clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Daily Brews: Three Wolverines listed as 25 most important players in College Football Playoff race

If these Wolverines are dominant, Michigan will have a successful season.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

The goals are clear for the Michigan Wolverines’ football team in 2023: beat Ohio State again, win the Big Ten Championship again and win the National Championship. As Blake Corum put it earlier this offseason — it’s natty or bust.

In order for them to get back to the CFP — and do some damage once they get there — they’re going to need contributions from important players. Three of those players were included in a recent ESPN list ($) by Bill Connelly, ranking the most important players for the CFP race.

Cornelius Johnson is 14th in the “potential stars in need of a breakthrough” category, Josiah Stewart is 11th in the “most important transfers” category, and J.J. McCarthy is sixth in the “quarterbacks with a potential game-changing leap in them” category.

As Connelly mentioned, Michigan’s wideouts “might not have quite the big-play upside of other major contenders, but their floor is immensely high.” We all know Johnson can be a big-play guy after his performance in the Ohio State win last year, and if he can make another leap, the ceiling for Michigan’s offense skyrockets.

Pass rush is important for creating chaos, and Stewart racked up 16.5 sacks in two seasons at Coastal Carolina, with 13 coming in 2021. His speed can help him make life hell for opposing quarterbacks, and he should be able to help Michigan’s defense create chaos.

McCarthy had a pretty good season in 2022, but there is still room for improvement. Michigan hasn’t always had consistent quarterback play during Jim Harbaugh’s tenure, and McCarthy can cement himself as the most dominant quarterback in recent Michigan history if he excels this season. If he can take a leap and be a Heisman candidate, he can lead Michigan to the National Championship.

A former Wolverine tops the list, as Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton is listed at No. 1 because, according to Connelly, “fully harnessing the explosiveness of both Josh Heupel’s offense and his own right arm,” can lead Tennessee to success.

There are some notable Michigan omissions for the list, as there are clear cases to be made for Blake Corum and Will Johnson to be on the list.

What are your thoughts on the list? Who are the most important players for Michigan to get back to the CFP? Let us know in the comments.