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2023 Michigan football transfer portal class will impact the national title race

The 2023 Michigan football transfer portal class is set to have huge influence over the coming season.

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2023 Michigan football transfer portal class, College Football Playoff
Nov 5, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; Stanford Cardinal offensive tackle Myles Hinton (78) blocks Washington State Cougars defensive end Ron Stone Jr. (10) during the third quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 Michigan football transfer portal class, which appears to be one of the best in the nation on paper right now, is gearing up for great things in the Maize and Blue this fall. In fact, according to ON3, the Wolverines’ transfer portal class is set to have a significant impact on the College Football Playoff and national title race as Jim Harbaugh looks to break through his program’s glass ceiling in a few short months.

2023 Michigan football transfer portal class set to influence the national title race in a big way, says ON3.

Today, the ON3 Network released its rankings of the top transfer portal classes that are expected to have a significant impact on this year’s national title race. Included among the elite programs listed is the 2023 Michigan football transfer portal class, which recently received a major boost with the addition of Josh Wallace, a former team captain from the UMass Minutemen.

The 2023 Michigan football transfer portal class boasts a diverse range of talents. New additions like Drake Nugent are poised to earn starting roles this upcoming season, while others, such as Myles Hinton, will be competing for spots. Moreover, the Wolverines have successfully addressed several key areas of need, including kicker, linebacker depth, and cornerback depth, among others.

New transfers looking to help the Maize and Blue push for another College Football Playoff berth and more this fall.

Michigan football has also taken steps to strengthen other positions of concern, such as securing an experienced backup quarterback, bolstering the edge rusher position with talented players, and enhancing the depth along their already impressive offensive line.

Furthermore, the preseason “All-Transfer Portal” list features a few notable additions from the Maize and Blue, including LaDarius Henderson (OG) and James Turner (K), who have consistently garnered attention. Additionally, numerous newcomers from the 2023 Michigan football transfer portal class, like linebacker Ernest Hausmann from Nebraska, are expected to compete for All-Big Ten honors and beyond.

With the recent recognition from ON3, the momentum continues to build for the 2023 Michigan football transfer portal class as they head into a crucial year for the program. If the Wolverines aim to break through and capture their first national title since 1997, the new transfers will need to make a substantial impact throughout the season. With a mix of depth pieces and potential starters, this elite Michigan football transfer portal class is primed to exert significant influence over the 2023-24 College Football Playoff and national title races.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Managing Editor at Cj@BluebyNinety.com. Also, be sure to check out our shop and our podcast, which is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and all other streaming platforms. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing and most influential Michigan media outlets there is!

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Michigan football star Will Johnson identifies two breakout freshmen

According to Will Johnson, these two Michigan football freshmen are standing out quite a bit.

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Michigan football, Will Johnson, Jyaire Hill, DJ Waller
© Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last weekend was the first time that Michigan football star Will Johnson was fully cleared to go — it was for the Wolverines’ Big Ten opener against Rutgers, a game that Michigan won 31-7. Heading into Nebraska, Johnson addressed the media earlier this week, where he identified a pair of standout freshmen for the Maize and Blue: DJ Waller and JyAire Hill.

Michigan football star Will Johnson identifies two breakout freshmen

DJ Waller standing out so far

DJ Waller, a former three-star safety, and Jyaire Hill, a former four-star cornerback, are both freshmen on this year’s Michigan football defense, which is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation. On Tuesday, Will Johnson dove into what makes this freshman duo special for the Wolverines.

“He’s a huge, huge corner out there. Very long, very instinctual,” Will Johnson said of DJ Waller, who also earned praise from Jim Harbaugh earlier this week. “So having those two features about him is some of the biggest you need at corner. Now you just got to, like everybody, keep getting better every week, keep working those. … And like you said, by the end of the year, he’ll be ready to go.”

Praise for Jyaire Hill

Johnson continued on about Jyaire Hill as well.

“He’s always around the ball,” Johnson said of Hill. “He’s very athletic, kind of same as a DJ (Waller) — they’re both freak athletes. Soon enough, he’ll be out there and making plays.”

Michigan football defense in good hands

The Michigan football defense is elite right now, and if these top-ranked prospects continue to pan out for the Wolverines, it sounds like the defense will continue to thrive. It is also worth pointing out that, next fall, Will Johnson will be returning to the Michigan football program, leading a group of defensive backs that includes Jyaire Hill and DJ Waller, so be on the lookout for some breakout stars emerging.

This weekend, Johnson, these freshmen, and the rest of the Michigan football team head to Nebraska for a Week 5 road bout against the 2-2 Cornhuskers.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics and Big Ten content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Cj@BluebyNinety.com. Also, be sure to check out our shop and our podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other streaming platforms. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing and most influential Michigan media outlets there is!

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Thoughts on the Michigan football quarterback battle heading into Week 5

Heading into Week 5, the Michigan football quarterback remains unsolved. Here are a few thoughts on how things may play out for the Wolverines.

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Michigan football, quarterback, Jayden Denegal, Jack Tuttle, Alex Orji, JJ McCarthy
Sep 16, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Jayden Denegal (4) hands off to running back Cole Cabana (24) in the second half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend, for the Wolverines’ fifth game of the 2023 season, the Maize and Blue head to Lincoln, NE, for a bout against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Still, despite being nearly halfway through the year, the Michigan football quarterback battle for the QB2 role remains ongoing, with Indiana transfer Jack Tuttle leading the way for the time being. With the info that I have been able to gather, here are a few thoughts on where things stand right now. Will it be Tuttle, Jayden Denegal, Alex Orji, or Davis Warren when JJ McCarthy gets taken out this year? If you ask me, it depends on the context of the game.

