Name: Nathan Efobi Height: 6’4″ Weight: 295 lbs. High school: Cumming (GA) South Forsyth Position: Offensive guard Class: Freshman Jersey number: N/A Last year: Efobi was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble on defense. TTB Rating: 68
Efobi was a pretty big get for Michigan in the 2023 class, signing with the Wolverines over offers from Georgia, Miami, and Penn State, among others. He ended up as a 247 Composite 4-star, the #19 interior offensive lineman, and #345 overall. He committed in November and signed in December, and he will join the Wolverines this summer.
From an on-the-field perspective, I’m not sure how much Efobi will have an impact. I gave him a TTB Rating of 68 because I think he has a lot of work to do. Even if considering the overall ranking, only 259 players were drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft, so if he ends up as the 345th best player in three to five years, that puts him as an undrafted free agent. Of course, NFL Draft results don’t always mirror recruiting rankings, but it’s important to keep some perspective. Efobi will probably need at least a year of development to be field-ready, and Michigan has a ton of legitimate linemen, so I think a redshirt is a safe bet.
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.
A.J. Barner – TE – Indiana: Barner is a 6’6″, 250 lb. starting tight end and captain from the Hoosiers. After spending three seasons in Bloomington, he has two seasons of eligibility left. This season he caught 28 passes for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns. Barner was a 3-star, the #51 tight end, and #1147 overall in the class of 2020. With Michigan losing Erick All (Iowa), Luke Schoonmaker (NFL), Louis Hansen (transfer), Carter Selzer (graduation), and Joel Honigford (graduation), they need some reinforcements at the tight end position.
Josaiah Stewart – OLB – Coastal Carolina: Stewart is a 6’2″, 230 lb. outside linebacker whom Michigan offered when he came out of high school in 2021. He went to Coastal Carolina and had an outstanding freshman season followed up by a pretty solid sophomore year. Now that he’s in the transfer portal, he has two years of eligibility remaining and appears to be choosing between Michigan and USC.
Nathan Efobi – OG – Cumming (GA) South Forsyth: Efobi is a 6’3″, 282 lb. prospect with offers from Georgia, Miami, Michigan, and Penn State, among others. He’s a 3-star and the #90 interior offensive lineman. This is an official visit, his first of the process.
Nyckoles Harbor – WR – Washington (DC) Archbishop Carroll: Harbor is a 6’5″, 225 lb. athlete who could play wide receiver, tight end, or defensive end at the next level. He appears to be Michigan’s #1 overall prospect. He’s a 5-star, the #1 athlete, and #9 overall in the class. Georgia, South Carolina, and USC also seem to be in the running, but his recruitment is very interesting because he’s also an elite level sprinter. While he looked like a defensive end early on, he’s likely not interested in putting on a ton of weight to play on the line so he can maintain his sprint training. This is an official visit.