2022 Season Countdown: #37 Joel Honigford

Tag: Joel Honigford


6Aug 2022
Blog, homepage no comments

2022 Season Countdown: #37 Joel Honigford

Joel Honigford (image via Wolverines Wire)

Name: Joel Honigford
Height: 
6’6″
Weight: 
260 lbs.
High school: 
Sugarcreek (OH) Garaway
Position: 
Tight end
Class: 
Sixth year senior
Jersey number: 
#84
Last year: 
I ranked Honigford #37 and said he would be a backup tight end (LINK). He started five games and made 1 catch for 10 yards.
TTB Rating:
 84

I didn’t realize this until I started typing this post, but Honigford was #37 in the countdown last year and remains at #37 this season. Honigford played as an extra offensive tackle in 2020 and then lost 40+ pounds to play full-time tight end in 2021. Truthfully, it’s perhaps the most impressive physical transformations in the past few decades, going from a 300+ pound offensive lineman to a svelte tight end. Sometimes a big ol’ lineman lines up in the backfield and looks clearly out of place as an oversized lead blocker, but Honigford looked the part of a tight end. He mostly lined up as an H-back or even a fullback in a pistol offset “I” formation while Michigan ran the ball down opponents’ throats.

Surprisingly, Honigford decided to return for a sixth year. That must mean that Michigan has a plan for him to continue to play a good number of snaps, but I don’t foresee him catching many passes behind Erick All and Luke Schoonmaker. I expect much of the same from 2021, when Honigford started five games but rarely was targeted in the passing game. Michigan should be trying to groom Louis Hansen and/or Matt Hibner for more playing time in 2023 since Honigford, All, and Schoonmaker could all be gone, so it will be interesting to see how much time the various tight ends get to be on the field.

Prediction: Backup tight end

30Jul 2021
Blog, homepage no comments

2021 Season Countdown: #37 Joel Honigford

Joel Honigford (#59, image via Maizenbrew)

Please use the Amazon links here to help support the blog (LINK):

Name: Joel Honigford
Height:
6’6″
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

25Oct 2020
Blog, homepage 23 comments

Michigan 49, Minnesota 24

Joe Milton (image via Sporting News)

The elephant in the room. Joe Milton looked good. He completed 15/22 passes for 225 yards and 1 touchdown, while running 8 times for 52 yards and 1 touchdown. I thought he would look shaky, and he didn’t. Yes, there were some mistakes, but he also made some very nice plays. Obviously, the arm strength is impressive, but he didn’t really complete any deep shots. The throws he hit were in the short and intermediate areas. It was a good debut for a starting QB.

Hit the jump for more.

read more
25Jul 2020
Blog, homepage 4 comments

2020 Season Countdown: #50 Joel Honigford

Joel Honigford

Name: Joel Honigford
Height: 
6’6″
Weight: 
284 lbs.
High school: 
Sugarcreek (OH) Garaway
Position: 
Offensive guard
Class: 
Redshirt junior
Jersey number: 
#59
Last year: 
I ranked Honigford #50 and said he would be a backup offensive guard (LINK). He played in ten games.
TTB Rating:
 84

Honigford spent the 2019 season as a backup offensive guard, who also spent some time at tackle after Andrew Stueber got injured. Reports out of practice were good though lacking true buzz, but he was mentioned as a guy who could play numerous spots along the offensive line if necessary. Ultimately, he played in three games as a backup lineman and in ten total, including special teams.

Honigford has an interesting outlook for his final two years of college. On the one hand, he has excellent coaching, solid talent, and some experience under his belt. On the other hand, Michigan keeps recruiting well and some younger guys are pushing from behind. The 2020 season will be a huge one for him since none of the projected starters are seniors of any sort. If Honigford earns a starting position, he would presumably have two years to play. If he spends another year as a backup to a guy who isn’t slated to graduate, Honigford would almost certainly spend his fifth year wearing a different uniform. I like Honigford as a swing guy, but it’s getting down to crunch time.

Prediction: Backup offensive guard