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Kenneth Grant could be part of an improved Michigan defensive line pass rush

A high motor and a great work ethic.

Michigan v Indiana Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

One of many players expected to make a sizable jump on Michigan’s defense this fall is defensive tackle Kenneth Grant.

“It’s a lot of eyes on me,” Grant said in June. “I gotta keep grinding no matter what and keep doing the best I can.”

The story so far

Grant was a four-star prospect in the class of 2022 and ranked as the No. 90 overall player in the nation. The Merrillville, IN native recorded 38 tackles (14.5 for loss) and 6.5 sacks his senior season and received offers from Ohio State and Wisconsin and visited both campuses. However, Grant would wind up choosing the Wolverines.

“Blessed that we have him,” Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter said last August. “I think he’s got a really, really high ceiling.”

While Grant didn’t light up the stat sheet as a true freshman at Michigan, he received valuable playing time. Grant appeared in all 14 of Michigan’s games and recorded eight tackles.

This offseason has been a productive one for Grant. His effort and versatility impressed defensive line coach Mike Elston during Michigan’s spring game.

“Kenneth Grant is just a freak. High ceiling, long and athletic,” Elston said recently. “He can run and never get tired. You watch the spring game, he was out there every single play.”

Outlook moving forward

The starters along the interior of the d-line are likely to be Kris Jenkins and Mason Graham, but Grant will still see the field plenty.

The 356-pound Grant is stout and can clog running holes, but he also fits what Michigan wants to do inside this season — get to the quarterback.

“The whole d-line, as a group, we’ve got to get better at our pass rush,” Grant said. “That’s something we’re targeting right now to get better at is our pass rush. For me, personally, is my pad level. Trying to stay lower and attack people.”

Grant will be part of a rotation that also includes Cam Goode and Rayshaun Benny along with the aforementioned starters (Jenkins and Graham). This is a good problem for the Wolverines to have, they’re deep along the d-line this season and all these players should be able to remain relatively fresh throughout a game.

Whether Grant’s season is an eye-popping one on a stat sheet or not, he’s set to be a key contributor this fall.