Football

Michigan Football: The Biggest Question Mark For The Wolverines In 2023



When it comes to the Michigan offense, it’s not exactly known as a pass-first operation in Ann Arbor. In fact, the Wolverines averaged just 26.4 passes per game compared to 42.9 rushing attempts per game in 2022.

Although Michigan will likely rely heavily on the incredible running back duo of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards once again in 2023, the offense will still need to find a way to replace its top-two receiving targets from last season. 

Both Ronnie Bell and Luke Schoonmaker, who have since departed for the NFL, accounted for a combined 97 receptions in 2022 – good for over 40 percent of Michigan’s pass production. Michigan also lost both Andrel Anthony and AJ Henning to the transfer portal this offseason, although both only combined for 16 total receptions for 140 yards and 1 touchdown in 2022. 

The good news for the Wolverines is that they return five of their seven leading receivers from last season, including Cornelius Johnson (32), Roman Wilson (25), Donovan Edwards (18), Colston Loveland (16), and Blake Corum (11).

In addition to the players mentioned above, the Wolverines are expecting the production to increase from wide receivers like Darrius Clemons, Tyler Morris, and Peyton O’Leary. They’ve also added Indiana transfer tight end AJ Barner, who accounted for 28 receptions for 199 yards and three touchdowns last year with the Hoosiers. 

Here’s a look at all of the receivers and tight ends that Michigan will have at its disposal in 2023, along with their production from 2022:

  1. Cornelius Johnson, WR: 32 REC, 499 YDS, 6 TD
  2. Roman Wilson, WR: 25 REC, 376 YDS, 4 TD
  3. Tyler Morris, WR: 3 REC, 25 YDS
  4. Darrius Clemons, WR: 1 REC, 7 YDS
  5. Amorion Walker, WR/DB: 1 REC, 4 YDS
  6. Peyton O’Leary, WR: 1 REC, 4 YDS
  7. Christian Dixon, WR: N/A
  8. Colston Loveland, TE: 16 REC, 235 YDS, 2 TD
  9. AJ Barner, TE: 28 REC, 199 YDS, 3 TD
  10. Max Bredeson, TE: 5 REC, 78 YDS
  11. Matt Hibner, TE: 2 REC, 15 YDS

Freshman wideouts and tight ends:

  1. Frederick Moore, WR: three-star
  2. Semaj Morgan, WR: three-star
  3. Karmello English, WR: four-star
  4. Zack Marshall, TE: three-star
  5. Deakon Tonielli, TE: four-star

After reviewing the options above, it’s clear that Michigan has more than enough talent to be effective through the air in 2023 – particularly if the Wolverines plan to throw it more as Jim Harbaugh indicated a few weeks back. 

Even so, they’ll need a couple of guys (at least) to separate themselves from the pack to become the top targets on this roster. While my money is on Roman Wilson and Cornelius Johnson, the wide receiver group as a whole still remains somewhat of a question mark heading into 2023. 

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