The Michigan Wolverines are coming off of a Big Ten Championship season in 2021-2022, and the team has plenty of optimism for this year’s campaign as well.
While Michigan returns veteran, proven players at just about every single position on both offense and defense, they also boast a top ten recruiting class from this offseason that is headed to Ann Arbor to shake things up.
Michigan’s 22-recruit class was ranked number nine in the country by Scout.com, and now Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines will have a chance to see what each guy can do on the football field.
Some of the top incoming players are already strong, athletic and mature enough to play in year one for the Wolverines, including the following guys.
These are Michigan’s best bets for an instant impact in year one, according to practice intel and depth chart projections:
1. Will Johnson
Listed as a backup cornerback behind likely starter Gemon Green, Johnson is one of the most talented recruits Michigan has brought in in several years.
A five-star from Grosse Pointe South High School, Johnson’s film reminds some of a young Charles Woodson.
A dynamic offensive, defensive and special teams player, Johnson’s highlights speak for themselves.
He also all the makings of a special player in year one for the Wolverines.
2. Derrick Moore
A strong-willed, granite bodied defensive end from Baltimore, Moore is a four-star whose film shows that he has the makings of becoming an excellent pass rusher on Jesse Minter’s defense.
Moore is listed at 6-foot-4, 279 pounds, and he plays much bigger than that with a relentless drive to track down the quarterback or ballcarrier.
Check out Moore’s highlights from his high school days on the East Coast by clicking below.
3. Darrius Clemons-
A star of the Michigan spring game, Clemons has an advanced physique that should make him an imposing, inviting passing target for Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy in his first year on campus.
While he is stuck behind five other top-flight receivers heading into his freshman season (Ronnie Bell, Andrel Anthony, Cornelius Johnson, A.J. Henning and Roman Wilson), Clemons still has a legitimate shot at playing time this season, a testament to his incredible abilities as an outside receiver, red zone threat and deep threat.
Check out highlights of Clemons below, and learn more about him and the rest of the new recruits in our new 2022 season preview guide, available on Amazon here.
4. Mason Graham
Listed as a starter along the defensive line by projected depth charts like this one, Graham is a monstrous defensive end/tackle hybrid who is listed at 6-foot-3, 317 pounds on the preseason depth chart.
Watching the film on Graham, he jumps out as a player who almost looks like an offensive tackle playing defensive tackle.
His strong lower body and ability to lean into opposing linemen using his length and size make him a serious candidate for becoming the number one impact defender on this year’s Michigan defense.
Watch highlights of Graham below:
5. Colston Loveland
Hailing from Idaho, Loveland is a raw but incredibly talented young prospect.
Listed at 6-foot-5, 237 pounds on the Michigan preseason depth chart, Loveland looks bigger on film and has top-of-the-heap receiving skills, showing an ability to make difficult and contested catches with regularity.
Loveland’s impressive high school highlight reel is shown below.
Nick Meyer is the founder of Forgotten Sports Heroes and the author of the new Michigan Football 2022 Season Preview and Recruiting Guide, which can be downloaded by clicking here.