Offensive Line Experience: Short Ride in a Broken-Down Machine

Offensive Line Experience: Short Ride in a Broken-Down Machine

Submitted by Yeoman on November 16th, 2013 at 1:56 PM

[Ed: BUMP]

A moment comes when you first start listening to minimalist music—for some people it comes quickly, for some people it never clicks at all—when your perception of time changes. As a musician famously described his first exposure to a Philip Glass opera; his initial boredom was transformed as...

I began to perceive...a whole world where change happens so slowly and carefully that each new harmony or rhythmic addition or subtraction seemed monumental...

...he said as the rhythmic woodblock...no, it's Adams not Glass...the woodblock crack of the pulling Stanford guard's pads as he thumped the Oregon SAM out of the hole play after play after play after...

NO! I will NOT spend my Thursday evening in an altered state of consciousness. So I started using the media timeouts, and then the time between plays (well, at least when Stanford had the ball, which thankfully was just about always) to work on a project I'd started a few days earlier during the Gameboy diaries, pulling participation reports for all 125 FBS teams and pulling roster/bio information to get the classes of their starters on the o-line.

And some of you people think huddles serve no purpose.

Honestly, the Horse Wasn't Dead When I Started

The results are here, usefully tabled in a spreadsheet to save some work for the next sap that starts on one of these projects.

Of course, as I sat down at my computer to do some regression analysis on the data I opened the blog and saw Gandalf's diary covering most of what I was planning to do (and doing a better job of it I might add). But I was taking a slightly different tack and found a couple of wrinkles, so for the sake of the eight of you that are still interested I'll continue on....

First a couple of comments about the dataset (feel free to skip the rest of this section, but it might be important if anyone uses the data for further analysis). Gandalf took his data from depth charts at the ourlads.com scouting site; mine come from the starting lineup listed in each school's participation report in the official game stats for their most recent game against FBS competition (sometimes coaches play with their lineup for games they're treating as exhibitions, give a start to a loyal walk-on for example, so if the most recent game was against a Delaware State I pulled the lineup for the week prior).

The official reports have the virtue, or defect, of being precise accounts of who was on the field. Sometimes that was a problem because everyone doesn't actually use five offensive linemen all the time. Idaho started a game with four, presumably spreading the field with covered, ineligible tight ends and wide receivers. Somebody else came out heavy and listed six. There were also some schools that simply listed their linemen as “OL” without assigning specific positions.

Where possible I straightened those situations out by using the schools' published depth charts. When that didn't work either I looked at third-party depth charts and did my best to reconcile them with the actual starters. It's possible there are a couple of players out of position here, but I don't think it's material.

For teams, usually pistol teams, that flop their line, I assumed the tight end would line up to the right and assigned the quick tackle and guard to the left side and the strong tackle and guard to the right.

For obvious reasons, service academies don't redshirt players. If an academy lineman's bio showed a year in which he didn't see game action, I counted that year as a redshirt and subtracted the year from his class. The point after all was to look at experience, not remaining eligibility.

Additive and Multiplicative Measures of Experience

 

My starting point was two proposals in the Gameboy diaries. Gameboy himself proposed assigning a value to each player (one point for each year, half a point for a redshirt) and adding them (well, averaging them, which of course is the same thing but for scale). That average appears in the spreadsheet as the GLEM (Gameboy Line Experience Metric).

In a comment to one of the diaries reshp1 suggested an alternative: assigning a value to each player based on experience (conceived as the probability that the player in question will successfully carry out his assignment) and multiplying those values and subtracting the product from one to get the probability that an assignment will be busted on a given play. That probability appears in the spreadsheet as the RBI (Reshp Bust Index). It's basically the weakest-link theory with the additional recognition that anyone might turn out to be the weakest link on a given play.

I focused on the latter metric because conceptually it makes sense to me and because it wasn't treated in Gandalf's diary. Reshp1 pulled the probabilities out of the air, or his hat, or somewhere, but the analysis doesn't seem to be sensitive to the particular choices here. The values are in a lookup table on page 2 of the spreadsheet if anyone wants to play around with alternatives.

