Name: Joel Honigford
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