Michigan Football Recruiting: Can Sherrone Moore Fix NIL?

Iowa v Michigan
Iowa v Michigan / Luke Hales/GettyImages

It's no secret that Michigan's NIL is lacking and has been lacking since NIL became a thing. Michigan football has continuously lost out on top prospects that it seemingly checked all the boxes for, with NIL the main culprit.

Michigan football has made slow advances in NIL, and the Champions Circle "Those Who Stay" fund is currently at about $750,000. With the fanbase and alumni that Michigan has, it has all the potential in the world to be an elite NIL school.

What's been even more frustrating has been watching other schools make vast improvements *cough Ohio State cough* while Michigan has stood by and watched. But with a new regime taking over in Ann Arbor in the form of the young and energetic Sherrone Moore, can there be a shift?

Can Michigan football fix NIL?

In my opinion, yes, and the shift is already happening. While Jim Harbaugh was a phenomenal coach and advocate for his players, I don't think he quite understood the importance of NIL. While he vouched for it to be improved and spoke at fundraisers, he was never all in from a competitive standpoint.

Jim was all about building a program through culture and grit. He knew that he wanted to win with guys who felt disrespected from other programs and had the underdog mentality. And he got exactly what he wanted in the 2023 team. However, that is not a sustainable approach.

Yes, Michigan football won a national championship with that approach, but it's not easy to replicate. It takes hitting on tons of underrated guys and trusting that the culture will propel you over the edge. I mean, look at the recruiting rankings of some of Michigan's best players. Hitting on that many lower-ranked guys is incredibly rare. And the truth is, that approach will not create a dynasty.

To continuously compete at the highest level, it takes elite recruits. Guys who not only have the mental traits but huge physical advantages as well. It takes recruits like Will Johnson, JJ McCarthy, and Donovan Edwards. And Sherrone Moore understands that. What's more, Sherrone understands that it's going to take more from a financial standpoint to get there.

Coach Moore has already begun advocating for a larger NIL fund, and he has been incredibly aggressive on the recruiting trail thus far. That tells me that he trusts that he'll be able to gather enough money to be competitive on the trail.


While Michigan football is never going to be a pay-for-play school, it can still be an elite program in terms of NIL. With Sherrone Moore at the helm raising funds and convincing the administration to help him, I trust that Michigan's NIL will be much improved in the near future.