The Wolverine

Sept 2023

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 42 of 67

SEPTEMBER 2023 ❱ THE WOLVERINE 43 with two starts, finishing with 27 tackles with 2.5 sacks, 1 pass breakup and 1 quarterback hurry. Pro Football Focus named him a Freshman All- American, and he will be a starter in 2023. KENNETH GRANT DL ★★★★ Grant played in all 14 games last season, making 8 tackles. He is expected to be heavily involved in the defensive tackle rotation this fall. CONNOR JONES OT ★★★ He made two appearances in 2022 on the of- fensive line. Jones is probably a year away from competing for a spot in the two-deep. KODY JONES CB ★★★★ Jones played in four contests at defensive back in 2022, making 5 tackles. He should have a depth and special teams role this season. WILL JOHNSON CB ★★★★★ Johnson was named a Freshman All-American after appearing in all 14 games last season with 5 starts. He made 27 tackles with 2 tackles for loss and 3 interceptions. The former five-star recruit is arguably the most talented player on U-M's defense. MARLIN KLEIN TE ★★★ Klein made two appearances in 2022 and con- tributed in a scout team role. U-M expects to play him more this season with a year of experience under his belt. ALESSANDRO LORENZETTI IOL N/R He did not see game action in 2022 and was part of the scout team as an offensive lineman. The Wolverines switched Lorenzetti to defensive line this offseason. COLSTON LOVELAND TE ★★★★ Loveland appeared in all 14 games last season with five starts. He caught 16 passes for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns, which came in consecutive weeks at Ohio State and in the Big Ten Champion- ship Game against Purdue. He will be a starter at tight end this season and is looking to establish himself as one of the top players in the Big Ten. DERRICK MOORE EDGE ★★★★ Moore played in all 14 contests in 2022, making 8 tackles and 2 sacks, 2 quarterback hurries and 1 pass breakup. Moore will be one of the key cogs in the U-M pass rush this season after dropping weight to become more explosive off the edge. TYLER MORRIS WR ★★★★ U-M sent Morris out for eight games last season, where he recorded 3 catches for 25 yards. Now two years removed from an ACL injury, he entered camp as the starting slot receiver and is expected to be a breakout player this season. ALEX ORJI ATH ★★★★ He appeared in three games at quarterback last year, rushing for 2 touchdowns on 6 carries for 37 yards. He also completed 1 pass for 5 yards. Orji is one of the team's best pure athletes and could factor in at backup QB, but U-M is tinkering with other roles to get him on the field. MICAH POLLARD LB ★★★ Pollard played in 12 contests in 2022 with four appearances at linebacker. He made 8 tackles and was named U-M's Special Teams Freshman of the Game twice, for his efforts against Colorado State and Penn State. MYLES POLLARD CB ★★★ He appeared in two games last season, primarily making his impact on the scout team. With plenty of snaps available at cornerback, he could see more on-field action this season. JIMMY ROLDER LB ★★★★ Rolder played in 13 games in 2022, making 14 tackles and sharing Special Teams Freshman of the Year honors. U-M's linebacker depth is im- proved, due in large part to his presence, and he should factor into the rotation this season. KEON SABB S ★★★★ Sabb made four appearances as a freshman but did not record a stat. R.J. Moten's transfer opens up playing time at safety, and Sabb could be in for an enhanced role in 2023. DEUCE SPURLOCK ATH ★★★ He appeared in two games at linebacker last season but transferred to Florida this past winter. CJ STOKES RB ★★★ Stokes played in 11 games last season, rushing 55 times for 273 yards and a touchdown while adding 1 reception for 15 yards. He is expected to be in the mix for the No. 3 running back job and could get first crack at being the team's lead back in 2024. AMORION WALKER CB ★★★ Walker appeared in six contests last season with five games at wide receiver and one at defensive back. U-M has made his switch to cornerback a full-time move and has given him the opportunity to be the team's No. 2 cornerback next to Will Johnson. ❏ TOP CONTRIBUTOR TO DATE CB Will Johnson By the end of his freshman season, Johnson was arguably the best cornerback on U-M's roster and a rising star in college football. The former five-star recruit earned Fresh- man All-America status and could be a future top-10 NFL Draft prospect. His potential is off the charts, and he could factor into national awards this season. UNSUNG HERO DT Mason Graham Earning a strong contributing role in Year 1 and even making a handful of starts, Graham hit the field ready to go from the jump. He displayed an advanced bull rush for a player his age and added some more finesse to his game as the year went on. The departure of Mazi Smith gives him a chance to play even more this season, and he should continue to be a factor in helping slow down the run. READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT THIS FALL DT Kenneth Grant Smith's departure opens up playing time for several guys up front. At 6-3, 339 pounds, Grant has impressive movement for a player his size and will help fill the Smith-sized hole in the U-M defense. REPORT CARD Players in Class: 23 On3 Industry Ranking: 9th Players Still At Michigan: 20 The 2022 class is still mostly intact despite a pair of transfers this offseason in Deuce Spur- lock and Damani Dent. There are at least nine players factoring into the two-deep depth chart this fall and a handful of others who could work themselves into key roles. A-

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