Another transfer commitment solidifies Michigan football secondary

Michigan football added another transfer cornerback on Saturday and solidified the secondary even more.
Dec 26, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Kansas Jayhawks wide receiver Quentin Skinner (0) makes aa catch
Dec 26, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Kansas Jayhawks wide receiver Quentin Skinner (0) makes aa catch / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It's been fun watching Michigan football add players over the past two days and the action continued on Saturday morning with the commitment of former UNLV cornerback Ricky Johnson.

Johnson was actually committed to Washington State. However, the Wolverines were essentially able to flip his commitment. He visited on Friday and the Michigan football sealed the deal with the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder corner.

Johnson has played in 27 career games. He only played in three in 2022 and a few in 2020, so he has two years of eligibility. He also has four career interceptions and seven pass breakups.

More imporantly for Michigan football, Johnson adds another key depth piece. He's started multiple seasons for UNLV and that is the kind of experience Michigan added with Aamir Hall, a former FCS All-American cornerback from Albany.

Johnson isn't super highly-ranked. There isn't any one additon from these past four days that is going to put Michigan over the top. Outside of the loss to Rod Moore though, Michigan didn't necessarily need a starter. It just needed quality depth and the Wolverines got it.

Where will everyone play?

I can see either Jaden Mangham or Wesley Walker starting at safety. Mangham feels like the most capable of filling Rod Moore's shoes.

Walker might actually be the best option at nickel. Keon Sabb also played in the slot in some dime packages and Walker would do great there too. Even though Walker is a safety, he's great in coverage which will work perfectly.

The Wolverines want to play a lot of sub-package defense. That requires having defensive backs who can cover and also tackle. Walker meets that description perfectly.

What I love is that at safety you have Makari Paige, Mangham, Walker, and Quentin Johnson. Those four guys played over 2,000 snaps last season and two earned All-Big Ten honors. At corneback, there's Will Johnson, Jyaire Hill, Aamir Hall, and Ricky Johnson, not to mention Myles Pollard and Kody Jones, plus Zeke Berry and Ja'Den McBurrows at nickel.

Berry could also play safety just like McBurrows can also play perimeter corner. That's the kind of depth you want in the secondary and without these additions, Michigan would have been betting on young players to fill those roles.


Now the depth, while not perfect at all three levels is the defense, feels a lot closer to last season than it did three days ago.