The 2023 Michigan Wolverines will be coming into the football season looking to win their third straight Big Ten Championship and make it back to the College Football Playoff. They return one of the most talented rosters in the country and could have the best offense in the Big Ten.
Despite the talent returning the Wolverines, like most teams in the country, still have a few question marks that could make or break their season. Today we take a look at the top three most concerning positions for the Michigan football team.
The Wolverines have had the best offensive line in college football over the last two years and it has been spearheaded by their great center play. Last year the Wolverines needed a new center and Jim Harbaugh and company hit a home run when they brought in Olu Oluwatimi from Virginia.
Oluwatimi not only anchored the line, but he won Rimington Trophy for the best center. Unfortunately, he is now gone and the Wolverines will have to break in another new center.
Harbaugh went into the transfer portal again hoping to find gold and got Drake Nugent from Stanford. Nugent earned four varsity letters at Stanford and started 24 games at center for the Cardinal. He has the experience, but will that translate to the Big Ten? Can he help solidify a position that has been locked down for the last couple of years?
The Wolverines offense is loaded in the backfield as they return starting quarterback J.J. McCarthy and the running back duo of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards. It is quite possibly the best backfield in college football this year.
The question, though, turns to the wide receivers. Yes, the Wolverines return Cornelius Johnson and Roman Wilson, who both show a lot of promise, but AJ Henning transferred to Northwestern and Ronnie Bell is now in the NFL.
Johnson and Wilson should lead the receivers, but neither one of them went for more than 500 yards and they caught just nine touchdown passes combined. The receivers will need to step up more as teams stack the box to stop Corum and Edwards, thus putting more pressure on McCarthy and the passing attack.
It is probably a good thing that one of the biggest question marks is the kicker, but it’s also a massive responsibility for a team that is looking to make a run this year.
The Wolverines have been spoiled the last two years as they had arguably the best kicker in all of college football in Jake Moody. Moody was almost automatic and that’s something that the Wolverines have now always had.
Moody is gone now and in comes James Turner who transferred in from Louisville.
Turner was a zero-star recruit coming out of Saline (MI), but still managed to win the starting spot for the Cardinals and did a good job for them. He was very accurate last year, hitting 20-of-22 field goals, but he has been known to struggle from long distance.
The Wolverines also brought in transfer Hudson Hollenbeck from Mississippi State for some competition, but it looks like Turner’s position to lose.
Turner looks like a good replacement for Moody, but whenever you lose the top kicker in the country there is always some reason for concern heading into the season.