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Michigan edge Josaiah Stewart returning for senior season

The transfer edge played a big role in the championship-winning season and is officially back for one more year.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Alabama at Michigan Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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.