The Big Ten schedule will feature four new teams that defected from the Pac-12 come the 2024 football season, with Oregon and Washington recently leaving their former conference. Both these schools will bring football programs that can compete for Big Ten titles, but the Michigan Wolverines seem ready to keep pace with their own west coast additions from the transfer portal this year.
Players on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball are already talking about what they’ve seen from Stanford offensive line transfers Myles Hinton and Drake Nugent. Veteran guard Zak Zinter told media members on Monday he’s been able to take a “balcony view” of the rest of the unit so far during fall camp. He made sure to mention the impression these former Cardinal teammates are making, along with fellow Pac-12 transfer tackle LaDarius Henderson.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s been great,” Zinter said. “I mean, LD, Drake, Myles all came in, learned the playbook right away like vets, and just have been dudes out there on the practice field so far.”
Zinter added that spring ball was what really opened his eyes to what type of competitor they were bringing in with Nugent.
“Drake, he’s got that dog in him — I mean, we were both out in the spring and we were doing conditioning during practice and we’re wearing heart rate monitors. And I mean, this dude was always in the red, like, no matter what. I don’t know what it was. He has a fifth gear that just kicks in. Me and him and a couple of other guys were running with like the big shield during conditioning times and when everyone’s hurting, he just, he’s got that extra gear where it gets going. So I don’t know exactly where it comes from, but he’s definitely got it in him.”
Edge rusher Jaylen Harrell has a much more direct view of what it’s like to go up against the guys in the trenches. Harrell gave reporters an idea of what it’s like to line up against these new faces on the offensive line.
“Myles and LD, they’ve been doing a good job. You know, Myles, he’s a big human. So you got to keep your pad level low. But that’s, that’s a big dude. Drake as well. He’s been doing good,” Harrell said.
Nugent is already on the watch list for the Rimington Award — presented to the best center in college football — and for the Outland Award, which goes to the best lineman on offense or defense. Hinton, the brother of former Michigan defensive lineman Christopher Hinton, comes to Michigan after three seasons with the Cardinal and will compete for one of the tackle spots.
We have season outlooks for Nugent and Hinton as we wait to find out who will make up Michigan’s front five. Do you think we’ll see Hinton or Henderson starting at left tackle? Will we see Nugent or Crippen? Let us know your starting offensive line in the comments.