Projecting Who's Staying and Who's Leaving from Michigan After Bowl Game

David KenyonFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 1, 2023

Projecting Who's Staying and Who's Leaving from Michigan After Bowl Game

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    Jim Harbaugh
    Jim HarbaughZach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Although the 2022 season will be remembered as a successful year, the Michigan Wolverines are officially in offseason mode after falling to the TCU Horned Frogs 51-45 in the Fiesta Bowl.

    And it'll be another busy offseason for the Maize and Blue.

    The double-edged sword of success means Michigan will likely be dealing with several early NFL draft departures. However, the Wolverines also have already attracted a few potential impact transfers.

    As the proverbial dust settles on the Fiesta Bowl, we're looking ahead to key player movement on Michigan's roster.

Who's Leaving?

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    Blake Corum
    Blake CorumMike Mulholland/Getty Images

    The Seniors

    Michigan might land a few welcome surprises with super-seniors who elect to return as a result of the 2020 eligibility pause. But the Wolverines are expected to lose offensive lineman Ryan Hayes, wideout Ronnie Bell, tight end Luke Schoonmaker, linebacker Michael Barrett, punter Brad Robbins and kicker Jake Moody.

    NFL Departures

    Running back Blake Corum, offensive linemen Olusegun Oluwatimi and Zak Zinter, defensive lineman Mazi Smith and linebacker Mike Morris all have immediate NFL potential. If all turn pro, they'll give Michigan a terrific chance for a sixth straight draft with five-plus selections. Wide receiver Cornelius Johnson and corner DJ Turner may leave too.


    Both quarterback Cade McNamara and tight end Erick Allโ€”key contributors in 2021โ€”are headed to Iowa. Two reserves, tight end Louis Hansen and defensive lineman George Rooks, are transferring to Connecticut and Boston College, respectively.

Who's Probably Staying?

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    J.J. McCarthy
    J.J. McCarthySet Number: X164248 TK1

    J.J. McCarthy, QB

    After holding a rotational role as a true freshman, J.J. McCarthy supplanted Cade McNamara in 2022. McCarthy was highly efficient in all levels of the field, averaging 8.3 yards per attempt with 20 touchdowns to three interceptions on the way to a Big 12 title. He added a mobile element with 254 rushing yards and four scores too.

    Donovan Edwards, RB

    Like his quarterback, Donovan Edwards will be a third-year junior next season. The local product had a brilliant year as the counterpart to Blake Corum, especially after the latter's injury. Edwards racked up 401 rushing yards in key late victories over Ohio State and Purdue.

    Defensive Cornerstones

    Once again, the Maize and Blue are likely to have considerable turnover on the defensive depth chart. However, the standout duo of linebacker Junior Colson and Rod Moore will brace the transition. Colson led Michigan in total stops, while Moore emerged as the defense's most reliable tackler and grabbed a few interceptions.

Who's on the Way?

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    LaDarius Henderson
    LaDarius HendersonJordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Top Defensive Transfers

    Not only did Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell leave for Liberty, standout edge-rusher Josaiah Stewart hit the portal. He's a two-time All-Sun Belt selection who posted 25.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks. Nebraska linebacker Ernest Hausmann also picked Michigan after tallying 54 tackles in his debut college season.

    O-Line Reinforcements

    Michigan's tremendous two-year run is partially a product of two dominant offensive lines. The unit has several major departures to address, but three experienced Pac-12 blockers will assist in filling the voids. LaDarius Henderson is coming from Arizona State, while Drake Nugent and Myles Hinton are both arriving from Stanford.

    Cole Cabana, RB

    The second-highest-rated recruit in Michigan's recruiting class, Cole Cabana is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Edwards. Like him, Cabana is a local back who earned a 4-star billing and chose the Wolverines. He totaled 5,781 yards and 79 touchdowns in high school.