2023 All-Big Ten Selections

Tag: Drake Nugent

30Nov 2023
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2023 All-Big Ten Selections

Blake Corum

Michigan dominated the all-conference selections in 2023, which is to be somewhat expected with a 12-0 record.

QB J.J. McCarthy (Coaches, Media)
RB Blake Corum (Coaches, Media)
OL La’Darius Henderson (Coaches)
OL Zak Zinter (Coaches, Media)
C Drake Nugent (Coaches, Media)
TE Colston Loveland (Coaches)
DL Mason Graham (Coaches)
DB Will Johnson (Coaches, Media)
DB Mike Sainristil (Media)

WR Roman Wilson (Coaches, Media)
TE Colston Loveland (Media)
OL Karsen Barnhart (Coaches)
OL La’Darius Henderson (Media)
OL Trevor Keegan (Coaches, Media)
DL Kenneth Grant (Coaches)
DL Kris Jenkins, Jr. (Coaches, Media)
LB Junior Colson (Coaches, Media)
DB Mike Sainristil (Coaches)
K James Turner (Coaches)

OL Karsen Barnhart (Media)
DL Mason Graham (Media)
DL Kenneth Grant (Media)
LB Michael Barrett (Coaches)
DB Rod Moore (Coaches)
P Tommy Doman (Media)

WR Cornelius Johnson (Media)
TE A.J. Barner (Coaches, Media)
DL Jaylen Harrell (Coaches, Media)
DL Braiden McGregor (Coaches, Media)
DL Derrick Moore (Coaches, Media)
DL Josaiah Stewart (Coaches)
LB Michael Barrett (Media)
DB Rod Moore (Media)
DB Makari Paige (Coaches)
DB Josh Wallace (Coaches, Media)
K James Turner (Media)
P Tommy Doman (Media)
RET Semaj Morgan (Coaches, Media)

I believe every single Michigan starter is represented here except FB/TE Max Bredeson (1 start), OL Trente Jones (2 starts), WR Tyler Morris (2 starts), safety Keon Sabb (4 starts). Even a full-time backup in Derrick Moore – who has yet to start a single game – was named Honorable Mention by both the coaches and the media.

Do you see any snubs?

Personally, I think Mike Sainristil should have been 1st team to both coaches/media. Meanwhile, I’m surprised Barnhart was valued so highly since he struggled in pass protection so much, especially over the last three weeks of the season.

30Aug 2023
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2023 Season Countdown: #4 Drake Nugent

Drake Nugent

Name: Drake Nugent
301 lbs.
High school:
Lone Tree (CO) Highlands Ranch
Fifth year senior
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
Nugent played at Stanford. He was a team captain and named Honorable Mention All-Pac 12.
TTB Rating:

Nugent appeared in just three games during his first two years on campus in Palo Alto, and then he became a full-time starter in 2021 for the Cardinal. He was named Honorable Mention All-Pac 12 both seasons and even became a Rimington finalist last year. Unfortunately, his team was terrible and didn’t get much respect. When head coach David Shaw resigned, a bunch of players hit the transfer portal, including Nugent and offensive tackle Myles Hinton, both of whom ended up in Ann Arbor.

Michigan lost Rimington Award winner Olu Oluwatimi, but reports out of practice suggest the drop-off won’t be that noticeable with Nugent snapping the ball. He’s a fire hydrant in the middle of the offensive line, and he can move a little bit, too. (Which kind of ruins my fire hydrant metaphor, I guess.) He has good leverage at just 6’2″, and he reportedly has proven to be tough and stout in fall practices after missing time in the spring due to injury. Nugent should start and be backed up by Greg Crippen. Jim Harbaugh has said both players could be All-Americans, but it seems for the second straight year that Crippen will be blocked by a transfer. There’s a good chance that Nugent will at least be an All-Big Ten player, if not in line for even higher honors.

Prediction: Starting center

10Feb 2023
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2023 Recruiting Grades: Offensive Line

LaDarius Henderson (image via Twitter)


2023 DEPARTURES: 2 (Ryan Hayes, Olu Oluwatimi)

2023 NEEDS: 1

2023 COMMITMENTS: Cumming (GA) South Forsyth OT Nathan Efobi, Arizona State transfer OG LaDarius Henderson, West Bloomfield (MI) West Bloomfield C Amir Herring, Stanford transfer OT Myles Hinton, Washington (DC) Gonzaga OT Evan Link, Stanford transfer C Drake Nugent


