Predicting Michigan football 2024 season offense stat leaders


The offseason was chock-full of change for the Wolverines. Michigan is replacing its head coach, entire defensive staff, most of the starters on both sides of the ball, and plenty of off-field support staff.

Yeesh.

Either way, the expectation has been set and Michigan should be right back in contention for the college football playoff next season, this time it might just be with a whole new cast of characters.

There is going to be a lot of educated guesses here and that’s OK. Michigan has a long way to go before the season starts and a lot of position battles should be ironed out in that time frame. For now, though, I’m going to call my shot and predict Michigan’s major stat leaders in 2024.

Passing yards: Alex Orji

Photo: Isaiah Hole

Let’s tackle the biggest question first: Who on earth is gonna be under center when Michigan takes the stage next fall? My money is on Orji.

The kid is young, growing fast, and a physical specimen. He brings an element to the offense that no one else in the room can: Power. Sherrone Moore loves to pound the rock and Orji is probably the scariest tackle on offense. Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing almost 240 pounds, Orji is built in a similar mold to former Heisman winner Cam Newton. In no way is that a pro-comp or projection, but that’s an idea of what Orji can do with his legs.

Will he be a competent passer by next season? Who knows. The easy answer here is Jack Tuttle but I just can’t see Moore putting him out there when Orji can add the read option to the offensive play sheet.

Rushing yards: Donovan Edwards

Photo: Isaiah Hole

“The Don” has a knack for scoring in big moments. He iced Ohio State in 2022, put the dagger in Penn State last season, and even opened the scoring in the national title game with a pair of long rushing touchdowns. He’s back to avenge a lackluster 2023 season and Michigan fans should be eternally grateful.

Edwards has a history of being all or nothing. It feels like he either picks up a massive chunk of yards or gets dropped for virtually no gain. That will need to change, and he knows it. Edwards has gained some weight since last year in an attempt to deliver a bigger punch between the tackles, and his ability to grind out violent yards will be what defines or sinks this offense.

Edwards should also get a lot of run as a wide receiver given the depth of that room and his natural ability through the air. He could put up crazy all-purpose yard totals in Moore decides to unleash the beast.

Receptions: Colston Loveland

Photo: Isaiah Hole

Loveland is probably the best tight end in the country ahead of next season and has All-American expectations on his shoulders. Michigan will have a light receiver room and Loveland is a mismatch for just about every linebacker and safety in the country. Expect to see him used consistently as the first or second read in Michigan’s passing game.

Receiving yards: Tyler Morris

Photo: Isaiah Hole

Loveland will probably get the most catches, but I think that Morris is going to be the one who finishes with more yards. People seem to have forgotten, but Morris was a top recruit coming out of high school but dropped in the rankings due to an ACL injury. He should be fully healthy now, as showcased against Alabama, and ready to step up as the most experienced player in the room.

The rising junior is fast. Roman Wilson stole the show last year as a speedy threat, but I wouldn’t expect much of a drop-off moving from Wilson to Morris in that department. Without a major addition through the transfer portal, all signs point to Morris being the go-to big-play threat for whichever starting quarterback is dropping back in the pocket.

Total touchdowns: Donovan Edwards

Photo: Isaiah Hole

This was a tough decision.

Edwards is going to horde touches as both a receiver and a runner, but Mullings looks the part of a goal line back. Choices, choices.

Edwards’s experience and weight gain ended up swinging the needle. He weighs 210 pounds which is plenty to bang between the tackles, and he’s got a ton of experience delivering in big games. Mullings has just 253 total career rushing yards and a costly fumble against TCU in the playoff… he will have a role but I doubt that it will be 50/50. Additionally, Edwards just has more ways to score. He can hit the home run from anywhere on the field, catch the ball from the slot, or work short yardage in the red zone.



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