FOX 2 (WJBK) - The conquering heroes came home Tuesday night.
The 2023 National Champion Michigan Wolverines returned to campus to greet fans - fresh off its 34-13 win against Washington at NRG Stadium in Houston last night. To watch coverage, watch the videos included.
"Thank you so much for being here," said Coach Jim Harbaugh. "I just want to say from our team 144. All glory to God. That was our mission, we had lofty aspirations and high goals and we never lost sight of them. We never lost sight of those goals, we never lost sight of the mission, we continued the mission.
"I want to thank all of you for coming out here tonight, for weathering the storm, just like the 2023 Michigan football team weathered the storm."
Defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, known as one of the more loquacious members of the team - and most ferocious on the field - was the second to talk and thanked the crowd.
"You don't know how much we appreciate you all, from the bottom of our hearts, all the love and support. When the whole world doubted us, when the whole world didn't think we could do it. What did we say? Boom!" he said. "And all the guys who came back. The coaches, the staff, the players, everybody who (put in) all the blood sweat and tears into it. We said we had unfinished business. Guess what, our job is finished."
Quarterback JJ McCarthy was met with enthusiastic chants of 'one more year' in a plea for the junior to return to school to help defend the title next fall.
"I just want to thank all of you. Let's just enjoy this moment," McCarthy said smiling before the crowd drowned him out. "Let me just say this. I don't know how I could leave you all. It says everything about this place that's made it home for me. And I just love every single one of you from the bottom of my heart. And it is all about the team, the team the team here - and you guys are all included, you guys are the team. We appreciate you so freaking much."
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Linebacker Mike Barrett spoke to the crowd, as the player who has been part of the most wins in school history during his time with the program - 63.
"It's a blessing to be a part of this organization with all these guys. I love those boys, it's been a long ride but we had to come home with a dub, man," said Barrett who then led a back-and-forth chant of Go/Blue.
Hundreds of fans gathered on campus, expressing joy and pride after the team's win.
"I mean it was crazy man. I’m a little emotional cause I don’t know about how it’s going to pan out next year, but this year it all came true," one fan said. "It was everything I wanted it to be and more – and just an amazing experience to be a part of."
The University of Michigan will announce details Wednesday morning regarding a formal celebration on Saturday in Ann Arbor. A parade is in the planning stages with the city said a team official.
On Saturday night, at 7 p.m. tickets will be required for the Champions Circle Collective for a special rally at Crisler Center which will be televised by the Big 10 Network.
Most Valuable Offensive Player Blake Corum.