Examining Michigan Football’s pursuit of transfer DT Jeffrey Johnson

Michigan football is looking to make an addition at defensive tackle and one candidate is former Tulane standout Jeffrey Johnson. 

It became clear when defensive tackle Chris Hinton left for the NFL draft that Michigan football would need to at least look to the transfer portal to find some depth for the 2022 season.

The Wolverines actually have some solid talent at defensive tackle, especially if Mazi Smith is back for 2022 along with Kris Jenkins, Mike Morris, and Julius Welschof, plus Rayshaun Benny.

Not all of those guys are pure defensive tackles though and outside of Smith, the Wolverines wouldn’t really have another experienced nose-tackle type.

And that’s why Michigan football has offered Tulane’s Jeffrey Johnson a 6-foot-3, 300-plus pound defensive tackle who is in the portal as a graduate transfer.

This is good for Michigan football for two reasons. One is that Johnson fits a position of need and two since he’s a graduate transfer, there shouldn’t be any issues with admissions.

Breaking down Jeffrey Johnson’s recruitment

Michigan football offered Johnson but the Wolverines are far from the only team interested. In fact, Oklahoma is making a push and right now, the Sooners are considered to be the early favorite, although Johnson is visiting Ann Arbor this weekend according to Chris Balas of The Wolverine.

Despite his size, Johnson has been an active player up front for the Green Wave which is probably what attracts him to Mike Macdonald and the Wolverines. During his four seasons, Johnson has 135 total tackles, as well as 15 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.

Nose tackles are known more as space eaters and Johnson can do more than just clog up lanes and eat up blockers, although he can do that too.

But he’s disruptive and he will also help fill the pass-rush void that will be left by Chris Hinton inside. Everyone talks about the run defense, but interior pass rush is key too and that definitely took a hit when Hinton declared for the NFL draft.

The visit this weekend will be key. Michigan football has momentum and a team ready to contend for a championship next season. Johnson could aid in that effort and hopefully, the Wolverines can convince him and fill one of their biggest offseason needs.