Before I go on, a sanity check on Reshp1's metric—a list of the ten youngest lines:

  • UCLA (7-2, 4-2)
  • Idaho (1-9)
  • California (1-9, 0-7)
  • Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5)
  • Eastern Michigan (2-8, 1-5)
  • Western Kentucky (6-4, 2-3)
  • Tulane (6-4, 4-2)
  • Maryland (5-4, 1-4)
  • Arkansas (3-7, 0-6)
  • Michigan (6-3, 2-3)

Not a list you want to be on; those are some bad teams right there, combining for a 16-37 record in their respective conferences and that's flattering because it leaves out independent Idaho, who's probably the worst of the lot. (You can point to UCLA if you like as proof that, if everything goes right, you can survive starting multiple freshmen. Arkansas fans are probably pointing to Michigan and saying the same thing.)

The Running Game

 

Sanity check #2 is to redo Gandalf's work, but with Reshp's metric. Here's a graph of yards per carry vs. RBI:

chart 1

That looks familiar. R2 is .058; the correlation coefficient is -.24 (these coefficients will all be negative because RBI is smaller for more experienced lines). And if we strip out the tackles and just look at the interior?

chart 2

R2 is .084, the correlation coefficient is -.29, and it's not a coincidence that this looks an awful lot like Gandalf's chart using “youngest interior lineman”.

Weakest link, check. Experience matters more on the interior than at the tackles, check.

Offensive Efficiency

 

But what I really wanted to do was to look at the impact of o-line experience on an offense as a whole. To do that I've used the offensive component of the Fremeau Efficiency Index, which looks at all offensive drives (except for clock-kills and garbage-time drives) and compares the results to expectations based on the starting field position. By its nature it's pace-adjusted and independent of the effect of the team's defense; they also apply a strength of schedule adjustment.

Here's the chart:

chart 3

R2 is .026, the correlation coefficient is –.16. The effect’s not as large, but a young line impacts the whole offense, not just the run game.

It made some sense that in the running game experience would matter more in the interior than at the tackles since it's an interior lineman that makes the line calls and the assignments tend to be more complicated inside. It wasn't so clear that this would still hold when the passing game was added in:

chart 4

but that's what we find. The correlation is greater when we only look at the interior. R2 is .048, the correlation coefficient is -.22.

It's on the interior that experience really matters. And Michigan's interior RBI ranks 123rd of 125 FBS teams.

How Large an Effect?

 

A lot was made in Gandalf's diary, and especially in the comments, about the low R2 values here, which were seen as a demonstration of the relative unimportance of experience vs. other factors, like coaching.

I see it differently. This is an extremely diverse universe of teams we're looking at here. There are differences between Michigan and Eastern, or between Ohio State and Ohio U., that can't ever be overcome by something as simple as inexperience on the line. A lot of the scatter in these charts is just a matter of big programs being big and small programs being small. Given those enormous differences in baseline levels of the various FBS teams it's amazing to me that we could see anything like 5-8% of a performance difference being credited to any one team demographic, especially when the difference is measured using an SOS-adjusted metric like Fremeau.

And the slopes of these trend lines aren't small. The expected oFEI difference between 2012 Michigan and 2013 Michigan is .32; the actual difference is .197. The expectation, just correcting last year's performance for the youth on the field this year, was for a worse offense than we've actually seen.

Put another way, if you use that trend line to adjust for this year's lack of experience, add the missing .32, Michigan's offense goes to 19th in the nation, right behind Stanford and Louisville. UCLA turns into Oregon. Eastern becomes Bowling Green and maybe English keeps his job. Everybody's happy.

 

Good Teams are All Alike, Every Bad Team is Bad in its Own Way

 

I thought I'd try to get a handle on that by comparing each team's performance to the baseline they've established historically. I've averaged the oFEI's for each program for the five-year period from 2008-2012, then calculated the deviation of this year's performance from that average.

Basically, we're now looking at year-to-year deviations in performance within each program.

On the one hand, this gets rid of the scatter due to the vast discrepancy in baseline performance expectations from the top to the bottom of the division.

On the other hand, this also filters out any effect from programs like Wisconsin whose strength largely comes from the fact that they always field powerful, experienced lines. There's not much year-to-year variance there—they're always old, always good.

So it's possible we won't see any bigger correlation here than before...

chart 5

...what happened? R2 is .009. Two-thirds of the effect is now gone. (A result, by the way, that's consistent no matter what metrics I use for line experience.) Apparently, only a third of the effect we’re looking at is a matter of one-off bad seasons due to a young line; most of the effect is systematic, inherent in particular programs. It's almost as if there were a correlation between poor past performance and current youth, and that's because there is:

chart 6

There's the missing two-thirds. Historically (well, over the last five years anyway) bad teams are on the left, good programs on the right. There's less current youth (lower Bust Index) as you move right.

