2024 Spring Football Preview: Defensive Line

Tag: Enow Etta

18Mar 2024
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2024 Spring Football Preview: Defensive Line

Kenneth Grant (#78, image via Yahoo!)

2023 Starters: OLB Jaylen Harrell, DT Mason Graham, DT Kris Jenkins, DE Braiden McGregor
Losses: Reece Atteberry (transfer), Cam Goode (NFL), Harrell (NFL), McGregor (NFL)
Returning players: Josaiah Stewart (Sr.), Kechaun Bennett (RS Jr.), Rayshaun Benny (RS Jr.), T.J. Guy (RS Jr.), Ike Iwunnah (RS Jr.), Tyler McLaurin (RS Jr.), Graham (Jr.), Grant (Jr.), Derrick Moore (Jr.), Alessandro Lorenzetti (RS So.), Breeon Ishmail (So.), Cameron Brandt (So.), Roderick Pierce (So.), Brooks Bahr (RS Fr.), Enow Etta (RS Fr.), Aymeric Koumba (RS Fr.)
Newcomer: DE Dominic Nichols (Fr.)
Projected starters: OLB Stewart, DT Graham, DT Grant, DE Moore

Michigan had an excellent defensive line in 2023, and it might have been the best position group on the national championship squad. The biggest differential in the national championship game against Washington was Michigan’s defensive line against the offensive line of the Huskies. Washington had a couple potential high draft picks in that group, and the Wolverines tossed them around like rag dolls.

Whereas Michigan had dynamic edge rushers in 2021 with David Ojabo and Aidan Hutchinson, the interior of the defensive line has been the strength the past two years. That should be the case once again in 2024, though I’m expecting a little more pass rush from the edge guys this season. Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant are entrenched as the starters at defensive tackle, and they should be the #1 defensive tackle combo in the nation. Grant is 6’3″ and 340 pounds but is fast enough to chase down Penn State running backs from behind. Graham is 6’4″, 310 and plays with both explosion and technique.

Michigan needs someone to emerge from the backup ranks, as starter Kris Jenkins, Jr. and frequently used backup Cam Goode have both moved on. Rayshaun Benny broke his foot late in the season, too, and will probably not be full strength until the fall. This spring look for Roderick Pierce to get some heavy rotation after playing a decent amount as the fourth nose tackle a year ago. Ike Iwunnah is a fourth-year player who has yet to see the field, so it’s tough to see him breaking out at this point, and Alessandro Lorenzetti is another player with decent size (6’5″, 301) who has yet to see the field. Michigan will either have to play one of those inexperienced older guys or give a shot to some young guys who really needed to bulk up from “strongside defensive end” vibes to playing tackle, such as Cameron Brandt or Brooks Bahr.

On the edges, Josaiah Stewart – who spent his first two seasons at Coastal Carolina – and Derrick Moore seem like very good bets to start. Stewart should step in capably for Harrell, and Moore should slide in smoothly for McGregor. They both rotated heavily last year and received a ton of playing time, and Stewart in particular showed a lot of growth throughout the year as he adjusted to playing in the Big Ten.

Once again, the big questions come from the backup ranks. Who will step up to rotate into the game frequently? And will anyone turn into an elite pass rusher? T.J. Guy is a fourth-year player with a good bit of experience, and he could be a solid backup option. He’s probably not a game-changer at this point, so the guys fans really want to see are the likes of Breeon Ishmail and Enow Etta. Both had excellent potential coming out of high school, and Etta was a highly valued recruit who was absolutely dominant in high school (20+ sacks in each of his final two seasons) but played against inferior competition.

Aymeric Koumba is a second-year Frenchman, and Dominic Nichols is an early enrollee freshman. Both have potential but it seems a little early for them to make much of an impact.

11Jul 2023
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2023 Season Countdown: #82 Enow Etta

Enow Etta

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Name: Enow Etta
270 lbs.
High school: 
Colleyville (TX) Covenant Christian Academy
Defensive end
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
Etta was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 122 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 20 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 2 touchdowns.
TTB Rating:

Etta was a big get for Michigan in the 2023 class, and the Wolverines were lucky to hold on to him, too. While bookend pass rusher Collins Acheampong decommitted from Michigan for the Miami Hurricanes’ money cannon, Etta held fast despite being recruited by Miami and Acheampong to join him in Coral Gables. Etta ended the cycle ranked as a 4-star, the #13 defensive lineman, and #120 overall.

When Etta arrives this summer, he will have some catching up to do. He was pretty much a big fish in a small pond at Covenant Christian Academy, which is a mid-sized private school in Texas, and the competition there is not great. He looked like a man among boys, running past offensive tackles who clearly had no business trying to block him. Things are going to look a little different in college when he’s trying to get past 6’5″, 310 lb. offensive tackles instead of 6’2″, 230 lb. kids. So there’s going to be an uptick in competition, and Michigan already has a pretty solid foursome of Jaylen Harrell, Braiden McGregor, Josaiah Stewart, and Derrick Moore to man the edge rusher positions, not to mention a couple other competitors vying for playing time. I think Etta will get some chances to show his stuff, but while Moore developed into a decent player last season, I think we’re going to have to wait until at least 2024 to see that from Etta.

Prediction: Backup defensive end

28Feb 2023
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Class of 2023 Senior Highlights: DE Enow Etta

Colleyville (TX) Covenant Christian defensive end/outside linebacker Enow Etta is ranked as a 4-star, the #13 defensive lineman, and #120 overall in the 247 Composite rankings. As a senior in 2022, he made 134 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 20 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 8 fumble recoveries, and 2 fumble recoveries for touchdowns.

13Jul 2022
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Enow Etta, Wolverine

Enow Etta (image via Twitter)

Colleyville (TX) Covenant Christian Academy defensive end Enow Etta committed to Michigan on Wednesday afternoon, picking the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, LSU, Michigan State, Stanford, and USC, among others.

Etta measures in at 6’4 1/2″ and 261 lbs. As a junior in 2021, he made 124 tackles, 41 tackles for loss, 22.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries (1 for a touchdown), and 3 pass breakups.

ESPN: 4-star, 82 grade, #25 DE, #189 overall
On3: 4-star, 92 grade, #19 Edge, #132 overall
Rivals: 4-star, 5.8 grade, #18 WDE, #239 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 94 grade, #8 DL, #58 overall

Hit the jump for more on Etta’s commitment.

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15Jun 2022
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Visitors: June 17-19, 2022

DeSoto (TX) DeSoto WR Johntay Cook II (image via SI)

Note: All rankings below are based on Rivals’ rankings. I usually use 247 Composite rankings, but since I’m posting this list on multiple sites, it’s probably not the most time efficient to go through and rewrite everyone’s rankings.


Brooks Bahr – DE – Chicago (IL) Loyola: Bahr is a 6’6″, 250 lb. prospect who committed to Michigan in March. He’s a 3-star and the #45 strongside defensive end in the class.

Johntay Cook II – WR – DeSoto (TX) DeSoto: Cook is a 6’0″, 170 lb. wideout with offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, and Texas, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #7 wide receiver, and #52 in the class. His official visit will actually be Monday through Wednesday (June 20-22). Michigan has landed a couple DeSoto products in recent years when they signed Gemon and German Green in the class of 2018.

Enow Etta – DE – Colleyville (TX) Covenant Christian: Etta is a 6’5″, 260-pounder with offers from Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Stanford, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #18 weakside end, and #239 overall in the Rivals 250.

Hit the jump for more.

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