Time is quickly running out for four of Michigan’s 2022 team members to make a declaration about the NFL Draft on Jan. 16, so it’s now or never for them. The team is confronted with a critical choice: stay in Michigan for an additional year or declare their eligibility for the NFL Draft. Fans can read more about it here and even check out Michigan sports betting sites to see the odds on which players will stay and which will go pro.
1. Zak Zinter, OL:
Zinter was a critical member of the Joe Moore award-winning offensive line for the Wolverines, starting all 14 games at right guard in 2022. As a junior, he is now considering whether to return for his senior year or enter the NFL Draft. If he chooses to stay, he will be crucial in helping Michigan win three consecutive Big Ten Championships and make another run at a National Championship.
- Two-time All-Big Ten selection (consensus first team in 2022; second team, media, honourable mention, coaches in 2021)
- Named a CSC Academic All-American (second team, 2022)
- Two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2021, ’22)
- With 33 games and 31 starts to his name, he’s been a stalwart on the offensive line – all but one start at right guard.
- Two-time letterman (2020, ’21)
2. Trevor Keegan, OL:
Keegan played a crucial role on one of the nation’s best offensive lines, starting 11 games at left guard for the Wolverines in 2022. He is a highly sought-after prospect in the NFL. Still, he may also consider returning to Ann Arbor for another chance at a National Championship, with many key players returning to the offensive lineup.
- Two-time All-Big Ten selection (first team, coaches, second team media in 2022; honourable mention, coaches and media in 2021)
- Part of two Joe Moore Award-winning offensive lines (2021-22), the first team in history to win back-to-back awards
- Two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2020-21)
- Two-time letterman (2020-21)
- Has appeared in 30 games with 23 left guard starts and played four games on special teams.
3. Cornelius Johnson, WR:
Johnson stood out in the Wolverines’ second consecutive win over Ohio State in November 2022, leading the team with a career-best 160 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions. He finished his senior campaign as the team’s third-leading receiver in receptions, second in yards, and first in touchdowns.
With the loss of crucial receivers Ronnie Bell and Luke Schoonmaker, Johnson has the potential to lead the team in 2023 as they aim for another conference championship and beyond.
- Three-time letterwinner (2019-20-21)
- He played in 46 games as a wide receiver and started 31 of them.
- Shared Offensive Skill Player of the Year honours (2021)
- On September 18th, 2021, Johnson threw a remarkable 87-yard touchdown pass which is now the fourth-longest passing touchdown in program history.
- Three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2020, ’21, ’22)
4. Gemon Green, DB:
If he chooses to return for a fifth season, Green will be the most experienced member of the Wolverines’ secondary, appearing in 42 games with 24 starts at cornerback. As a senior, he played in all 12 games, starting six at cornerback and earning All-Big Ten honourable mention (coaches and media). With the departure of DJ Turner to the NFL Draft, Green’s experience would be a valuable asset as the Wolverines aim for another Big Ten title and National Championship.
- All-Big Ten selection (honourable mention, coaches and media, 2022)
- Three-year letterman (2019-20-21)
5. Mike Barrett, LB:
As a graduate student, Barrett can return for his sixth year of eligibility due to an extra year provided to athletes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the 2022 season, Barrett recorded career-highs in tackles (11 vs Ohio State), assisted tackles (6 against Ohio State), interceptions (2 vs Rutgers), and pass breakups (2 vs Rutgers). An impressive 49 game appearances and 20 starts at linebacker have been recorded on his resume thus far.
- All-Big Ten selection (third team, coaches; honourable mention, media, 2022)
- Celebrated as the Defensive Team’s Most Improved Player in 2022
- Four-year letterman (2018-19-20-21)
Michigan Football is set to be a force in the Big Ten in 2023, with several key players either returning for another year or entering their draft-eligible seasons. Trevor Keegan, Cornelius Johnson, Gemon Green, and Mike Barrett are just a few Wolverines who could impact both sides of the ball.