Fact or Fiction: Michigan wins 10 games next season
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
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1. Henry To’o To’o will end up at Alabama.
Farrell’s take: FACT. I’m just putting pieces together here and when I see a few Alabama linebackers hit the transfer portal around the same time that rumors began to swirl that Henry To'o To'o had quietly committed to Alabama and all signs point toward the Crimson Tide. I thought Oregon and Ohio State would be major factors here but Alabama was his second choice out of high school and signs are pointing the way of Tuscaloosa.
Gorney’s take: FACT. I don’t know if the decisions of Ale Kaho and Ben Davis to enter the transfer portal were directly tied to To’o To’o coming to play for the Crimson Tide or that neither really caught on as expected with that program. But I was told by a source close to To’o To’o that it was “supposed to be Alabama” for the former Tennessee linebacker and that’s big news. He can fly around the field and it’s just another turn of the knife for Tennessee since To’o To’o should stay in the conference.
2. Michigan wins 10 games next season.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Michigan is expected to bounce back after its dismal 2-4 season in 2020. There is a nice influx of talent and excitement about the promising flashes from quarterback Cade McNamara, but this team is a few years from getting back to double-digit wins. Washington isn’t an easy non-conference game and I expect the Wolverines will lose to Ohio State and Wisconsin, which puts their ceiling at nine wins if all else goes well. Michigan is taking a step forward in recruiting in the 2022 recruiting cycle, but Jim Harbaugh's program is still a ways from competing with Ohio State.
Gorney’s take: FACT. More often than not during a full football season, Harbaugh has won 10 games and so next season I’m going with the Wolverines to finish right at that number. Michigan has a new focus on defense with some high-level assistant coach hires and Harbaugh must let offensive coordinator Josh Gattis loose to do what he does best: Call plays to stress the defense and move the ball quickly down the field. High four-star receiver Xavier Worthy could come in immediately and be a factor. It’s not a given with some games that could go either way but Harbaugh gets to 10.
3. Christian Barmore is the best DT available in the NFL Draft.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Have you heard the name Levi Onwuzurike? If not you probably don’t pay a lot of attention to West Coast football because the Washington defensive tackle boasts great length at 6-foot-3 and is a natural disrupter in the middle. While Christian Barmore wowed in the playoff for Alabama and Onwuzireke sat out the 2020 season, Onwuzireke's performance in a limited fashion at the Senior Bowl reminded everyone how good he is. He has defensive end length with defensive tackle power and he’s a first-rounder in my book.
Gorney’s take: FACT. There is a tried-and-true method in the NFL Draft and it’s really not that difficult. It goes like this: Pick Alabama players. A lot of them not only pan out but become dominant at their position group because they’re coming to the pros already phenomenally prepared at the college level. In Barmore’s case, he’s also coming off a dominant redshirt sophomore season where he had eight sacks. Onwuzurike is a quality talent but big-timers from Alabama still hold an edge in my book.