The Michigan Wolverines are expected to win or at least compete for the Big Ten and national championship this season, and their defensive backfield is a big reason why.

The latest projected Michigan Wolverines starting lineup and depth chart lists potential all-conference and All-American players including sophomore Will Johnson and graduate student Mike Sainristil among the team’s starting defensive backs.

Depth-wise, a freshman four-star cornerback named Jyaire Hill may have what it takes to wrest playing time away from Michigan’s talented incumbents, according to defensive coordinator Jesse Minter.

“I think Jyaire Hill is going to be a guy,” defensive coordinator Jesse Minter said this past spring according to

Hill is a four-star from Kankakee, Illinois. According to, he had offers from Florida, Iowa, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Virginia, Tennessee, UCLA and Wisconsin among several other Division-I colleges.

“I don’t know if I’ll put him on Will (Johnson’s) track, but I think he’s going to be capable of helping us this year — just a really, really good, competitive mindset that it takes to be successful at that position.”

Hill said he’s following the example of Johnson, the former five-star from Grosse Pointe, Michigan who is viewed as one of the country’s top defensive backs heading into the 2023 college football season.

“I see myself like (Will Johnson),” Hill said according to 247 Sports.

“I want to be like Will. How he his, how he became. I’m trying my best…I’ve adjusted and continue to adjust at the moment. Practices are going smooth, and just learning the playbook. One after one: Just trying to go smooth. It’s been cool trying to adapt coming from high school. It’s been sweet.”

Last season, Johnson had 25 solo tackles, three interceptions and three pass breakups for the Wolverines in limited action. He stepped up big in the team’s biggest moments.

If Hill can provide anywhere near that type of impact, the Wolverines’ secondary will almost certainly thrive again in 2023.