TTB Andrew interviewed Ben Braden a few days ago. Braden says he's up to 6'7", 325 lbs. and not planning on redshirting.
An Interview with Ben Braden
Good interview and good job of restraining yourself from ripping apart his game. I am just kidding. Braden's size is college ready, his foot work will be the determining factor in his future. Redshirting that entire class will create a log jam so I kind of like the idea of not redshirting all of them. That is provided they don't burn it with DG playing time.
Just because the kid says he doesn't plan to get redshirted doesn' t mean he won't be redshirted..not many kids come in planning to be redshirted
To be fair, he says this is what the coaches are saying, too. And given how thin we are on the O-line, we probably will want at least one of the Freshmen players who could play a backup roll in the up-coming season. That's not to say things can't or won't change depending on what he shows in practice, but it's not a stretch to think he will be considered for a backup right tackle instead of red shirting.
Is there any particular significance to your LOTR Theoden/Arwen avatar? Does this have something to do with your user name?
The woman in his avatar is Eowyn, not Arwen.
Good lord I'm a nerd.
Your manly avatar cancels out your nerdy post, I think.
I suppose I could make up some story about my daughter helping to save me from a wormtongue-like individual, but really it just that both my daughter and I are LOTR fans. I used to read her bedtime stories, and she started getting bored with the usual children's fare. When she was 5 or 6, I read her the entire trilogy and she loved it, begging for more every night. Yes, it took weeks, but she really got into it. Then I checked out the animated videos from the library. By the time she was 7 or 8, she already realized how ridiculous those versions were, and of course we saw the Peter Jackson versions when they came out.
Maybe if MGoBlog had been around in those years, I could have read from it instead, and she wouldn't have ended up a Spartan. Anyway. she's a proud graduate of MSU and now working on a Ph.D. in Chem E at North Carolina State. As you might be tipped off given her field of study, she is definitely not an irrational, couch burning Sparty fan, and we enjoy some good natured ribbing back and forth when football season comes around. When I started thinking about possible avatars I couldn't think of anything better than a LOTR reference.
Is it really worth reading "Lord of the Rings" to your kids if it means they'll grow up to be Spartans? It's a debate for the ages. And really, I don't think it will ever be solved.
From everything I've heard he has the size and athleticism. Sounds like he's been working in the weight room, is keeping in shape, and will be ready to train. Kudos to him, and I look forward to seeing him in the maize and blue.
Ben is huge, all of our linemen are massive-do you guys ever wonder how much food and beer these guys can put away? I wish I could see an eating contest with just the Michigan linemen. My buddies in college would hit Red Lobster during football season for the all-you-can eat shrimp. My friend Josh ate 193 fried shrimp and scampi. I Got up to 138 and felt like dying. I'm wondering if a kid this size could do 300-400 shrimp. For those of you who are still on campus, do you guys eat with the team/serve the team at restaurants?
I would hear the stories from the other cafeteria workers of the things that went on in the SQ players dining room. They have their own dining room for a reason.
Oh come now, you have to tell us some of your stories now! You can't just leave us hanging like that
I really enjoyed that interview, thanks Magnus. This kid seems like he has a lot of old school in him. I loved his line "I just eat" and I can't stop laughing at the visual of little hercules hurling the rocking chair against the wall as a kid!
We're going to have some serious battles for playing time on the OL the next couple years. I love it! It will be interesting who rises to the top and who falls behind.
Going forward, it is a good connection for Michigan. The Rams are consistently playing at a high level.
Eh. Rockford does well, but D-1 talent doesn't come around very often there. It's a good connection but it won't feed us like Cass has.
I live on the west side of the state, not to far from Rockford, and I agree that Rockford is an excellent program but it does not put out top tier D1 players very often.
Do you think Braden is athletic enough to play LT? Seems like we've had a tough time finding the next Lewan - Kalis is a G or RT, what about Magnusson? Tully Tillman seems like a potential LT, but needs at least a redshirt year technique wise so he doesn't see the field until '14 at the earliest.
Well, keep in mind that Taylor Lewan is the next Jake Long (nobody's words but mine), and there were 5 years between those guys being recruited (Long came in 2004, Lewan in 2009). I think Tuley-Tillman has the most potential as a future left tackle, but as you said, there are obviously some technique questions to work out in the meantime.
Braden has potential to play left tackle at some point in his career, but I think we're more likely to see him remain at right tackle. The guy who seems to be primed for left tackle from the 2012 class is Magnuson, with Blake Bars as a darkhorse candidate for the position.
