Athlon Sports has released its 2023 College Football Preview Magazine, and in it are their preseason 2023 All-Big Ten Teams. They post a first-, second-, third- and fourth-team for each conference, and the Michigan Wolverines are the second-most represented team with 17 members making the cut.
Per their website, Athlon Sports makes the caveat “choosing players for the 2023 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year. Also, team strength does not play a role in selections. These are the best individual players at each position in the league for ‘23.”
Career statistics and awards are not necessarily the deciding factor in their decision-making.
Here are the Wolverines that make up each team:
- QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan
- RB Blake Corum, Michigan
- All-Purpose Donovan Edwards, Michigan
- C Drake Nugent, Michigan
- OL Zak Zinter, Michigan
- LB Junior Colson, Michigan
- DB Will Johnson, Michigan
- OL Trevor Keegan, Michigan
- DL Kris Jenkins, Michigan
- DL Mason Graham, Michigan
- LB Michael Barrett, Michigan
- DB Rod Moore, Michigan
- WR Cornelius Johnson, Michigan
- TE Colston Loveland, Michigan
- OL Karsen Barnhart, Michigan
- DL Jaylen Harrell, Michigan
- DB Mike Sainristil, Michigan
Michigan had no representatives on the Third-Team Defense.
I am sitting here laughing at my desk that both Kris Jenkins and Mason Graham — two stalwarts of a defense that was No. 1 in run defense for the majority of the year — didn’t get a First-Team nod.
Another major lapse in judgment across the board is transfer edge Josaiah Stewart, who has done nothing but dominate since coming to Ann Arbor. There is a strong chance that will resonate on the football field this fall as well. I was shocked to not see him even as a consolatory third or fourth-team guy.
I will praise Athlon for finding a spot for Donovan Edwards, who deserves a spot on the first-team based on his play from last season and for the role he will likely play come September.
My final gripe is with Ohio State having 20 members across the list while Michigan only has 17. Many project the Wolverines to be the better team this season, and after beating Ohio State in consecutive seasons, it finally feels like the tide has turned. To see them have more guys on something like this just irks me to my core.