Sunday, March 30, 2008

O-Linemen on the spring roster

With Justin Boren's departure, Michigan lacks depth on the offensive line. The Wolverines will be receiving some needed help prior to the Fall in the form of six (6) new recruits who were signed as part of the 2008 Recruiting Class. Until they arrive, however, new offensive line coach Greg Frey will work during spring practice with the offensive lineman currently on the roster. The O-Line is very inexperienced and Coach Frey has his work cut out for him. The players on the offensive line have earned a mere combined total of three varsity letters. This is who Coach Frey is working with:

The only returning starter from last year's line, Schilling started all 13 games in 2007 with 11 starts at RT and two at RG. He earned his first varsity letter last season.

Started two games last season at RT and played in a total of six games on the offensive line. Has appeared in a total of 13 games in his career. He earned his first varsity letter in 2007.

Has appeared in 11 games along the offensive line in his career and has played in a total of 21 contests. Appeared in all 13 games in 2007, playing both on the offensive line and the field-goal protection unit. Has not yet earned a varsity letter.

Saw action as a backup center in 3 games last season. Has appeared in a total of seven contests in his career. Has not yet earned a varsity letter.

Appeared in four games last season as a backup both at RT and LT. Has not yet earned a varsity letter.

He earned his first varsity letter in 2007 by starting a game at RG and playing in a total of five games on the offensive line. Has appeared in a total of seven games in his career.

Appeared in two games last season as a backup at RT. Has not yet earned a varsity letter.

Has not appeared in a game.



At 12:06 PM, Blogger Markus said...

The loss of Jake Long will be felt, but I have a hard time buying into the idea that Michigan is "decimated" with the OL.

There are some huge factors in Michigan's favour and some of it admittedly more long-term-oriented:

1.) A much improved strength and conditioning program.
Michigan's OL will actually be physically fit to run more plays per game with the hurry up offense.

2.) Remember that Michigan's rushing offense finished 9th in the Big Ten last fall (I don't care about injuries to OL and Hart. Nobody can tell me that it's OK for the 2nd string to not be ready to contribute immediately.)

3.) Rodriguez believes in bringing everyone's game up a notch so that he can play many players and many positions. More playing time and experience for everyone. This has never been seen before with Michigan football, but it will pay dividends long-term. Michigan will end up with the most experienced and deep OL in the conference for 2009.

4.) Other than Ohio State and Michigan itself, the opposing defenses in the Big Ten in 2008 are just not going to be that good this year either. Illinois had a very good defense according to Big Ten standards last fall and they lost a boat load of players to graduation. MSU and Wisconsin fielded poor defenses last year. Penn State might be the only team to really compete vs. UM and OSU in the defense category in 2008.
Iowa would be good if it weren't for the off-the-field issues with some of their best defenders.

5.) If stars align with the UM defense this fall, there is no reason why Michigan's defense can't be the second best in the conference behind OSU. This gives them time to improve. Most importantly, a strong, opportunistic defense could take considerable pressure of the UM offense (OL) to score every possession.

6.) UM Kicking Game
Michigan should have one of the leagues best kicking games with Mesko back punting and Lopata back at PK. This can have the effect of winning field position and helping the UM offense out, allowing it to work over shorter field. This all depends too on good defensive play.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Markus said...

One other comment:

Of the OL guys on the UM spring roster:

1 is a 5 star recruit (Schilling)
4 are 4 star recruits
2 are 3 star recruits
1 is a 2 star recruit (Huyge)
3 walk on types (Nowicki, Ramirez, Pomarco)

All are typical UM lineman size - average 6-5, 295 pounds.

Once the freshman show up there will be the following:

3 4-star recruits
3 3-star recruits

Not alot of experience. BUt that doesn't matter as much as a.) raw talent being present (it is present) and b.) ability to learn the new system quickly. (Not sure, but hopeful about this).

I think these OL guys must like the idea that they have a genuine shot at seeing the field under RR and that they are no longer relegated to riding the bench as they were under Carr (A.Moeller).

At 9:29 PM, Blogger mzgoblue said...

Only four true freshmen have ever started a game on the offensive line in Michigan Football history: Bubba Paris (two starts, 1978), Tom Dixon (one, 1980), Dean Dingman (three, 1987), and Justin Boren (one, 2006). That list, out of necessity, is likely to grow longer this season. Go Blue!


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