And you think you're crowded at Michigan Stadium
Meet Bryant Nowicki, Appreciate The Man
Rodriguez's latest press conference has revealed that Angry Michigan Offensive-Line-Hating God has seen fit to dislocate Mark Ortmann's elbow. He's out for about three weeks. Cue the skull-heavy, foreboding painting:
Mmmm, undead beef jerky. Also: now what?
Bryant Nowicki isn’t Belgium’s famous painter but he is Michigan’s soon-to-be famous planet-sized walk-on starter at left tackle. When he came off the bench to replace Ortmann I deeply regretted the demise of the free programs that were so essential for figuring out which obscure player just made a special teams gaffe or, like, is our freakin’ left tackle. Then I saw Nowicki talking to David Molk and it was weird that one of our OL made another of our OL look like Martavious Odoms. Then I deeply regretted Michigan’s offensive line recruiting over the past five years. Then Nowicki played pretty decently.
So what’s the deal?
Nowicki was a recruit who drew interest from a bunch of schools early because he was 6’9” and football-sized but didn’t pick up a D-I offer. Some local I-AA and D-II schools did offer, but Nowicki picked a preferred walk-on spot at Michigan over toiling at SVSU or wherever.
This is his third year against Michigan, during which time he’s lost around 40 pounds and learned not to squint in photographs:
He saw action in two blowouts—Notre Dame and Minnesota—last year. ESPN, surprisingly, scouted him. Upshot:
He can be a dominant blocker in a restricted area. He has dropped weight between his junior and senior year, and is more effective dealing with moving targets. He is able to more consistently get a piece, but will still struggle in space. As a pass protector he struggles to reset his feet and has difficulty handling speed, but can mirror rushers in a short area. Nowicki is interesting because of his size, but he may not move well enough to play guard and may struggle with speed rushers at the tackle position.
He’s dropped 40 pounds, so maybe the movement has improved? I’ll attend to him closely in UFR. Chances he’s good are low, but he wasn’t an obvious sieve in the way Courtney Morgan was. That may be an effect of opponent and relative competence of the gentlemen around him.