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Michigan football: incoming defensive lineman could be a star

Michigan football has signed the majority of their 2023 recruiting class. Here, we breakdown one player in particular who could make an immediate impact.



Sep 3, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines linebacker Mike Morris (90) rushes on defense in the first half against the Colorado State Rams at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan football has had an incredibly successful start to its early signing period for the class of 2023. The Wolverines signed 22 incoming freshmen to their team on the day and gained a 23rd commitment.

Michigan football has solid Early Signing Day

They’ve officially signed eight 4-star recruits, with three being top-250 recruits, according to 247sports. Each of these players has the makings to be an immediate star for Michigan football, but none better than top-150 recruit Enow Etta.

Etta, per 247sports, is ranked as the No. 116 player in the country, the No. 14 defensive lineman, and the No. 20 player out of Texas. Coming out of a state like Texas, you know he faced top high school competition throughout his career at Covenant Christian Academy.

Etta is a 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive lineman who could enter the defensive line rotation from day one of entering campus. He committed to play for the Wolverines in June and never waivered from his commitment.

High School Dominance

When watching Etta’s game tape, it’s hard not to be impressed by his strength and speed. In his senior year alone, he recorded 122 total tackles, 32 tackles for a loss, and 18 sacks. All season long, he showed pure dominance.

Consistently, he would either power through or run past offensive linemen, and double teams didn’t matter as he was fast enough to get through both and still get to the quarterback. He was almost dominant to a fault in this manner, as the one weakness you can see in him is that he doesn’t necessarily have a go-to finesse or power move. He was too strong for anyone at the high school level to compete with him.

He very well may have those moves in his toolkit, but when rushing the passer or stopping the run, he was more than capable of allowing his athletic ability to carry the weight.

Even when the running back could break free or the quarterback could get the pass off, one of the most impressive things about his game was his straight-line speed. Not often do you see defensive linemen running down the sideline to chase a running back, but this was almost commonplace when watching Etta’s tape.

Not only was he willing to chase after the offensive players, but he, more often than not, was able to gain ground, often leading to a tackle down the field. That alone is enough to get Michigan football fans excited about what he could bring to the Wolverines.

Translation to Michigan Football

While Etta has all the athletic talent in the world, he is still a bit raw, and this could lead to some early struggles with the college game. However, don’t let this worry you, as I don’t expect the transition to take long.

The beauty of entering college with elite athleticism is that transitioning to the college game is much easier. You don’t need to spend nearly as much time building strength and speed to compete physically; instead, you can work on technique.

This advantage is huge for Etta as he will likely be able to get on the field early and often, as he shouldn’t find himself getting overpowered often at all. He might even be the one over-powering opposition early in his career.

I wouldn’t expect all-star numbers out of Etta going into year one as a part of the Michigan football program, but we should hear his name called early on. I expect an impact similar to what we’ve seen with freshman defensive end Derrick Moore this season. He’ll get into the rotation and likely make a big play or two for the year.

Still, as is the case with most freshmen coming into a big-time program like Michigan, it might take a year or two for him to make his mark on the team.

Overall, Michigan football fans have every reason to be excited about the addition of Etta to Michigan. He’s got the potential to be an absolute star for the Wolverines for years to come. Don’t be surprised if we see him on the field early and often as Michigan football looks to compete for their third straight Big Ten title next season.

A recent graduate from Kalamazoo College, Tyler has four years experience in sports writing. He currently works as assistant editor for Blue By Ninety and specializes in a variety of sports such as football, swimming and diving, and basketball.