The Michigan Wolverines will be a little depleted on both sides of the ball next season, but reinforcements are coming at the edge position.
Announced on social media on Monday morning, edge Josaiah Stewart is returning to Ann Arbor for one more season.
The Coastal Carolina transfer played a big role in Michigan’s two-deep this season. He began the year as a third-down specialist, but grew into Jesse Minter’s defense and became a more reliable option regardless of what the down was. He finished the season as the third-best rated edge defender in the Big Ten, according to PFF.
Michigan EDGE Josaiah Stewart will return to school for the 2024 season, he announced— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 15, 2024
84.0 PFF Grade last season, third among Big Ten Edge Rushers〽️ pic.twitter.com/jcKIsmkQgw
His most impressive play — which didn’t even show up on the stat sheet — came in the 27-20 overtime victory against Alabama in the Rose Bowl. Stewart went up against right tackle JC Latham — who has more than 100 pounds on Stewart — and absolutely bullied him, pushing him directly into quarterback Jalen Milroe to disrupt the final play of the game.
Alabama vs Michigan Final Play— Carter B (@CarterthePower) January 2, 2024
#5 Michigan Josaiah Stewart destroys #65 JC Latham
Low snap hurt but Jalen Milroe had no shot
I’m curious if this was Tommy Rees call.
Nick Saban called timeout and it looked like RTR was running something different @rollbamaroll pic.twitter.com/qAlJBEJ0Sh
Stewart finished the 2023 season with 38 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.
A soon-to-be senior, Stewart will be paired up with Mason Graham, Kenneth Grant and Derrick Moore on the Wolverines’ first group of defensive linemen for the 2024 season. After losing Braiden McGregor, Jaylen Harrell and Kris Jenkins to the NFL Draft, that looks to still be one of the best defensive lines in the Big Ten heading into next season.