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Name: Joel Honigford
Weight: 305 lbs.
High school: Sugarcreek (OH) Garaway
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #85
Last year: I ranked Honigford #50 and said he would be a backup offensive guard (LINK). He played tight end and on special teams in six games.
TTB Rating: 84
Honigford has had a bit of an odd career over his four-plus years at Michigan. I thought he would develop into a starting offensive tackle by the time his career ended, but instead, he has floated around from tackle to guard to tight end in 2020. After spending his first three years at offensive line exclusively, he changed his number from 59 to 85 and played as a tight end (basically an extra offensive lineman). Jim Harbaugh has done that kind of thing numerous times over his career.
The most surprising part to me is that Honigford is returning for a fifth year. With no clear path to playing offensive line, Honigford is the type of player who would normally take a grad transfer exception to go play somewhere else. I think it’s pretty obvious that he could go play offensive tackle in the MAC or elsewhere, probably start for a year or two, and then see what happens. Maybe he just loves Michigan or thinks he can beat out someone for playing time, but most guys don’t stick around for five years to play his role.
What is that role? Well, starting tight end Nick Eubanks and starting fullback/H-back Ben Mason are gone, which sort of bumps everyone else up a notch or two. While junior Erick All will presumably take Eubanks’s role, it’s unclear how Michigan will use personnel to replace Mason or fill in for the roles that All and Luke Schoonmaker held. Redshirt freshman Matt Hibner and true freshman Louis Hansen are also in the mix to play, but I have to think Honigford will reprise and perhaps expand upon his role as a blocking tight end in 2021.
Prediction: Backup tight end
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