The 2023 college football season ended with the Michigan football team raising the national championship trophy at NRG Stadium in Houston, and it seems like that was only yesterday. Though it was more than three months ago, the 2024 season’s preparations are already well under way. Teams are playing their spring games, and the most difficult portion of the offseason is over. The Wolverines will appear drastically different during their spring game on Saturday.

The football team from Michigan last year was incredibly talented, and they may break the record for the most players drafted by a single school in a single year. The Wolverines won a national championship as a result of their veteran-led team. They need to rebuild things, though, as they are currently losing almost all of that team’s output.

In addition to losing the majority of their national championship squad in terms of players, Michigan also lost a very different coaching staff. Although Jim Harbaugh won a national championship for his alma institution, as an NFL head coach he was never able to win a Super Bowl. He still has it as his objective, and he is currently the Los Angeles Chargers’ head coach.

Not only Jim Harbaugh departed from Michigan. He took a large group of coaches with him to the NFL, so the staff the Wolverines have now is drastically different. This Michigan football team is entirely different, both in terms of players and coaches.

The Wolverines have Sherrone Moore as their new head coach. Due to Harbaugh’s two separate bans from the previous season, he did manage to coach four games. Now that the job is formally his, he is effectively beginning anew.

With the departure of the majority of last year’s starting lineup, Michigan football players have a lot of starting roles to earn this season. The Wolverines should be considering some prospects on the transfer portal, but there are players from the squad from the previous season vying for those spots. Here are two things to watch out for.

Michigan football transfer portal targets

Michigan Wolverines offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore against the Washington Huskies during the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium

USC’s Jason Zandamela, an OL

Without a question, Michigan football should be getting in touch with this transfer portal player. Jason Zandamela enrolled at USC in January as a member of the 2024 recruiting class, but things there rapidly fell through, and he is currently in the portal. Once a top-50 talent, he currently holds the highest ranking of any player in the site.

For the last three years, Michigan football’s offensive line has defined the team. They were the winners of two Joe Moore trophies for finest college football offensive line; the one year they weren’t was when Washington took home the trophy. It was rather evident from watching the national championship game which team had the superior offensive line.

The NFL is gaining that nucleus of the Wolverines’ offensive line, therefore they must now develop a new, superior line. A major addition would be Jason Zandamela.

Phoenix State quarterback Jaden Rashada

Although Michigan may have lost out on the transfer portal’s best quarterback, anything can happen in the spring window. The top-ranked quarterback available on the portal right now is Jaden Rashada, so Michigan should definitely give him a look. The NFL is gaining its top quarterback, JJ McCarthy, from the Wolverines, so it might not be a terrible idea to add a transfer to their quarterback rivalry.

The Wolverines’ decision to pass on a quarterback in the offseason was somewhat unexpected, but perhaps the coaching staff is comfortable enough with the backups from the previous campaign. If Michigan were to consider a transfer quarterback, it might not have to be Rashada.