It didn’t take long for the Panthers to begin the off-season in 2023, as Michigan made a play by signing one of their 2023 Draft Picks. First reported, by USFLShadow the Panthers are signing Gunnar Oakes their 7th Round Pick out of Eastern Michigan, to make the jump from Ypsilanti to Detroit.
Oakes had a mini-camp tryout with the Falcons in May, after being utilized as the team’s H-Back for 5 seasons at Eastern Michigan. Oakes joins a TE room that includes Kyle Markway, Josh Babicz, Cole Hikutini, and Marcus Baugh. Oakes totaled 56 Receptions, 621 Receiving Yards and 2 Touchdowns during his career at EMU before coming out of school in 2023.
Oakes becomes the 4th Panthers draft pick to join the team since March, joining DeShaun White, Levi Bell, and Santrell Latham. While Latham was released during the season, White and Bell were key contributors to the 2023 Michigan Panthers Defense assisting the team to a playoff berth. With 59 Players on their roster currently, the Panthers should be extremely active in off-season especially with USFL players beginning to sign with NFL teams clearing roster space for the 2024 season.