Whoever Jim Harbaugh’s replacement at Michigan is, they can’t lose these 5 players

Jim Harbaugh and most of Michigan's roster are off to the NFL, but whoever Harbaugh's replacement is, FanSided college sports writer Josh Yourish says they cannot let these five players enter the transfer portal to leave Ann Arbor.

Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) and Michigan Wolverines Will Johnson
Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) and Michigan Wolverines Will Johnson / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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player. 485. . . Colston Loveland. TE. 18. Colston Loveland. Colston Loveland. Junior

It’s not just the quarterback, running back, and entire offensive line that is leaving Ann Arbor. Michigan will also lose Roman Wilson, Cornelius Johson, and AJ Barner. The new quarterback will be without three of the team’s top four receivers in 2023. Wilson caught 48 passes for 789 yards and 12 touchdowns, Johnson caught 47 passes for 604 yards and a touchdown, and Barner grabbed 22 passes for 249 yards and a score. 

Those three players alone represent 45% of Michigan receptions in 2023, and that’s not counting Corum and a few others who won’t be back. Colston Loveland will need to be the No. 1 target on next year’s offense and without him, Michigan won’t have anyone to throw to. 

In 2023, the sophomore tight end caught 45 passes for 649 yards and four touchdowns. With Brock Bowers of Georgia going to the NFL, Loveland is the clear best tight end in the country and at 6-foot-5 245 pounds, he’s enough of a mismatch to give the Wolverines a viable passing game on his own.