Just as we saw a year ago, the Jim Harbaugh-NFL rumors have been flying like crazy following the Wolverines’ 2022 campaign. Harbaugh has reportedly already taken calls with NFL owners and even had a two-hour interview with the Denver Broncos; however, with many of the Wolverines’ starters staying at Michigan for one more season, it seems as if Harbaugh will be staying put.
As the Jim Harbaugh rumors reached their peak, Michigan’s star running back and Heisman contender, Blake Corum, announced that his college days are not over just yet.
Despite going down with the knee injury just 10.5 games into the Wolverines’ 14-game season, Corum was named a first team All-American, first team All-Big Ten selection, and the Big Ten Silver Football Award winner (Big Ten’s best player).
Following Corum’s announcement, a series of other key contributors and All-Big Ten athletes announced that they, too, will be back in 2023.
On offense, Joe Moore Award-winning offensive linemen Trevor Keegan and Zak Zinter will be back along with one of Michigan’s top receivers, Cornelius Johnson. Defensively, the Wolverines will retain some of the Big Ten’s top defenders, such as Mike Sainristil (DB), Mike Barrett (LB), and Kris Jenkins (DT).
〽️Kris Jenkins☑️ https://t.co/NEVncOT3VF
— Double BB (@BBsBigHouse1) January 16, 2023
With all of these star players returning to Ann Arbor in 2023, one has to believe that Jim Harbaugh has said something to them. After all, if Harbaugh was leaving, I doubt any of these players would be back at Michigan this fall; however, no one truly knows what the Wolverines’ head coach is thinking.
All of these returnees give Michigan a shot at a National Championship
Over the past two years, it seems as if the Wolverines have been building towards a National Championship run; in 2023, we could see exactly that. In 2021, Michigan football beat Ohio State, 42-27, to head to its first-ever Big Ten Championship game. The Wolverines finished No. 3 with a 12-2 record and a conference title when it was all said and done.
This past season, U-M has seen similar success as the Wolverines again beat Ohio State (45-23) before dismantling Purdue in the Big Ten Championship game to improve to 13-0.
2022 marked the Wolverines’ first-ever 13-win season, and set a new standard in Ann Arbor. That being said, Michigan football still could not win a Playoff game as it fell to TCU, 51-45. The Wolverines finished 2022 with a 13-1 record, a No. 3 ranking, and a Big Ten Championship.
Heading into 2023, U-M retains most of its key contributors from the 2022 season including quarterback JJ McCarthy, running backs Donovan Edwards and Blake Corum, much of its top-ranked offensive line, and more.
After two-straight Big Ten Championships and wins over Ohio State, the Wolverines’ only real tests are looking like a road trip to Penn State and a home matchup vs. Ohio State; both of these games are winnable for Michigan, and I believe the Wolverines will be favored in both.
As we turn the page from 2022 to 2023, Michigan football is in the best position to win the conference and make a push for a National Championship this coming season. Even if it is just for one more season, Jim Harbaugh should want to stay in Ann Arbor, and all of his top players returning for another year makes me think he will.
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