. After Brandon Moore sustained a knee injury, Funchess became the team’s leading tight end and was described in October 2012 as “one of Michigan’s biggest early-season revelations.” In the second game of the season, and Funchess’ first as a starter, he had 106 receiving yards and a touchdown against Air Force. He became the first Michigan tight end with 100 receiving yards in a game in 15 years; Jerame Tuman accomplished the feat in 1997. Funchess was named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week for his performance against Air Force. Against UMass the following week, he caught two passes for 34 yards and scored his second career touchdown at Michigan.
Funchess scored his third touchdown pass on October 13, 2012, in a 45-0 victory over Illinois. On November 10, 2012, he scored in the fourth quarter on an eight-yard pass from Devin Gardner to give Michigan a 28–24 lead over Northwestern. In the final home game of the season, a 42–17 victory over Iowa, Funchess scored his fifth touchdown on a 29-yard pass from Gardner. Funchess was a 2012 All-Big Ten honorable mention selection by the media. He was also named to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team. As a sophomore for the 2013 Michigan team, Funchess became the Wolverines’ second leading receiver behind Jeremy Gallon. On October 5, 2013, he caught seven passes for 151 yards against Minnesota. He had a 46-yard reception against the Golden Gophers, and his total of 151 yards was also a career-high. After the Minnesota game, head coach Brady Hoke said: Devin Funchess“We wanted to get him out on the perimeter a little bit, mismatch in a lot of ways. He runs awful well and is a big target. We’re just trying to really take advantage of his skill set. In an overtime loss to Penn State on October 12, 2013, Funchess caught four passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long 59-yard touchdown reception. Through the first six games of the season, Funchess had 19 catches for 408 yards and four touchdowns. His average of 21.5 yards per catch was the highest in the Big Ten Conference. After the 2013 season, Funchess was named as Big Ten’s Tight End of the year. On August 30, 2014, Funchess played his first game as a wide receiver for the Wolverines. He changed his number from No. 87 to No. 1; he is the first receiver to wear No. 1 since Braylon Edwards in 2004. Funchess tallied seven receptions for 95 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in the season opener against Appalachian State. On December 9, 2014, Funchess announced that he would foregoing his remaining eligibility and declared for the 2015 NFL Draft.[32] Funchess was drafted in the second round with the 41st overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2015 NFL Draft. On August 14, 2015, he made his preseason debut for the Panthers against the Buffalo Bills. Funchess’ first catch was a 34-yarder where he tightroped the sideline on a pass from Derek Anderson. Funchess had one more catch, and finished the night with 53 yards total. When the Panther’s primary receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in training camp, Carolina looked for Funchess to help fill that spot and emerge as a consistent target for Cam Newton.
Funchess had a breakout game during Week 9 against the Green Bay Packers; Funchess made 3 catches for 71 yards and a key touchdown to help the Panthers earn their first 8-0 start in franchise history. The following week, Funchess caught both of his targets for a total of 41 yards during the Panthers’ 27-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans. The following week, Funchess made his first NFL start against the Washington Redskins and responded with four receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown during the Panthers’ 44-16 victory.
During the Panthers’ 41-38 victory over the New Orleans Saints, Funchess recorded a key 13-yard touchdown reception. During the Panthers’ 38-35 victory over the New York Giants to move them to 14-0, Funchess recorded a  key touchdown reception against cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the regular season finale, Funchess set career bests with seven receptions and 120 yards. The yardage is the second-most by Panthers’ rookie (David Gettis had 125 yards against the San Francisco 49ers on October 24, 2010). Funchess finished the regular season with 31 catches for 473 yards, the fifth most in franchise history for a rookie receiver; his five touchdown catches were second most for a rookie. On February 7, 2016, Funchess was part of the Panthers team that played in Super Bowl 50. The Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24–10. In the Super Bowl, Funchess had two catches for 40 yards. Funchess played in 15 games in 2016, with seven starts, recording 23 catches for 371 yards and four touchdowns. He was placed on injured reserve on December 29, 2016 after suffering a knee injury against the Falcons in Week 16.

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