- Joined: 6/5/2003
- Location: Chicago IL USA
What is the problem with the OL?
Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:58 AM
This class featured just two offensive linemen; Chris Bryant and Tony Posada, who is no longer with the team.
Michigan picked up some key offensive line recruits in this class; Blake Bars, Ben Braden, Kyle Kalis and Eric Magnuson. All four of these players redshirted during the 2012 season. Kalis is now a starter and Magnuson has played quite a bit.
This class was loaded with blue chip offensive linemen, six in all. So far, none of them have played in 2013. However, Kyle Bosch is in the mix at left guard, a position that Brady Hoke says is wide open. He could very well play this week. The other linemen in this class are David Dawson, Chris Fox, Patrick Kugler, Dan Samuleson, and Logan Tuley-Tillman.
That breakdown, specifically the 2011 class, is why Michigan’s offensive line has struggled. The normal cycle of bringing in and developing linemen has been disrupted. It will be slightly more on track in 2014, but not completely back on the rails until 2015.
Fast forward to next season and Michigan is going to be starting an extremely young group on the line. It’s possible that the group could consist of 1 or no upperclassmen.
This breakdown in the rhythm of cultivating an offensive line can be directly attributed to the struggles the 2012 Wolverines are enduring. As good as Taylor Lewan is, he can’t push back an entire defensive line on his own. I know people aren’t going to want to hear this, but the jury is going to be out on this matter until order is restored in the natural progression of recruiting and developing an offensive line.
Take a look at Michigan’s roster and you will find 20 offensive linemen, including walk-ons. Of those 20, 12 are freshmen (redshirt or true). That is a monumental discrepancy and until those players are fully developed, at what is probably the most difficult position in college football, Michigan will struggle in the trenches.
Ohio St.'s actions are not unlike their lower intestine: stinky and loaded with danger.