Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines have had quite the haul in the transfer portal so far this offseason. They attacked the portal more than ever before, with a whopping seven additions to next year’s team.
In case you may have forgotten, those additions are Arizona State offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson, Coastal Carolina edge Josaiah Stewart, Nebraska linebacker Ernest Hausmann, Stanford offensive lineman Myles Hinton, Stanford offensive lineman Drake Nugent, Indiana quarterback Jack Tuttle and Indiana tight end AJ Barner.
The transfer portal window is closed and will reopen again on May 1, so there is a potential for more departures and additions prior to the start of the 2023 season. But Michigan’s efforts so far have been recognized by ESPN as one of the eight best programs to utilize the portal so far this offseason.
The worldwide leader in sports interviewed numerous coaches and personnel directors across the country to get a glimpse of how the top programs fared in the portal. Here is what one Power 5 personnel director told ESPN about Michigan’s portal class, specifically along the offensive line:
“Michigan did a great job with offensive line help. You know what you’re going to get with LaDarius Henderson and the Hinton kid. They may be better than the guys they have now.”
That last sentence is a pretty lofty thing to say, but they may be right. Henderson was a captain at Arizona State in 2022 and is very versatile, as he has played left tackle and left guard in his career. Hinton has started at right tackle the past two seasons and should be able to, at the very least, provide depth to what the Wolverines already have in Trente Jones and Karsen Barnhart.
Another personnel director, this one who works at a program in the Big Ten Conference, had this to say about the Wolverines’ transfer portal haul:
“They’ve done a pretty good job with some key guys. They’ve gone pretty heavy. It will be interesting — the dynamics of the locker room with the current guys, that’s always a concern. But they’ve gotten some good pickups.”
I don’t necessarily agree with the last part of his quote pertaining to potential locker room issues. Harbaugh recruits the right guys for his program and wouldn’t want a distraction or cancer in the program again like in 2020. Henderson, for example, was pretty pumped when Zak Zinter announced he is returning for the 2023 season. The guys on the team work together and for each other, not for the individual.
As far as other programs on the list, ESPN also included Wisconsin, UCLA, Colorado, USC, LSU, Florida State and Oklahoma as other programs who have done particularly well in the transfer portal.