  • Kade Eldridge – Lynden (WA) Christian: USC
  • D.J. Chester – McDonogh (GA) Eagle’s Landing: LSU
  • Cole Dellinger – Clarkston (MI) Clarkston: Michigan State
  • Spencer Fano – Provo (UT) Timpview: Utah
  • Cayden Green – Lee’s Summit (MO) North: Oklahoma
  • Landen Hatchett – Ferndale (WA) Ferndale: Washington
  • Logan Howland – Princeton (NJ) The Hun School: Oklahoma
  • Caleb Lomu – Gilbert (AZ) Highland: Utah
  • Luke Montgomery – Findlay (OH) Findlay: Ohio State
  • Paul Mubenga – Buford (GA) Buford: LSU
  • Dylan Senda – Dearborn (MI) Divine Child: Northwestern


REASON FOR THE GRADE: Despite losing just two players to the NFL, the starting offensive line appeared to be in pretty good shape going into 2023. Of course, having a good offensive line is typically predicated on experience, so we have to look at what players are behind them and how ready they will be in 2024 and beyond. Michigan’s numbers were solid enough that they didn’t have to snag too many linemen in the class of 2023 to maintain a healthy overall number at the position (~15), but they hit it out of the park in the transfer portal, if not the high school ranks.

Starting with the transfer portal guys, Michigan landed Arizona State offensive guard/tackle LaDarius Henderson, Stanford center Drake Nugent, and Stanford right tackle Myles Hinton. All three are starters, and in particular, Henderson was a captain and Nugent was a Rimington Award finalist. While offensive guards Trevor Keegan and Zak Zinter return, Henderson could end up playing left or right tackle, depending on who steps up at those positions. Nugent should slot in as the starting center, and Hinton will probably be in a battle to start at one of the tackle spots, as injuries and inconsistency have hampered him a little bit so far. However, Hinton was a top-100 prospect and has great potential if he can put everything together.

Link improved as a senior to the point where I think he can be a solid player at the next level, especially in the run game; he has limited pass pro reps on his senior highlights, but there’s potential if he can stay consistent with his technique. Efobi still plays too high for my liking, and he doesn’t really win enough blocks even on his highlights. Meanwhile, interior lineman Herring could play guard or center – some think center is his best spot because of a lack of height – and is the type of kid who should be a good locker room presence while he waits for his opportunity for a few years, and he could step in as an upperclassman and start for a couple years.

Overall, Michigan did a good job of not only plugging a hole at center, but creating immediate competition at the tackle positions. Link, Herring, and Efobi are all guys with potential down the road, though I don’t think any of them are headed for stardom in college. If the Wolverines can maintain their solid offensive line play and use the transfer portal to their advantage on a yearly basis, this could be a recipe for great annual success even if the high school recruiting is so-so.

20Dec 2022
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Drake Nugent, Wolverine

Drake Nugent (#60, image via Stanford)

Former Stanford center Drake Nugent committed to Michigan as a grad transfer. As a class of 2019 signee out of Littleton (CO) Highland Ranch, he has two years of eligibility remaining. In the 2019 cycle, he was a 3-star, the #15 center, and #1141 overall.

Nugent is listed at 6’1″ and 300 lbs. and has started the past 24 games at center for the Cardinal. He was named a captain in 2022 and is a two-time Honorable Mention All-Pac 12 honoree.

Nugent redshirted in 2019, does not lose a year of eligibility for 2020, and has been a starter since 2021. According to PFF (LINK), he has only allowed 2 quarterback hits in 993 dropbacks over the past two seasons.

Nugent is a little bit undersized at the aforementioned 6’1″, but he is tough and stout on the interior. I watched some cuts of a couple of games, and the biggest thing I came away with is that he’s unlikely to get pushed around very much. He may struggle at times with mammoth nose tackles, but those are few and far between. But if he’s supposed to block back and wash a nose tackle/defensive tackle away, then he gets the job done. He also has the quickness and leverage to reach block, get out and move, and stay underneath defenders.

Michigan is losing center Olu Oluwatimi to the NFL after winning the Rimington and Outland trophies as the nation’s best center and interior lineman, respectively. So they need a replacement at that position, and it could be Nugent; however, there’s also rising redshirt sophomore Greg Crippen waiting in the wings, who redshirted in 2021 because of Oluwatimi’s presence. Crippen is taller and longer and could potentially play guard if he’s good enough to win a position, but Nugent is limited to center due to his size. It will be interesting to see how that battle plays out going into the future.

Michigan has landed several prospects in the transfer portal so far this cycle, including offensive guard LaDarius Henderson (LINK), linebacker Ernest Hausmann (LINK), and fellow Stanford Cardinal offensive tackle Myles Hinton (LINK).