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9 Michigan football freshman standouts heading into 2023 season

These nine Michigan football freshman standouts have been impressive, according to Jim Harbaugh.



Michigan football, Jim Harbaugh, 2023 Michigan Wolverines roster
Oct 15, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on the sideline in the first half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 Michigan Wolverines roster is brimming with rising star players and new signees. Most of the new faces that fans will see earning starting roles this fall are from the transfer portal; however, this afternoon, Jim Harbaugh made it a point to identify nine Michigan football freshman standouts from fall camp thus far. While it’s possible that none of them will secure starting roles, these 2023 signees are all likely to see significant in-game action as the Maize and Blue pursue a third-straight Big Ten title and more in the coming months.

9 Michigan football freshman standouts identified by Jim Harbaugh

The nation is buzzing about the 2023 Michigan Wolverines roster, which features a multitude of reasons to be excited about the coming season for fans and analysts alike. From new transfers to veteran stars and beyond, this year likely boasts the best college football roster that 9th-year head coach Jim Harbaugh has ever assembled. Alongside familiar names, such as JJ McCarthy, Blake Corum, and more, numerous Michigan football freshman standouts are emerging during fall practice.

Wide receivers

Since spring ball, it has become clear that Michigan football is in good hands when it comes to the wide receivers (no pun intended), a trend that seems destined to continue for years to come.

“Fredrick Moore, Karmello English, and Semaj Morgan,” Jim Harbaugh stated on Tuesday afternoon at Schmbechler Hall. “Those three have really come in and inserted themselves right off the bat — they’ve taken reps with the ones and taking reps with the twos. They’re not playing like freshmen.

“Karmello, Fredrick, and Semaj — their ability to get out of a break, we haven’t seen that for many freshmen, let alone too many receivers that have come through here,” Harbaugh continued. “That ability, their ability to track the ball, Fredrick Moore’s ability to track the ball, is as good as I’ve seen. Semaj Morgan (is) quick and fast. And in shorter stature, but a very big catch radius. He can catch the ball away from his body, he can high point. He’s been really good.”

Defensive line

This response sparked deeper exploration into the 2023 Michigan football freshman class. Who else among the newcomers has caught the attention of Jim Harbaugh and the coaching staff as they prepare for the upcoming season?

“Yeah, there’s other guys,” Jim Harbaugh said. “Yeah, there’s a great group of freshmen. Cameron Brandt, Enow Etta, Trey Pierce — those three have been outstanding and came in right on time. And I just feel like that interior defensive line group has really been bolstered. We’ll see who the fifth and sixth defensive lineman is going to be in that rotation. But definitely, those three will most likely be in. That’s how good they’re playing.”


To wrap up his press conference this afternoon, Jim Harbaugh pointed out three additional freshmen who are poised to make significant contributions during their tenure with the Michigan football program. Interestingly, all three are defensive backs and could see reps in the cornerback room this year, which is still searching for its core contributors and more throughout camp.

“Three really good freshmen in that group, another position group that have three that are ascending,” Harbaugh concluded. “DJ Waller, Jyaire Hill, and Cam Calhoun are coming on fast.”

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball. Right now, CJ is the publisher of Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. Previously, CJ has made stops with Fansided, The Michigan Daily, and more.