I've never played/taught the OL, but how difficult is it for tackles to switch from left to right? With Morris, the RT will be the blindside tackle. Will that change things? I know that typically your LT (blindside) tackle is more athletic and more of a pass blocker while your RT (other side) is more of a mauler because if he gets beat the QB can see it. Can the two tackles just switch sides year to year? Is there more technique than that? Honest questions
Overall, the technique is pretty much the same. The issue is you get used to doing things a certain way, ie foot placement, keys, etc. Those keys and things are essentially the same, but they are mirrored. Some people can handle this, others not as well (or at least it takes time to get away from what they are used to).
I know there was one school recently (I think it was Alabama but don't quote me on that) that would essentially flip their tackle based on the play. That is, rather than having a blindside tackle and a front side tackle, they had something closer to a strongside tackle and weakside tackle. So it can be done, again, it's just getting used to it. Most RTs in the league were LTs in college.
with the strongside/weakside tackles:
"A thing I'm curious to see: Illinois does not have right and left on their offensive line, they have strong and weak. IE: they will flip their line down to down. I have never even heard of this."
Doesn't this get flip flopped with southpaw Shane? The RT becomes the blindside, but do the "specs" you're looking for in a tackle flip between LT and RT?
With Shane at QB typically your prototypical LT would be at RT and what you are looking for out of those players would flip. It's more of a blindside/frontside tackle thing, but seeing as about 95% of QBs are right handed it works to the convention LT/RT. It does get a little awkward at times though, especially if you're switching between QBs, as you don't want the linemen to get their keys and footwork confused. Michigan may stick with more of a conventional approach at first (and hope the tackles are interchangable enough) and work from there.
The other position that will have to get used to it are the receivers. It may sound like a very small thing, but when you are used to catching a ball with a certain spin all your life, a few drops occur when it hits your hands in a way you aren't used to.
He's a MONSTRO!! The kid is a beast and he is game ready.
The kid is no doubt an absolute freak of a specimen, but the thing that gets me excited is to hear about how hard he is working in high school to prepare for the next level. He has a bright future in front of him.
Our OL depth probably demands that he does not redshirt. A couple of our freshmen OL are going to be in the two-deep.
It is my opinion that Braden's tape is the best out of all of our incoming OL in both classes, and think he will be a monster for us. I also think the M fan faithful are sleeping on him.
And further, it really pisses me off that they've talked about about Diamond and Kozan, like spurned lovers, than they have about Braden, who will be better than both of them.
I do agree that Braden will be better than Kozan and Diamond. I was never a fan of either of them, although Kozan would have helped with the depth at center, I guess.
The main gripe I've heard about Braden is that me lacks the mean streak you want in an OL. Have you seen this too? Attitude is the hardest thing to measure, but sometimes it can be one of the most important characteristics.
I definitely agree that he lacks a mean streak on the field. Maybe he can develop that a little bit, but that lack of aggression is what knocked him down a peg or two in my estimation. I think he's in the second tier of linemen that Michigan brought in last season. He also has a fair amount of work to do from a technical standpoint because he didn't do a ton of pro-style pass blocking.
Aggression is not needed if he effectively makes the block at a dominant level. Lewan's aggression got him a ton of penalties... and a mean streak like a Richie Icognito, who was cut by the Rams for this got him stupid penalties, over and over. The term mean streak seems overused and not clear to many, maybe me most of all....... and Braden does what needs to be done...he annihilates the player, legally. No "mean streak" needed I guess.
The problem is that doesn't always necessarily finish blocks. I don't really see the "annihilation" you do, but maybe we've watched different film. He's a solid high school lineman, but I don't think we should go quite so far as to say he dominated or annihilated the competition.
Of all the OL recruits we had in his class and this new one... whose tape impresses you the most?
Who would you put second? I personally would say Bosch and Fox (very close for 2nd) and then Kugler, Tuley Tillman and Braden (very close for 4th)
I'd like to see more of Fox's film, but he would be my initial pick for #2 and then Bosch at #3.
I wonder what he'll weigh as a senior? Will he just get stronger or bulk up to something like 340? He looks like a fairly solid 325 right now. He's a large dude.
I don't know that he'll get much bigger than 325. You can only get so big before stiffness, injury, and slowness become an issue. He'll probably just refine the size he already has.
I can't imagine playing hockey with this kid!! One check and I would be decapitated!!!
It's hard to keep up with them! I need updates like this to keep me focused on all of the great possibilities. This kid can be great.
Thanks for the update!
Did anyone else see the video of Tom with Ben Braden, he absolutely dwarfed Tom. The kid is huge. His lack of a mean streak can hurt, but I think the staff will find a way to get his fire burning.
Well . . . TomVH is pretty tiny. Jeremy Gallon would probably make him look like a dwarf.