One of the voices of college football media, Josh Pate of 247Sports, weighed in and provided some thoughts and opinions on the current state of the Michigan program on a recent episode of his popular YouTube show, “Late Kick with Josh Pate.”
In his feature, Pate identified some questions those around the nation are asking about Michigan ahead of the 2023 season. The first had to do with “the evolution” of quarterback J.J. McCarthy and if he will continue to develop as a passer. Pate noted that while the Michigan offense doesn’t traditionally rely on a quarterback to fill up the box score, it will be important for him to continue developing for the team to compete and win high-scoring games against more powerful opponents.
Additionally, Pate pointed at the cornerback position as one that might be of concern. While Will Johnson has one corner position locked up, there’s some question as to who will be across from him. Pate highlighted converted receiver Amorion Walker as the potential choice, mentioning his athleticism as one of the key traits that could give him the upper hand. However, he noted a potential lack of depth could come back to bite Michigan against teams with great receiver groups, such as Ohio State.
Meanwhile, Pate pointed out a player he believes will have a breakout season for the Wolverines this year. His pick: sophomore tight end Colston Loveland.
“There are some amongst us who believe Colston Loveland could end up being the best tight end they’ve had come through there,” Pate said. He also pointed to Loveland’s size and athleticism as traits that make him a player to watch.
Loveland made a name for himself down the stretch in 2022, most notably with a 45-yard touchdown reception against Ohio State and another score in the Big Ten Championship. He finished his freshman year with 235 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 16 receptions. He figures to see more targets this year with the departure of pass-catchers Luke Schoonmaker and Ronnie Bell.
Finally, Pate weighed in on Michigan’s 2023 schedule. He pointed out that Michigan doesn’t face a strong schedule this year, but the Wolverines should be tested down the stretch against Penn State and Ohio State in November, while their game against Minnesota on Oct. 7 could be a game to keep an eye on.