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Placing the Michigan freshmen in tiers based on potential impact this season

How many freshmen will play a role this fall?

Michigan Spring Football Game Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines have 37 freshmen on the official 2023 roster. Several of the names you are familiar with are from the ever-arduous recruiting cycle, while others are walk-ons fighting for reserve roles and relevance.

Based on camp rumors, speculation and projections, here are four tiers to better help you understand this freshman class in terms of potential impact this season.

TIER 1 - Names To Know

WR Semaj Morgan

WR Fredrick Moore

WR Karmello English

RB Cole Cabana

RB Benjamin Hall

DL Trey Pierce

DL Enow Etta

DL Cameron Brandt

This tier features some of the premiere recruits and early standouts a few weeks into camp. These eight players will not only immediately compete for playing time, but could have an impact. The trio of receivers in particular have been one of the most repeated talking points in camp. Could Morgan, Moore or English usurp players like Darrius Clemons or Tyler Morris?

TIER 2 - Year(s) Away

DB Cameron Calhoun

DB DJ Waller Jr.

DB Jyaire Hill

TE Deakon Tonielli

LB Semaj Bridgeman

K Adam Samaha

OL Amir Herring

Tier two features seven players who will either be limited due to positional depth or a steep learning curve during their first year on campus. Now, someone from this group could emerge and contribute this season, but it is more likely the players in this tier will contribute as a second or third-year player.

The defensive back trio of Calhoun, Waller and Hill is the most mentioned because of the lack of depth at corner, but with players presumably still ahead of them such as Josh Wallace, Amorion Walker, Ja’Den McBurrows and Keshaun Harris, the hill to climb to becoming a key contributor this season is steep.

TIER 3 - Coin Flip

DL Brooks Bahr

OL Nathan Efobi

WR Kendrick Bell

DB Brandyn Hillman

Edge Breeon Ishmail

LB Jason Hewlett

LB Hayden Moore

OL Evan Link

TE Zack Marshall

Edge Aymeric Koumba

Every player in tier three could become a valuable contributor, or spend five years on the fringes of obscurity. Within this tier, it is too early to project success or failure for any of them. However, personal opinion, Bahr, Hillman, Link, Marshall and Koumba are a few names to keep an eye on in the coming years.

This tier is also the most synonymous with the transfer portal.

TIER 4 - Walk-Ons

QB Jack Grusser

RB Jack Konisberg

DB Micah Davis

LB Grayson Dee

LB Jack MacKinnon

LB Liam Groulx

RB Bryson Kuzdzal

TE Jalen Hoffman

K/P Stone Anderson

K/P Cordell Jones-McNally

OL Cole Morgan

LB John Weidenbach

The freshmen walk-ons represent an important part of this team. These players love the game and solely play for the love of it. Some of them will merely be practice tackling dummies, while others will prove valuable in preparing the team every week.

Knowing head coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff, at least one player from this group will become a scholarship player in the future, if not a rotational or starting piece.