Will Johnson details how Michigan NIL situation has evolved

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison03/28/24


Will Johnson On Young Players Standing Out, How Michigan's Nil Kept Core Of Team Together

Now one of the veterans on the Michigan defense, defensive back Will Johnson has seen plenty of change during his time with the program. That includes the NIL situation at Michigan.

While speaking to members of the media during spring practice, Johnson detailed how Michigan’s NIL situation has evolved during his time there.

“I think every year it’s evolved,” Will Johnson said. “They’re working with us to get guys, like, in the Transfer Portal and the guys that came back for another year. I think the collective has done a great job at putting their all into making it what it is now and I think they’ve done a great job so far. So, I’m excited to see where it keeps going.”

Will Johnson was then asked if that NIL collective was a factor when it came to keeping the core group of players together after winning a national championship and seeing head coach Jim Harbaugh move to the NFL.

“I think it was very important. I mean, like you said, we needed to keep that core group together. A lot of the guys that had experience on this team last year, especially in the secondary,” Johnson said. “So, yeah, I think that was the main reason we were able to do that and I think it’s going to be big for later in this offseason too.”

Michigan has three different NIL collectives, including Champions Circle, MGoDAO, and Stadium & Main. All three collectives work with the football program to some extent, with MGoDAO being focused on football. Champions Circle was founded by former players while Stadium & Main was founded by alumni.

Champions Circle has recently been active across sports, with its ‘March for May’ campaign for the men’s basketball team. On top of that, Champions Circle also launched its ‘Those Who Stay’ campaign to retain players on the football team.

Michigan CB Will Johnson on who’s stepping into bigger roles after departures

Michigan’s NIL efforts certainly helped the Wolverines retain key players. However, plenty of key players are still moving on and will need to be replaced and, recently, Will Johnson shared who has been stepping into bigger roles.

“I’ve seen a lot of the young guys step up, like DJ WallerJyaire HillJa’Den McBurrowsZeke BerryKody JonesMyles Pollard. All of those guys have stepped up a lot. They’re taking that step for this next year coming up. So just keep stacking days throughout spring ball and keep getting better every day. They’ll be ready to go,” Johnson said.

“I think guys like Zeke have been playing really well. Q, he came back too, so I think we’ll be fine. We have all the pieces we need. They’re taking the steps every day with their preparation, and learning the defense, and the new scheme, and doing everything they can to be on the field, so I think they’ll be ready.”