NOTE: This piece reflects my opinions, not the views of the staff, etc.

Thoughts on the Michigan football quarterback battle heading into Week 5

Now, to get this out of the way, I am operating off of the assumption that Bowling Green was just a bad game for JJ McCarthy, making it a reasonable assumption that the Michigan football QB heads to the NFL after the 2023 season. It’s far too early to truly speculate about that just yet, but seeing as I am piecing together the current state of the Wolverines’ quarterback room, it’s a necessary assumption to make.

Now, with that said, here is my gut feeling about the Michigan football quarterback battle heading into Week 5 against Nebraska. Of course, JJ McCarthy is the starter; however, who comes in next may entirely depend on the context of the game and the score.

If JJ McCarthy comes out due to injury, it’s likely Jack Tuttle getting the call

Over the offseason, Jim Harbaugh needed a bona fide backup QB — he grabbed Jack Tuttle from Indiana, who has starting and backup experience in the Big Ten. According to Sherrone Moore, who met with the media yesterday, Tuttle appears to be pulling away even though no true decision has been made at QB2 just yet.

If JJ McCarthy — God forbid — goes down with an injury this fall, I suspect Jack Tuttle is getting the nod to lead the Wolverines.

If it’s a blowout, I suspect the staff will put the ball in someone else’s hands

Now, if the game is getting out of hand — just as we saw during Weeks 1-3 — and JJ McCarthy is pulled, I am not so sure that Tuttle is getting the call. Seeing as McCarthy is able to leave at the end of this season, and is currently being mocked as a top 10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Michigan football may need a new starting QB next fall.

Sure, the Wolverines have Jadyn Davis coming in, but starting an 18-year-old true freshman at QB in this league, especially in year one of the 18-team Big Ten, is not an idea that anyone should be endorsing. Even JJ McCarthy, who was a better high school prospect than Davis and more college-ready out of high school, was clearly not ready to be QB1 back in 2021.

The Wolverines have options: Alex Orji and Jayden Denegal

The good news for Michigan football in all of this is that, behind JJ McCarthy and Jack Tuttle, the Wolverines have a pair of incredible sophomores: Jayden Denegal and Alex Orji.

One has to think that, in the back of Jim Harbaugh’s mind, he is thinking about who will start at QB in 2024 if JJ decides to leave. Denegal and Orji both have the tools to be fantastic quarterbacks for the Wolverines — in my opinion, Denegal has the frame and skill set that is ideal for Michigan’s offense. If the staff can hone in his talent, he could be a dangerous play-maker in the Maize and Blue down the road.

So, to put things briefly, while Jack Tuttle may technically win the Michigan football quarterback battle for the QB2 spot this fall, I would not be surprised if it’s Jayden Denegal or Alex Orji who gets the call in a blowout scenario in order to prep them for next year.

If the assumption is that JJ leaves after this year, it would not make much sense to play Tuttle — who is also leaving after the 2023 season — ahead of the team’s future quarterbacks if the opportunity presents itself. So far, we have seen all four backup QBs getting in-game work; in fact, Denegal currently leads the race when it comes to snap count.

Again, this is just my gut feeling, but it would make a lot of sense to see multiple backup quarterbacks depending on the scenario and could be a major reason why the Michigan football coaching staff has yet to name a true backup halfway through the year.



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Michigan football pass rusher joins meaningful NIL movement

Michigan football standout Braiden McGregor joined an NIL movement that will benefit the Testicular Cancer Foundation.

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Michigan football, NIL, Braiden McGregor
Sep 16, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Bowling Green Falcons running back Jamal Johnson (20) is tackled by Michigan Wolverines defensive lineman Mason Graham (55) and defensive end Braiden McGregor (17) in the second half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Today, it was announced that Michigan football pass rusher Braiden McGregor, a senior with the Wolverines, is now a part of the “All-SAXX Conference.” This is an NIL partnership between SAXX underwear and seven college edge rushers around the nation — for every sack they record this year, SAXX will be donating $1,000 to the Testicular Cancer Foundation, per On3.

Michigan football pass rusher now a part of meaningful NIL movement

The latest NIL partnership for a current Wolverine features senior edge rusher Braiden McGregor, who is taking on a much bigger role on Michigan’s No. 1-ranked defense this year. McGregor, a senior for Michigan football, is now a member of the “All-SAXX Conference,” which is a program aimed at raising money for testicular cancer research.

“We obviously had some fun with the creative for this program, but it was important to us that there was a meaningful philanthropic angle to the final product,” Wendy Bennison, the SAXX Underwear chief executive officer, said in a release. “We’ve long supported the Testicular Cancer Foundation, so we couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with some of the most prolific sackers in college football on this worthy initiative.”

Braiden McGregor yet to get a sack, but that could change this weekend

So far this year, Michigan football pass rusher Briaden McGregor has recorded eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hurries. While he remains without a sack through four games, there is now some added motivation to get the quarterback on the ground, as it will result in another thousand dollars being donated to the Testicular Cancer Foundation.

This weekend, McGregor takes the field for the fifth time this fall when Michigan football takes on Nebraska for the team’s first road game of the 2023 season.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics and Big Ten content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Cj@BluebyNinety.com. Also, be sure to check out our shop and our podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other streaming platforms. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing and most influential Michigan media outlets there is!

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