Michigan football’s core players have chosen culture over dollars. At least for now.

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It was just last offseason when one of Michigan football’s NIL collectives, Valiant Management Group, started the “one more year” fund, a crowdfunding campaign from fans to raise money for seniors like Blake Corum, Zak Zinter, Trevor Keegan and Mike Sainristil among others to entice them and stay.

It likely wasn’t the main reason so many of U-M’s upperclassmen opted to return and handle their “unfinished business,” but it did raise $135,000 in total. This time around, money has once again been thrown around at Michigan players, only this time, it’s largely been coming from the outside.

Michigan defensive back Will Johnson intercepts a pass intended for Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.

Speaking with media this week, three of Michigan football’s most recognizable and highly coveted defensive stars − defensive back Will Johnson and defensive tackles Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant − took turns discussing their decision to return to Michigan and stave off attempts from other suitors they’ve heard are out there.

All three will be just true juniors, which means none could have gone pro, but like so many others around the country, there was a chance to chase the money.

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“It’s easy to get tempted for sure, especially when you hear all the numbers and all the things like that,” Johnson said. “But we’re so close. When we got a group of guys that are so talented, that’s hard to pass up, too. We’re really just about staying together, keeping it together and getting better together.

“That’s just what our mindset is, and that’s where we’re standing on.”

The expectation is all three will likely enter the NFL draft next season (Johnson…

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/michigan-footballs-core-players-chosen-101300013.html

Author : Detroit Free Press

Publish date : 2024-03-29 10:13:00

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