The Four Positions That Could Make Or Break Michigan Football's 2024 Season (2024)

In spite of losing nearly 20 key contributors from the 2023 squad, the Michigan Wolverines are still returning a ton of talent for the 2024 season. Anchored by a defensive unit that is expected to be one of the best in the nation, along with an offense that features weapons like Donovan Edwards and Colston Loveland, it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the Wolverines capture their fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship and be squarely in the hunt to repeat as National Champions. In order for that to happen, they'll need to get a high-level of production from several key positions that remain a bit of a question mark just one month out from fall camp.

1. Quarterback

The Four Positions That Could Make Or Break Michigan Football's 2024 Season (1)

Although there are currently five candidates who are battling for the starting job this fall, the reality is that the battle appears to be between three quarterbacks - seventh year veteran Jack Tuttle, senior Davis Warren, and junior Alex Orji.

Although Tuttle obviously has the upper hand when it comes to experience, the prevailing belief is that Orji is currently leading the pack. The concern, however, is that Orji has only attempted one pass during his first two years in Ann Arbor, and although he's proven he can be extremely effective as a runner, his ability to consistently move the ball through the air remains a significant unknown. Tuttle, on the other hand, has completed 119 passes and thrown for over 1,000 yards during his six years at the collegiate level. The biggest concern with Tuttle isn't experience, it's productivity. When it comes to Davis Warren, the concern is both a lack of experience and productivity at the colligate level. He's had more opportunities to showcase his passing ability when compared to Orji, but the career numbers through three seasons aren't great (5-of-14 for 89 yards and 1interception).

The good news is that the Michigan offense doesn't typically rely heavily on the passing game, and there's no indication that the QB1 will be asked to carry a significant load this fall. The Wolverines don't need explosiveness through the air (although it would be nice), they just need consistency and efficiency. If they can get that from any of the options mentioned above, Michigan's odds of winning a fourth consecutive conference championship will go up significantly. If not, it could make for a long and painful season.

2. Center

The Four Positions That Could Make Or Break Michigan Football's 2024 Season (2)

After two seasons of relying on an incoming transfer to lead the way, the starting center for the Michigan Wolverines in 2024 will be a Michigan recruit - and it appears to be senior Greg Crippen. He appeared in nine games at center as a junior in 2023, and he's appeared in 15 total games during his first three seasons. The 6-4, 309-pound product out of IMG Academy has been waiting his turn behind two transfers (Olu Oluwatimi and Drake Nugent), and the fact that Michigan didn't seek out another transfer during the off-season proves they've got plenty of confidence in Crippen.

Beyond Crippen, senior Raheem Anderson is another guy who provides some depth at the center position, and it seems likely he'll see his role increase in 2024. Through three seasons, Anderson has appeared in six games at the center position, but appeared in just one game during the 2023 season.

Obviously the center position is critical on the offensive line, which is why Michigan has placed such an importance on filling that role with experienced transfers over the last two seasons. If Crippen can stay healthy and perform at the level of his two predecessors, that will go a long way toward ensuring a successful season.

3. Offensive Tackle

The Four Positions That Could Make Or Break Michigan Football's 2024 Season (3)

Speaking of the offensive line, the tackle position is also a bit of a question mark - at least on one side. Fifth year OT Myles Hinton is essentially a lock to start at left tackle, having appeared in 13 games with four starts for the Wolverines in 2023. On the right side, it appears to be a battle between junior Andrew Gentry and graduate student Jeffrey Persi.

Gentry (6-7, 327-pounds) and Persi (6-8, 320-pounds) made a combined 12 appearances on the offensive line in 2023, splitting reps at both left and right tackle. This will be one of the top battles to keep your eye on throughout fall camp, and it's a battle that will certainly play a major role in Michigan's success offensively in 2024.

4. Cornerback

The Four Positions That Could Make Or Break Michigan Football's 2024 Season (4)

As was the case in 2023, the Michigan Wolverines are entering the 2024 season looking for a starting cornerback to emerge opposite Will Johnson. Along with having the luxury of returning veterans and young talent, Sherrone Moore and his staff were extremely aggressive in seeking out defensive backs in the transfer portal.

One of those transfer players is FCS All-American cornerback, Amir Hall. There are some who scoff at the idea that a former FCS player can come into the Big Ten and become an impact player immediately, but Hall's film is full of the kind of plays that should translate very well to the FBS level. During the 2023 season, Hall accounted for 57 tackles, five interceptions, and 13 passes defended. He doesn't necessarily have elite speed, but he more than makes up for it with his physicality and ball skills.

Beyond Hall, guys like Jyaire Hill, Ja'Den McBurrows, Ricky Johnson (UNLV transfer), Kody Jones, and Keshaun Harris are all in the mix to compete for significant reps this fall. The good news here is that Michigan has no shortage of options to sort through during fall camp.

The Four Positions That Could Make Or Break Michigan Football's 2024 Season (2024)
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