A look back at the teams listed earlier provides a clue. It's a mix of historically bad programs like Eastern, struggling FCS converts like Idaho, and programs that have suffered some sort of recent calamity, the kind that makes you decide to hire John L. Smith to be your substitute teacher for a year. Some had horrible recruiting, some had retention problems…each one has had its peculiar issues but every one of them is a program in disarray—some recovering, some not. Teams don’t field multiple freshmen because they want to; they do it because things fell apart.

We'll know more if someone does the study suggested in the comments to Gandalf's diary, looking at overall roster depth instead of just the age of the starters, but I think what's happening here is that the Wisconsin effect is the dominant effect in the study. Good programs don't suffer from youth on their lines because (a) it doesn't happen to them and (b) when it does, it's not a sign of weakness. When Andrus Peat finds his way to the top of the depth chart as a sophomore it's because he's beaten out multiple upperclassmen and won the position. When Kyle Bosch find his way to the top of the depth chart it's by default; the juniors and seniors he's supposed to be competing against aren't on the roster.

I think the next thing I might try, if I were of a mind to keep flogging this, is to do something so straightforward and blunt as to look for a correlation between offensive efficiency and the number of scholarship upperclass o-linemen on a roster (more telling than the percentage, I would guess).

TomVH: Weekly Update: Chris Fox, Chris Wormley, LaQuon Treadwell and More

TomVH: Weekly Update: Chris Fox, Chris Wormley, LaQuon Treadwell and More

Submitted by TomVH on June 27th, 2011 at 11:50 AM

It was a busy weekend for Michigan with both Chris Wormley and Kyle Kalis making it in to visit. With roughly ten spots left (Ed: Now 9!), remaining recruits are watching every move, and Michigan's coaches must be strategic in their actions. Here's a look at what's been happening and what could happen next. As always you can follow me on Twitter here, and if you have any tips or questions email me at [email protected].

Chris FoxChris Fox (2013)

6'6", 297 lbs.

Offensive Lineman

Parker, Colorado


Fox was a standout performer at Michigan's camp this past week. The Michigan coaches liked the 2013 prospect so much that they offered him once he left.

I talked to Coach Hoke and Coach Funk and they offered me. I got a Colorado offer a few weeks ago, too. The [Michigan coaches] told me that I fit what they're trying to accomplish, and that I look like a Michigan guy. 

Fox traveled all the way from Colorado to Michigan just to camp, the trip ended up being well worth the distance. Not only did he get his offer but he also started the foundation for a relationship with Coach Funk.

I'm definitely comfortable with Coach Funk and all the coaches there now. Coach Funk was out in Colorado and stopped by our school and I actually have some family that lives up in Michigan. I love Michigan, they have great football and it would be awesome to go there. Both my parents were born and raised in Michigan too. My family is kind of split in half with Michigan and Michigan State fans. Right now I've only heard from Michigan, MSU hasn't really contacted me.

The camp gave Fox a good look at how the Michigan coaches interact with players and a good feel for the campus.

I'd definitely like to get out [to Michigan] for a game this season. It would be great to get out there. I liked everything, the campus was incredible and the Big House is incredible. I don't have a list yet, I'm just going through the process with open eyes looking for my best fit. As of right now Michigan and Colorado are my top two because they've offered.

Now that he's been on campus and gained a level of comfort with the staff, he feels great about what Michigan has to offer and where he is in the process.

It just feels good to know that I have options this early and it feels good to know that I could go there. I'd like to make my decision before my senior year so that's probably what I'll do, sometime next summer. 

Fox is a name that seems to be popping up all over the place now, so I wouldn't be surprised if he got some big time attention soon. Early offers for offensive lineman are usually good signs of talent level and Fox should be right up near the top.

Christopher WormleyChris Wormley

6'4", 255 lbs.

Defensive End

Toledo, Ohio


Wormley made a visit up to Ann Arbor this weekend. He's been relatively quiet lately and generally doesn't like talking to the media. I did catch up with him via text to see how his visit went, and where he's going from here. He briefly said the following.

It went very well. Yes I definitely came closer to a decision. My family and girlfriend [went on the visit], and I loved every part of it, but joking around with the coaches was the best part. 

I asked if he knew when he would like to make his announcement or decision and he said he will make it when it feels it's right. I can't imagine that it would be much longer though. This visit seems to have been a positive for Michigan moving him in the right direction, so we'll see when it happens.

