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Colston Loveland’s path to Michigan, outlook for 2023

Time to start a Love(land) train.

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Michigan v TCU Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

There has been no shortage of talented tight ends that have worn the maize and blue over the course of Jim Harbaugh’s career at Michigan. But early indications from Colston Loveland have the coaching staff and fans dreaming about how great the sophomore tight end could be.

The story so far

The Michigan Wolverine's tight end room was stacked in 2022. Luke Schoonmaker was a Day 2 pick in the NFL Draft, Erick All was hoping for a big season (before a back injury), Joel Honigford was the sixth offensive lineman-type tight end, and then Max Bredeson and Matthew Hibner rounded out the room with quality depth.

All of a sudden, we started to see a lot more of Colston Loveland in the back half of his true freshman season. He wound up starting five games and making some massive plays down the stretch.

Loveland ended the season with 16 catches (the sixth-most on the team) for 235 yards and two touchdowns. He was the bona fide No. 2 tight end on the roster by year’s end and all signs are pointing to a much more prolific 2023 season.

Outlook for 2023

Now that All transferred to Iowa, and Schoonmaker and Honigford are pros, everyone anticipates Loveland to be the top tight end on the roster come fall. He’s got the makings of being a great one; this offseason, he is up to 248 pounds and he is on record saying he wants to be at 250 come September. That means he would have added almost 15 pounds to his 6-foot-5 frame this offseason.

Even with A.J. Barner being added as a veteran tight end from the transfer portal out of Indiana, odds are Loveland is the starter in Week 1. There’s been plenty of chemistry built with J.J. McCarthy over the last year and a half, and the two could be quite the connection in 2023. Expect a strong leap from him this season.