June 25, 2024

Following a remarkable three-year period of dominance in the program’s history, Michigan is embarking on a new chapter, albeit with some continuity. Despite Jim Harbaugh’s departure for the NFL, the cupboard isn’t entirely bare.

Valuable assets remain, though some are untested and others are not fully defined. Sherrone Moore, the head coach, brings familiarity to the role after serving as an assistant for six years, including four games as acting head coach last season. He understands the high expectations and daunting obstacles, which is why he was deemed the right fit for the job.

However, the challenges ahead remain formidable. Spring football has concluded without clarity on the starting quarterback, with potential candidates including Alex Orji and Jack Tuttle.
Departures to the NFL have left gaps in the offensive line and receiving corps, while the schedule toughens with matchups against traditional rivals and formidable opponents like Texas, USC, and Oregon. Additionally, Michigan faces uncertainty regarding the repercussions of NCAA sanctions for recruiting violations during the COVID year, although cooperation and Harbaugh’s departure may mitigate some consequences. While this situation presents a scar for the Wolverines, it’s not their primary challenge.

Moore refrained from commenting on how NCAA issues might affect his job or recruiting efforts, but he acknowledged that last season’s tumult, which led to Harbaugh’s six-game suspension, served as both a challenge and a learning experience. Despite the uncertainties, Moore feels prepared for the task ahead, emphasizing a collaborative approach similar to Harbaugh’s. While the team’s overall direction may remain consistent, there are new challenges to navigate, particularly with changes in coaching staff and potential distractions.
The defense, despite significant departures, still holds promise, with standout players like Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant. Moore acknowledges that there are more unknowns than certainties, especially regarding the coaching staff, but he’s focused on keeping the spotlight on the players rather than himself. As recruiting momentum builds and adjustments are made, Moore recognizes the need for adaptation to his new role. Experienced leaders like Donovan Edwards provide stability amidst the changes.

The coaching staff reshuffle, though not without its challenges, aims to maintain the program’s identity of fast, physical play. The quarterback position remains open, with candidates like Alex Orji and Jack Tuttle vying for the starting role. Amidst the uncertainties, Moore emphasizes attention to detail and a focus on fundamentals. While the Wolverines may not be favored to repeat their previous success, Moore is adamant about avoiding complacency and entitlement as they embark on this new chapter.

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