LaQuon Treadwell (2013)

6'3", 190 lbs.

Wide Receiver

Crete, Illinois


Treadwell is the younger teammate of 2012 Michigan commit Anthony Standifer. LaQuon accompanied Standifer on his visit to Ann Arbor and immediately saw what his teammate liked so much about Michigan.

Going in I expected it to be great and that's what it was. I think it was overall a great experience, the buildings, the field, and the coaches were great. The field and the academic center where you do all your class work were probably the best parts.

Since he's new to the process he feels that he benefited from Standifer's presence on the visit.

Anthony was asking most of the questions so I was picking off of him and just going off of what he was saying. I'll probably do what Anthony did and decide in the summer too. He talks to me about Michigan a lot and him being committed there helps them with me.

Their coach does not let them visit other schools or decommit once they have committed to a school, so he wants to make sure he gets it right. Treadwell has also been hearing from Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, and Vanderbilt.

Who's Left?

With 16 17 commitments already in this class it seems likely that Michigan will have most of their spots filled by the time the season hits. Here's who's left and where they are in the process.

Offensive line (1-2):

  • Nashville OL Blake Bars: Committed on Sunday.
  • Ohio OL Kyle Kalis: Just took a visit to Michigan. He isn't saying much to reporters right now, but I did speak to him today. I wouldn't be surprised if he makes his decision very soon. There are a lot of rumors out there, but like I said he's not saying much in public so be careful what you believe. 
  • Illinois OL Jordan Diamond: Michigan is still in great position, as they always have been. Jordan's mother says that she's not sure when his decision will come but she wouldn't be surprised if he waited until after the season. He's gone back and forth so we'll just have to wait and see his final decision.
  • Pennsylvania OL Adam Bisnowaty: His athletic director told me that ideally Adam would like to take a few official visits then decide. Adam has also been quiet (a theme here) but I should have something from him soon. He seems to be a forgotten name, but the Michigan coaches do really like him.
  • Arizona OL Andrus Peat: I also reported how Peat's visit to Michigan went a week ago. Don't get too excited about Peat yet, I still think he ends up elsewhere but stranger things have happened. 
  • Washington OL Joshua Garnett: Recently put Michigan in his top eleven and told me back in May that he would like to take an official visit to Michigan, which he still maintains. I should have more on him this week, but spots remaining could end up being an issue here depending on timelines and decisions of his peers.
  • Washington OL Zach Banner: The same can be said for Banner as with Garnett. Timing and space might hinder this, but we'll see how it plays out.

Defensive Line (2-3):

  • Missouri DT Ondre Pipkins: He told me last week that he will be making a visit to Michigan in July or August, we'll see which one it ends up being. He also might choose to move up his decision, which is interesting.
  • Michigan DT Danny O'Brien: Performed well at Michigan's camp this past weekend and told me the coaches were impressed. He also told me the Michigan coaches expressed that they want one interior lineman, which seems to be between Pipkins, O'Brien, and kind of Sheldon Day. I do think there is still a chance they could take both. O'Brien would ideally like to take a couple official visits, but is also watching what Pipkins does in his recruitment.
  • Ohio DE Adolphus Washington: He and teammate Dwayne Stanford are still trying to reschedule their trip to Ann Arbor. Stanford told me they are waiting because of the Fourth of July holiday. I don't think we'll know how interested they really are until they visit. They both were very fond of Ohio State so it could be interesting how it plays out.
  • Ohio DE Chris Wormley: As mentioned above Michigan is in good shape with Chris and he's going to announce when he feels he's ready.

Safety (1):

  • Ohio S Jarrod Wilson: I posted a few days ago that Wilson will be announcing in July 8th at 2:30pm EST per his coach's email and press release. 

Others:

  • The other prospects Michigan is recruiting like Bri'onte Dunn, Ron Thompson, Aaron Burbridge, Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, Alden Hill, EJ Fatu, and Sione Houma are still somewhat in limbo. Dunn, for example is still committed to Ohio State according to his father. His father told me Bri'onte would be at Ohio State's camp this past week and it looks like that happened. I still believe they're waiting to see what the sanctions are before making a move.

Extra:

PA running back Greg Garmon told me that he received an offer from Ohio State this weekend. I was told that he worked out at camp as a defensive back and may have been offered as an athlete. It's interesting to say the least that he received an offer from them. He also told me that Michigan is still in it for him and that he, "Loves them."

