Michigan’s 2022 Preferred Walk-ons

Michigan’s 2022 Preferred Walk-ons

February 9, 2022
Detroit (MI) Loyola safety Josh Nichols (image via Hudl)

At any top-tier football program, walk-ons can seem meaningless. When teams recruit 5-star and 4-star players, what are the chances that some walk-on is going to do anything significant on the field? Except in almost any year, a walk-on plays a significant role, even if it’s “only” on special teams. This past season, safety Caden Kolesar (9 tackles), defensive tackle Jess Speight (7 tackles), tight end Carter Selzer, and long snapper William Wagner all played significant snaps for the Wolverines. There’s a good chance that at least one or two of these players will end up playing a lot of minutes in a Michigan uniform.

Nico Andrighetto – S – Mountain View (CA) St. Francis
Andrighetto is the 5’9″, 180 lb. brother of walk-on running back Lucas Andrighetto. He turned down offers from FCS Colgate and Columbia to walk on at Michigan. Nico had 75 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, and 1 touchdown as a senior in 2021. You can find his highlights HERE.

Chibi Anwunah – DE – Westland (MI) Lutheran
Anwuna is a 6’7″, 225 lb. Nigerian immigrant who played out of position – at least for college – as a linebacker in high school. He will almost certainly move down to the defensive line, probably defensive end, for Michigan. Anwunah has good size and decent athleticism, but he plays tentatively and needs to get a lot stronger. If he does he could be a diamond in the rough in a few years. You can find his highlights HERE.

Evan Boutorwick – LS – Sterling Heights (MI) Henry Ford II
Boutorwick has nice size at 6’4″ and 225 lbs. He was an Under Armour All-American and Korblue Kicking has him ranked as the #10 long snapper in the class of 2022.

Declan Byle – QB – Novi (MI) Catholic Central
Byle is a 6’2″, 175 lb. prospect who looks like a walk-on quarterback. He does not have a particularly good arm or noteworthy athleticism. I do not see him factoring into Michigan’s depth chart in the future. You can find some of his highlights HERE.

Hit the jump for more.

James Kavouklis – C – Tampa (FL) Berkeley Prep
Kavouklis is a 6’2″, 275 lb. interior lineman who likely only really has a shot at playing center at the Big Ten level. He’s a little short for an offensive linemen and has short legs with a longer torso, and that usually only translates to center. He could work on his first step after snapping the ball, but he’s an aggressive drive blocker who really runs his feet and uses leverage pretty well. He’s probably not in danger of playing much at Michigan, but he could be a valuable scout team piece. Watch his highlights HERE.

Joey Klunder – DE – Grosse Pointe (MI) South: Klunder is a 6’4″, 235 lb. defensive end who was a teammate of 5-star Michigan signee Will Johnson. Klunder is solidly built but lacks explosiveness; he’s probably a scout team kind of guy. His highlights are HERE.

Josh Nichols – S – Detroit (MI) Loyola
Nichols is a 6’0″, 180 lb. safety who had offers from Air Force and Navy. As a senior in 2021, he made 82 tackles, 11 forced fumbles, 7 pass breakups, and 4 touchdowns. I like to watch film of these kids before I look at their accolades/offers, and Nichols was one who stood out immediately on film because he packs a wallop and has some decent athleticism. Then I found out about his military offers and was like, “Yeah, makes sense.” Nichols is never going to be a Daxton Hill type of athlete, but he could be a special teams guy and maybe a late-career safety option. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see him have a Hunter Reynolds type of career, where he walks on at Michigan for a couple years and then transfers to another FBS school where he can play more, like Reynolds did at Utah State.

Daniel Taraboi – OT – Cedarburg (WI) Cedarburg
Taraboi is a 6’6″, 295 lb. player who had a few offers from FCS schools like San Diego and Valparaiso. He’s huge and can run okay, but he’s a waist bender and doesn’t really explode into people because he doesn’t bring his hips. He’s an interesting prospect because of his size, but in the end, he’s probably too stiff to become a major factor at Michigan.

Bryce Wilcox – S – Sharpsburg (GA) Trinity Christian
Wilcox is a 5’11”, 171 lb. athlete who claims a 4.56 forty and a 4.08 shuttle. I’m a little bit of a sucker for PWO safety types because I think it’s a place where walk-ons can play a role. Wilcox has some juice, and he makes plays in a variety of ways. He’s got some good short-area quickness, some tackle breaking ability, some playmaking abilities on the ball, and a physical nature when it comes to tackling and blocking. I would not be surprised if this kid plays his way onto the field.

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