Last season was the Michigan Wolverines football program’s best since 2004, and their first Big Ten title since that season.

They not only dominated their rivals the Ohio State Buckeyes by a score of 42-27, they also made it to the college football playoff for the first time in program history, falling to the Georgia Bulldogs in the first round.

As the Bulldogs players celebrated, the Wolverines’ next generation of stars, Donovan Edwards, J.J. McCarthy, and Andrel Anthony, stood and watched in a formation as cameras snapped in the background.

Images of these players were emblazoned with a slogan from ‘The Game of Thrones’ series, “The North Remembers.” hinting that the trio of youngsters might be ready to lead Michigan back to the final four again in 2022, or perhaps even a national championship.

andrel anthony

Edwards, Anthony and McCarthy should secure prominent roles in the 2022 team’s fortunes, but none of the sensational sophomores were named captains of the team this season.

Those honors belong to the following players: Jr. QB Cade McNamara, Sr. DT Mazi Smith, Sr. TE Erick All, Sr. WR/CB Mike Sainristil, and Graduate Student WR Ronnie Bell.

McNamara’s name has been lost in the shuffle amid practice reports of McCarthy’s talents and continued development, but he provides a steady hand at the quarterback position who led the Wolverines’ balanced attack last season.

Sainristil said he will relish the leadership position heading into the 2022 season.

He added that McNamara promised him he would win championships as a high school player prior to committing to the Wolverines, and now the upperclassman duo has a chance to make it happen again in Ann Arbor.

The pick of captains was decided by a players-only vote, as McNamara notes in the video below.

He said he was “extremely honored” to be elected captain. Signs point to McNamara as the starting QB when the Wolverines take the field against Colorado State in Ann Arbor on Saturday, September 3.


Smith is a 6-foot-3, 290 pound defensive tackle from Grand Rapids who has made an impression on many who have watched him in practice leading up to the season.

His imposing size, intelligence and nimble feet could make him a leader for the Wolverines both on and off the field. Smith said he hasn’t been able to fly under the radar as he has in previous seasons.

“I’ve been having to deal a little bit more with people having their eyes on me,” Smith said, adding that he appreciates their attention.

Michigan is the second-highest ranked team in ESPN’s 2022 preseason poll behind Ohio State, coming in at number eight in the rankings.

This article was written by Nick Meyer, the founder of Forgotten Sports Heroes who has covered Michigan football in a freelance and professional capacity for nearly two decades.

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