Michigan Football: Spring Game Analysis of the Offensive Line
As mentioned, it appears Michigan is doing some experimenting as to the direction the offense will eventually take. This, like anything else in an offense, affects the offensive line. Michigan did some pulling; Michigan did some back side blocking, and certainly did some zone. No real revelation came forth. And none should have been expected.
There were some points so obvious that high confidence can be declared. These points are so obvious that some may wonder why waste the electrons?
First, Ben Bredeson is a high level player and guard seems to be a good destination. For the most part he held up against good competition.
Second, Mason Cole is a high level player, at either center or tackle. With the injury sustained by Grant Newsome, Cole may be the one and only option for a plus level left tackle. This would necessitate Cole giving up the important line calls. So, a plus would be traded for a minus.
Third, Cesar Ruiz looks to be a very nice pick up. He is big, strong, and looked sound at center and guard. Technically, he is well above the average incoming offensive lineman. Ruiz could very, very easily end up as one of Michigan’s best five on the line.
Fourth, Onwenu puts sumo wrestlers to shame, his thighs and really everything below his waist rival 100 year old trees. He appears athletic enough to make a difference and become a fourth high level player. Guard is his obvious neighborhood.
Fifth, JBB was injured before the spring scrimmage and Jon Runyan Junior was hurt during the scrimmage. Runyan gave it a decent shot at tackle and he is clearly improved. Jon may still be a year away from being a positive, but he has a shot. Toughness, attitude, and improvements in every area of line play will eventually tell his story.
Sixth, Patrick Kugler is a nice X-factor on such a thin bunch. He looked, like Runyan, good enough to provide some hope for depth. And like Runyan, he just may have to see some action.
Last, fall arrivals Chuck Filiaga, Joel Honigford, and Andrew Stueber will eventually offer depth, but only Filiaga has the size to throw it around with the big boys. His technique, like his game, is just a little brutal.
It is thin, it is what it is, and UM needs to hit at least three home runs with o-linemen this year. The combination of Frey and Drevno would appeal to many with an above average upside. The zone blocking is more than a work in progress. Drevno and Frey have their work cut out, and some luck is needed to keep key guys in the lineup.