We are just one day away from Michigan vs. Alabama in the Rose Bowl, with the winner advancing to the National Championship in Houston. For some, their final game in the Maize and Blue will be in this College Football Playoff, while others are committed to returning next season.
One of those set to come back to school in 2024, according to 247Sports’ Alejandro Zuniga, is offensive tackle Myles Hinton. The Stanford transfer hasn’t played a huge role in 2023, but with LaDarius Henderson out of collegiate eligibility, he will have a shot to earn the starting left tackle position.
Another guy, however, has plans to go to the pros following the season — do-it-all offensive lineman Karsen Barnhart. The native Michigander has been in college since 2019, and he admitted he made the decision prior to this season beginning.
“I’m going on to the NFL,” Barnhart told On3’s Chris Balas. “I thought about it before the season even started. I think that’s probably the best thing for me.”
Meanwhile, safety Rod Moore told On3 there’s a chance he comes back to college in 2024, saying “it’s a possibility” he returns to Michigan for his senior year. That alone would be huge for the Wolverines’ secondary.
“I’ve thought about it a little bit, but I just really want to focus on what’s going on right now, especially this game that’s coming up,” Moore said. “I don’t want to cloud my mind with my personal future. I just want to do what I want to be able to do for this team at the time being.”
Much like Moore, there are other Wolverines still contemplating what to do. Wide receiver Roman Wilson and defensive tackle Kris Jenkins have not publicly announced their plans, but they both seem highly likely to go to the NFL. Others such as edge Braiden McGregor, tight end AJ Barner, safety Makari Paige, linebacker Junior Colson and running back Donovan Edwards will have tougher decisions to make.
Then there are players who are out of collegiate eligibility, like defensive tackle Cam Goode, linebacker Michael Barrett, cornerback Mike Sainristil and cornerback Josh Wallace. No matter what, their time in college will come to an end at the conclusion of this season.
And finally, there’s J.J. McCarthy. The third-year quarterback continues to have a “one-track mind” and focus on the task at hand — beating Alabama and then winning the National Championship. However, he is already being projected in mock drafts as a first-rounder.
That opportunity would be pretty hard to pass up, but McCarthy is a different type of person. He could very well come back for one more year, be voted a team captain and go down as an all-timer at Michigan (if he hasn’t already done so). He has some Jim Harbaugh instilled in him, so it would not be a huge stunner if he returns.
We will know in just a couple weeks whether or not these guys plan to head to the pros, as the final deadline for players with collegiate eligibility remaining to declare for the 2024 NFL Draft is Monday, Jan. 15.