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LaDarius Henderson’s path to Michigan, outlook for 2023

Could Henderson be Michigan’s next great transfer lineman?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 Northern Arizona at Arizona State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan struck gold last season when Virginia center Olu Oluwatimi transferred to the Wolverines. A year later Michigan is looking for more riches from the portal and landed some of the biggest names in it — including LaDarius Henderson.

The story so far

Henderson was a three-star recruit out of Texas in the 2019 class. Henderson received offers from Illinois, Boise State, SMU, Army, and others but would wind up committing to Arizona State.

Henderson was an immediate impact player for the Sun Devils, starting ten games at left tackle as a freshman. In all, Henderson started 29 games, 19 at left guard and ten at left tackle for ASU.

Henderson was an iron man in 2021 and was on the field for 801 of ASU’s 813 offensive snaps. Just as impressive, he allowed just 10 quarterback pressures and one sack allowed during the regular season.

The 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman was voted a team captain at Arizona State in 2022 and was off to another good year before suffering a tendon injury in his left ring finger in October that shut him down for the rest of the season.

Henderson entered the transfer portal at season's end and had Michigan at the top of his list. Henderson said in his mind, “Michigan is O-Line U.”

Henderson contacted Michigan and he could tell it was a mutual fit.

“I reached out before I even give them the chance to,” Henderson explained. “I’m glad I did because once they were seemingly all in on me, I’m like, ‘Hey, I know what you guys are about, I love the culture here, I love what you guys do you and I would love to be part of it.’”

Outlook moving forward

There’s a strong chance Henderson is Michigan’s starting left tackle next season, which would pave the way for a strong right tackle camp battle between Karsen Barnhart, Trente Jones, and Myles Hinton. While Henderson will have to get acclimated to Michigan’s scheme in short order, he has a high football IQ and by all accounts appears to be a quick and determined learner.

Henderson came to Michigan because he thinks they can continue to be the best offensive line in the nation. While Henderson is his own person, he has the requisite experience in terms of leadership just like Oluwatimi did. Michigan landing Henderson via the portal was a slam dunk and seems destined to pay dividends this fall.