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After winning the Big Ten and making it to its first-ever College Football Playoffs, Michigan had some momentum on the recruiting trail for the 2022 football season. The Wolverines picked up some key late recruiting wins and finished with the ninth-ranked recruiting class this past season.
The maize and blue got commitments from defensive end Derrick Moore, safety Keon Sabb, and two receivers, Darrius Clemons and Amorian Walker at the end of the cycle. But those three didn’t crack the 247Sports article talking about which 100 true freshmen will matter in 2022.
The first true freshmen that will matter is the top-ranked recruit that Michigan brought in, defensive back Will Johnson. Johnson was the 14th ranked player according to the composite rankings, a five-star cornerback from Grosse Pointe South, Michigan.
Will Johnson, DB, Michigan
247Sports Composite: No. 14
Johnson was Michigan’s highest-rated signee and played like it during the spring. There are reps for him to earn, too. Michigan has an open cornerback role that will be a battle between Johnson, redshirt freshman Ja’Den McBurrows and converted wide receiver Mike Sainristil. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh expects Johnson to be a factor in that competition: “He’s gonna play and be battling for a starting position,” Harbaugh said.
The second Wolverine that Chris Hummer from 247Sports mentioned was three-star defensive lineman Mason Graham. Graham is from Servite (Anaheim, California) and he was the 258th-ranked player according to the composite rankings.
Mason Graham, DT, Michigan
247Sports Composite: No. 258
Graham had an excellent spring for the Wolverines. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound California native drew praise from Jim Harbaugh as someone who could play early. Said Harbaugh of Graham: “He was playing and playing at a pretty darn high level right off the bat.” Even with the addition of UCF transfer Cam Goode, the Wolverines are thin inside at defensive tackle.
With the attrition that Michigan lost on the defensive side of the ball this past season, it’s quite possible that both of these players will see significant playing time along with Derrick Moore, and some other freshmen. The Wolverines will be looking to replace starters: Aidan Hutchinson, David Ojabo, Chris Hinton, Josh Ross, Vincent Gray, and Brad Hawkins.