Michigan football has some really big names on its roster, from Blake Corum to J.J. McCarthy to Donovan Edwards to Will Johnson.
Yet, there are some players who could be key pieces in 2023 that people aren’t talking about.
Some of them might be household names in Ann Arbor who could step into the national spotlight,
others might be players who only the most ardent of the maize and blue faithful know.
With spring ball starting in mere weeks, there’s an opportunity to make a move for these players,
and by the time the season rolls around in September, they could emerge as playmakers for the 2023 team.
10. WR Roman Wilson Let’s go ahead and start off our list in a somewhat ridiculous fashion, as Wilson is a starter and was second on the team in receiving touchdowns.
9. EDGE Derrick Moore Moore did some solid things as an edge rusher in 2022, but at times looked like a freshman — since, yes he was in his first year.
8. EDGE Braiden McGregor After seeming somewhat lost in the depth chart and rotation, McGregor really came alive late in the 2022 season. Now with Mike Morris and Eyabi Okie both gone, it should be his show as a starter.
7. CB Ja'Den McBurrows McBurrows likely would have been in the cornerback rotation — perhaps at the expense of freshman Will Johnson — a year ago if he didn’t have an injury which kept him out for the entirety of 2022.
6. RT Trente Jones Jones got the nod as the starter to begin the season, but was knocked out of the lineup in Week 6 at Indiana and ultimately ceded his role to Karsen Barnhart.
5. IOL Raheem Anderson There’s no telling whether or not Anderson will start in 2023, but he has emerged as a candidate to be the next great center now that Olu Oluwatimi has moved on.
4. S Makari Paige Another starter, Paige perhaps gets more hype than RJ Moten, but much less than Rod Moore. His interception of C.J. Stroud all-but sealed The Game, and he looked like a seasoned vet in 2022.
3. DT Rayshaun Benny Benny took a real, real big step forward in 2022, impressing in the final two regular season games — though he didn’t see much time in the College Football Playoff.
2. TE Max Bredeson Michigan lost both of its starting tight ends from the beginning of 2022 with Erick All transferring to Iowa and Luke Schoonmaker moving onto the NFL draft.
1. WR A.J. Henning We had him as our breakout player in 2022, yet, he didn’t really see much time on the offensive side of the ball. In fact, per PFF, his offensive snaps went from 181 in 2021 to 111 in 2022.