Who else but Everett’s Mike Sainristil to lock up the University of Michigan’s national championship and one of the greatest seasons in college football history?
With Washington threatening to make it a one-score game in the fourth quarter, Sainristil intercepted a pass and returned the football 81 yards to Washington’s 8-yerd line. Two plays later Blake Corum rushed for a one-yard touchdown to help make it 34-13 in favor of the Wolverines.
And that’s how it ended, with Mikey and Michigan on top of the college football world for the 2023 season with a 15-0 record.
It was the perfect conclusion to Sainristil’s amazing career at Michigan. Sainristil began as a wide receiver before moving to defensive back and being named to the 2023 ESPN All-America Team. The 5-foot-10-inch cornerback finished the season with six interceptions.
Sainristil was a game-long force on defense, making some crucial one-on-one tackles at his position.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh credited the play of Sainristil and the Michigan defense in his post-game remarks to ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt.
“It doesn’t get more satisfying than watching how our defense played against an elite team, an elite quarterback, a heckuva offensive line, an outstanding receiving corps,” said Harbaugh. “There were some spectacular tackles, open-field tackles, tackles on the edge. I said, ‘Mike Sainristil, you did that.’” “When a play has to be made, they make the play. You just count on these guys, the playmakers who make the magic happen.”
In Everett, Sainristil’s former coaches and teammates watched the drama unfold on national television, fully expecting that Sainristil, the former Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year, would thrive on the biggest stage in college football, which he did.
“I’m so proud of him,” said former Everett High head football coach John DiBiaso, who coached Sainristil for three seasons, including two Super Bowl titles.
“Mikey scored the first touchdown in both of those Super Bowls against Xaverian,” recalled DiBiaso. “When he was a sophomore, he caught a pass from Jordan McAfee and scored. When he was a junior, he intercepted a pass on the first series of downs and had a Pick-6 and put us up 7-0. He had two big games in the Super Bowls for us. He was a great player in high school.”
Sainristil’s parents, Carlot and Raymonde, were at NRG Stadium in Houston for the national championship game.
Josaiah Stewart Also Excels for the National Champions
Former Everett High star Josiah Stewart also had a key role in the Michigan Wolverines’ national championship season and their 34-13 victory over Washington.
A transfer from Coastal Carolina University, Stewart made four tackles and had one assist in the national title game. Stewart was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection on defense this season. A 6-foot-1-inch 245-pound junior, Stewart is expected to return to Michigan for the 2024 season