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Ja’Den McBurrows’ path to Michigan, outlook for 2023

Can McBurrows separate himself in the cornerback battle?

Michigan Spring Football Game Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images

Ja’Den McBurrows missed all of last season with a knee injury, but the promising cornerback is healthy and ready for his third season with the Michigan Wolverines.

With a tight battle ahead at cornerback, let’s break down McBurrows’ path to Michigan and his outlook for 2023 as part of our series at Maize n Brew.

The story so far

McBurrows started his high school career at American Heritage High School, where former Wolverines Nick Eubanks and Mike Morris attended. His junior year, McBurrows transferred to high school football powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale and won a state title his junior season. McBurrows also ran track during his prep career.

A three-star prospect, McBurrows chose Michigan over schools like Ohio State, Penn State and Miami, to name a few. He played four games at cornerback his freshman year, making two tackles with one pass breakup before redshirting.

Unfortunately, McBurrows missed all of last year with a knee injury he sustained at the end of his freshman campaign. Now that he’s healthy, he’s looking to make a name for himself.

Outlook for 2023

There’s an open spot at cornerback alongside Will Johnson. There are several in the room vying for that role, but McBurrows has an opening to at least become a regular rotation player.

At Big Ten Media Days, starting corner Mike Sainristil talked about McBurrows’ offseason and his position in the cornerback battle.

“He easily could play nickel, he could play corner,” Sainristil said. “He just could play anywhere. He’s working hard every day. He’s looking good in the weight room. He just has to continue doing the necessary things, the small things and I think McBurrows can easily be a guy starting in the corner spot.”

With Amorion Walker, Josh Wallace and others competing for the starting spot, it’s unknown who will be the one to get the most time on the field in 2023. It’s hard to pinpoint just how much work he will get this season, but McBurrows is in line to see the field often this season, especially now that he is healthy and ready to go.