New Jersey ATH Devin Fuller told me that he's not sure of the exact date but he would still like to make it out to Michigan this summer. 

TVH Weekly: Trey Keenan, Ondre Pipkins, Steven Elmer, and More

TVH Weekly: Trey Keenan, Ondre Pipkins, Steven Elmer, and More

Submitted by TomVH on June 20th, 2011 at 12:10 PM

It was an important weekend for offensive line recruiting with a total of six linemen on campus: Jordan Diamond, Andrus Peat, Chris Muller, Blake Bars, Trey Keenan, and Steven Elmer. New offers were also extended and camp has begun. Here's a look at some of the recent happenings and what a few recruits had to say about Michigan.

Trey Keenan

6'5", 270 lbs.

Offensive Lineman

Argyle, Texas


Michigan was always high on Keenan's list since his family is originally from Michigan. A summer visit had always been in the works for him and he finally got to take in Ann Arbor this past weekend.

All the places I've been to are southern schools and I've never really been to a place like Michigan. It's flattering to be here and see all the tradition and history in the buildings. They have national championships and all americans so it's pretty cool to be here. 

This visit gave Keenan a better look at what Michigan really has to offer, and it also gave him a chance to meet face to face with the coaches.

We got to talk to everybody, Coach Hoke, the Athletic Director, Coach Funk. We took a tour of everything and you could definitely tell that the whole thing was a well thought out process. Every place has nice stuff and nice facilities but Michigan has so much tradition. I really felt welcomed, too, and I felt wanted and needed.

Feeling like he was wanted was something that really stuck out to Trey while he was on campus.

They only have something like eight scholarship linemen. We've been to places that have said they need linemen, but with Michigan it was major here. There's a chance to play early here and that is something really cool at a place like Michigan. I also really liked the strength coach and how he put everything. He talked about everything and how they individualize certain aspects.

So what's next for Keenan?

We're going to the morning session of camp tomorrow [Monday]. I'm going to work out with Coach Funk to get a feel for him and how he interacts with his players. We do have a short list right now and Michigan is on that short list. I don't want to say how many are on it yet. We're going to take the next week then talk about everything with my coaches and family. All my planned summer visits are done with so we'll figure out what's going to happen next. This visit did nothing but up Michigan's status though.

Like he said he plans on meeting with his coaches and family within the next week to discuss what's next. If I had to guess it would seem like he's getting close to a decision, and it seems like Michigan could be in good shape.

Ondre PipkinsOndre Pipkins

6'3", 325 lbs.

Defensive Tackle

Kansas City, Missouri


Pipkins recently released his top seven of Michigan, Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Florida. It's no secret that Ondre has ties to Michigan, especially with his father still living there. He has planned on taking a summer visit to Michigan all along and it looks like he has an idea of when it will take place.

I'll be up there in late July or the beginning of August. I just can't wait to see the Big House, somewhere that I can possibly live out my dreams.

I know that Pipkins has wavered on when he would like to make his final decision, but it seems like there's a chance that it could be sooner than originally planned. 

Steve ElmerSteven Elmer

6'6", 297 lbs.

Offensive Lineman

Midland, Michigan


Elmer was on campus today with his father and was extended an offer from the Michigan coaches. He's a 2013 offensive line prospect that now holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Mississippi State. It's safe to say he'll be one of the better prospects in the country come next year. His father told me a little about how the visit went today.

It was great, we took an unofficial visit before camp today. We got to meet with the coaches, Coach Hoke, Borges, Funk, and the fact that it was the busiest day for them and they got us in there says a lot. I told Steven that this will probably be as good as or better than anything he's ever seen so far, and we were very impressed.

Academics will be a big factor in Steven's recruitment and Michigan always seems to impress in that department with Shari Acho.

The academics was the best part of the trip. Shari gave the part that I wanted to hear the most and it was fantastic. She explained that when you go to the University of Michigan you are part of a select group of people and you don't really understand that until you hear it in person. She was trying to talk fast and squeeze it all in but I told her we can see everything else any time. If I could go back and talk more about the academics with her I would.

This is all happening very early, especially for an offensive lineman, so the family is still taking everything in.

Steven did really well at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp. We really like the message that camp sends so we went out there for that and he did really well. There's obviously been a good amount of interest from what he did there and people have been watching the videos all over the place, too. My wife is actually going with him out to Notre Dame later this week. She hasn't seen Notre Dame. She needs to see that stuff too, and the academic pitch from places like Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Michigan. 

