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Michigan football’s returning secondary grades out as one of the best in college football

The Michigan football secondary is looking elite heading into 2023!



Michigan Wolverines football recruiting, Aaron Scott
Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Rod Moore (19) celebrates an interception against the TCU Horned Frogs during the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Michigan football is ready to run it back for the 2023 season. With offensive starters J.J. McCarthy and Blake Corum returning, fans have high hopes for the Wolverines’ offense. In addition, Michigan’s defense is returning many elite players from last year. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Michigan has some of the best-graded returning defensive backs in college football.

Pro Football Focus grades Michigan football as one of the best-returning secondaries in CFB

Recently, Pro Football Focus published the top 10 rankings for returning safeties and cornerbacks among Power Five schools. Michigan was the only team with more than one player on both lists.

Michigan football has two players in both the top 10 cornerback rankings and the top 10 safety rankings. Among returning cornerbacks, Will Johnson is rated No. 2, and Mike Sainristil is rated No. 5.

Sainristil converted from wide receiver to defensive back during the 2022 off-season. Since then, he has developed into one of the best defensive backs in college football. Sainristil finished last season with a PFF grade of 83.2, and Johnson finished with a grade of 88.2.

Michigan junior Rod Moore finished third among returning safeties with a PFF grade of 83.7. Makari Paige was only a few places behind Moore, finishing seventh with a ranking of 79.1.

The future is bright for the Wolverines’ secondary

If one thing from these rankings is clear, Michigan is returning more elite defensive back talent than any other school in college football. Only Iowa State had more than one player on these rankings, with a safety and corner both making the list.

Michigan football having four players in these lists shows just how elite the Wolverines’ secondary will be. In addition, Michigan’s 2023 recruiting class has two four-star cornerbacks set to join the roster, showing just how bright the future is for the Michigan football secondary. In less than 100 days, Michigan will get a chance to showcase its defensive talent in its home opener against East Carolina on Sept. 2, 2023.

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