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Published: Tuesday, 4/24/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Busy week ahead for Whitmer grad Koger

Achilles surgery likely to hurt draft prospects

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Kevin Koger had 23 catches for 244 yards and four touchdowns last season for the Wolverines. Kevin Koger had 23 catches for 244 yards and four touchdowns last season for the Wolverines.
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Kevin Koger is in the midst of an eventful week. The Whitmer graduate is writing final papers for his degree at the University of Michigan, preparing for Saturday's graduation in Ann Arbor, and anticipating the NFL draft, which begins Thursday in New York City.

But Koger's chances at being drafted by an NFL team took a hit when his agent confirmed on Monday that Koger had undergone surgery to repair a partially torn left Achilles tendon.

Rick Smith of Priority Sports and Entertainment in Chicago confirmed a report on DraftInsider.net, a Web site that ranks and projects the NFL draft position by position, that Koger underwent surgery March 27, five days after suffering the injury during training in preparation for the NFL draft.

At Michigan's spring game April 14, Koger stood on the sidelines at Michigan Stadium wearing a walking boot on his left leg, and Smith said Koger's surgeons anticipate a recovery period of six to eight months.

Smith said David Porter, a foot and ankle surgeon who is a consultant for the Indianapolis Colts, performed the surgery to repair the partial tear. Prior to the surgery, Koger was limited by a hamstring injury at Michigan's pro day in March and was not able to run the 40-yard dash.

Smith said Koger has interviewed with several NFL teams and that those teams have been notified of Koger's surgery.

Smith would not comment on Koger's future in the NFL.

"He will be fine, and he will play in the NFL," Smith said.

The NFL draft begins with the first round and concludes Saturday with the fourth through seventh rounds -- the same day Koger is set to graduate from Michigan with a degree in sport management/kinesiology.

In his senior season at Michigan, Koger had 23 catches for 244 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games last season at Michigan and graduated from Whitmer in 2008, where he holds the school receiving record of 1,190 yards on 75 receptions.

Last week, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., said in a teleconference that Koger's statistics may not necessarily make him draft-worthy and that Koger may have been hindered by Michigan's run-oriented offense, tailored to accentuate quarterback Denard Robinson.

Koger had 23 catches for 244 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games last season, part of a passing offense that finished eighth in the Big Ten, averaging 182.8 yards a game.

"But Koger has good size," Kiper said. "He's a good leader, and he's a solid, decent blocker. I see him as a late-round pick. He can make a team. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's on an NFL roster next season."

Koger is one of a handful of Michigan seniors who has a chance to join an NFL team. Defensive tackle Mike Martin has been projected as a third-round pick by Kiper. David Molk is projected as the third-best center among NFL draft prospects, but the Rimington Trophy winner (awarded to the top FBS center) told the Chicago Tribune he believes he is the top center in this year's draft. Defensive lineman Ryan Van Bergen could also be selected deeper into the seven-round draft, while ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said receiver Junior Hemingway also has professional potential.

DraftInsider.net ranked Koger as the seventh-best tight end in the nation among this year's draft-eligible prospects and projected Koger as a fifth or sixth-round pick.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.



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