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Michigan football tight ends more important than ever before

The Michigan football tight ends are gearing up for an elite season in the Maize and Blue this fall.



Michigan football tight ends

This upcoming fall, the Michigan Wolverines are gearing up for an exciting journey through their 12-game college football regular season schedule. After securing consecutive Big Ten titles and other accolades in recent years, the 2023 roster presents head coach Jim Harbaugh’s best chance yet to bring a national championship to Ann Arbor, something the program hasn’t achieved since 1997. A successful season could help propel Michigan football to the upper echelons of college football, alongside powerhouses like Alabama and Georgia. Given these high stakes, the Michigan football tight ends will be crucial in contributing to the team’s offensive success this fall. As such, they must step up and play a significant role in the Wolverines’ tough and resilient offense.

Michigan football tight ends up for a tall task

Following former Michigan football standout tight end Luke Schoonmaker’s selection by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Wolverines’ offense will rely on their two emerging star tight ends, sophomore Colston Loveland and transfer AJ Barner, to fill the void this coming season. Both players are expected to play critical roles in both the passing and running game as blockers and receivers.

Last season, Loveland made a name for himself, starting with the Ohio State game and continuing through the Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff games. Despite being a true freshman, Loveland showcased the qualities of a top-tier Michigan football tight end, excelling as a blocker and pass-catcher. In his second season, he is expected to emerge as a leader on the offense.

In addition to Loveland, Michigan football added the towering former Indiana Hoosier, AJ Barner, through the transfer portal. Barner had a remarkable showing during the spring game, demonstrating his readiness for his new role in the Maize and Blue. He excelled as both a blocker and a receiver and has the potential to become one of the top pass-catchers for the Wolverines this fall.

“I feel like all of us are just weapons in our own way,” Michigan football senior tight end Matthew Hibner said. “We’re not all the same people, but we all bring different things to the field, and I think we’re going to show them this season.”

Receivers are looking thin, tight ends must be ready this fall

One of the biggest (and perhaps the only) concerns for the 2023 Michigan football offense is who is going to step up at wide receiver. Yes, Roman Wilson and Cornelius Johnson are back this year, but behind them there appears to be a notable lack of depth. Knowing Jim Harbaugh, I assume that all Michigan football fans know where this is heading.

This year, with questionable wideout depth and more, the Michigan football tight ends are going to be relied upon even more than usual — with a group of young, big, and talented blockers and receivers in the tight end room, the Wolverines’ offense is in good hands.

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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 as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.