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This Michigan football freshman could have a big impact on defense in 2023

This Michigan football freshman could be gearing up for a massive season this fall.



Michigan football freshman, Trey Pierce
Oct. 9, 2010; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; General view of Michigan Stadium prior to the game between the Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

This fall, a number of new faces are poised to make a big impact for the Wolverines as they pursue the program’s first national title since 1997. Whether these new additions come from the transfer portal or are freshmen in the Michigan football program, there are plenty of incredibly talented newcomers, one of whom is Trey Pierce, a freshman defensive lineman. Standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing 290 pounds, Pierce hails from Illinois.

Michigan football freshman could stand out in 2023

Trey Pierce proved to be a valuable addition to the Michigan football team, committing to Jim Harbaugh’s 2023 recruiting class as a three-star (composite) lineman. Despite not being rated with four or five stars, Pierce is expected to make a significant impression in his first year with the Maize and Blue. According to the Wolverines’ head coach, Pierce has already displayed impressive size and skillset, which Michigan football intends to utilize throughout the 2023 season.

“Phenomenal student. Another Chicago lad. 4.0 grade average and both parents have been very involved in law enforcement,” Jim Harbaugh said following National Signing Day, according to USA Today. “A family. Father Roderick is a sheriff’s detective, very supportive. Had a great conversation with the family in the home. Grandfather, he’s one of those — everyone’s lived with me for a long time and we sit down to glass and, ‘OK, now let’s talk! And talk about Trey and his development.’ And it was just really good. You could tell where that family had — the trunk of the tree and the branch and the apple doesn’t fall too far from the branch or the trunk.”

“He’s a great guy, very serious about being good and accomplishing his goals,” Harbaugh continued. “He wants a great education and I think this might be a guy who might be a coach someday. We talked quite a bit about that. And I think he’s somebody that will play as long as he can and then coach. Great strength, great explosiveness. Really, at a position that you always need. Not just big, not just strong, but also athletic and explosive.”

Trey Pierce could be an essential part of the Wolverines’ defensive line

With the loss of top defensive tackle Mazi Smith to the NFL Draft, this Michigan football team could bring size and power to the interior of the line — something that the Wolverines can use more of. Without a doubt, defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, who added plenty of weight over the offseason, will be Michigan’s starting defensive tackle in 2023.

That being said, depth is an essential part of any championship-caliber team, and having a freshman standout like Trey Pierce could be huge for the Maize and Blue in their pursuit of a third-straight Big Ten title and more.

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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.