The family plans on sitting back and watching everything play out. They plan on trying to get out to a few games during the season as well. I spoke more with the elder Elmer and will post more on Steven later in the week.

Shaquille WigginsShaquille Wiggins

5'7", 151 lbs.

Cornerback

Tyrone, Georgia


Wiggins was another 2013 prospect who had an outstanding performance at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp. Following the event he was notified that he had received an offer from Michigan. He also reports holding offers from Cincinnati and Ohio State. He told me that he was very surprised to see Michigan jump in the mix.

My coach in Atlanta always talks about Ohio and Michigan players are real ballers. So I wanted to come up north and show my southern skills. I wasn't trying to impress anybody, just go out there and play. I really wasn't expecting the offers at all. I never really heard anything from them so I guess when they watched me in the one on one drills they liked me.

An early offer is definitely a good indicator of how interested they are. Wiggins also talked about his process and who he grew up watching.

My dream school was Florida State, but after Cincinnati offered me I had a long conversation with their staff. They made me really comfortable. I like how FSU uses their cornerbacks, and I know that Michigan is known for great talent at corner. Guys like Charles Woodson, I can't remember some of the other names but they're good for cornerbacks. From how I feel now I'll probably wait until after my junior year or during my junior year. I think I'll make my decision pretty early so I get my recruitment over with.

Wiggins told me that he plans on making it back up to Michigan very soon. I have a feeling that Michigan has made a very good impression on him and he wants to explore that further. There's a good chance Michigan is one of his top schools.

Extra:

Arizona OL Andrus Peat discussed his visit to Michigan. I think this trip helped Michigan tremendously with Peat. He didn't know much about the city or university so this gave him a good look at what they have to offer.

2012 Georgia WR Jason Croom recently received a Michigan offer. His mother happened to be in Michigan and stopped by campus this past weekend. Jason will make it back up to Ann Arbor in August.

Here's a list of some of the visitors expected in for camp this week.

2013 Ohio DB Cameron Burrows could be hearing from Michigan soon. He hails from Trotwood Madison which is the home of Roy Roundtree, Mike Shaw, and Brandon Moore. He is friends with Roy and talks to him on occasion. Keep an eye on his name.

I reported last week that Ohio DB Jarrod Wilson will be meeting with his coaches again on Monday [the 20th] to discuss what's next for him. He's very quiet so they aren't sure if he plans on making a decision or waiting things out.

Ohio QB Maty Mauk told me via text that his decision should come in the next few weeks. He's been keeping everything close to the vest so I'm not sure where he's leaning, or who he's deciding between.

Illinois OL Jordan Diamond stopped by Michigan before he made it over to the Sound Mind Sound Body camp. He also made it back over to Ann Arbor Sunday morning for one more trip. 

Massachusetts OL Eric Olson told me that his decision will likely come before the 4th of July. I think Michigan has a good chance, but he keeps everything quiet so we'll see what happens.

Nike and ESPN are hosting an event called The Opening that takes place in Oregon on July 5th to the 9th. It is invitation only and you'll notice some familiar names on the list. Anthony Standifer told me that he will likely be going, as will Ron Thompson and Danny O'Brien.

OL Andrus Peat Visit Reaction

OL Andrus Peat Visit Reaction

Submitted by TomVH on June 19th, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Arizona offensive lineman Andrus Peat (6'7", 305 lbs) is one of the top prospects in the nation, a five star to most sites. Peat decided to take a trip up to Ann Arbor this weekend and I caught up with him to see how the visit went. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say.

TOM: What was the reason that you decided to visit Michigan?

ANDRUS: Right now I'm just trying to get out to all the schools that I'm seriously interested in. I've been to Florida State, USC, and Stanford. I just wanted to get out to Michigan because they have a great tradition for winning and getting linemen to the NFL. I'm also going to Notre Dame tomorrow and then going back home.

TOM: Once these visits are done are you going to try to narrow things down based off of what you saw?

ANDRUS: Yeah, I'm going to cut my list to probably around 5 to 8 after I get out to these schools. By the end of the summer I'll make that cut.

TOM: To get to this visit to Ann Arbor specifically, what did you do once you first got there?

ANDRUS: When I got there I got to meet with the coaches, we toured the campus, and then saw the facilities. It was good to see everything, I was really impressed by the campus and the college atmosphere. It was a lot better than I expected.

TOM: I'm assuming you got to meet with Coach Funk, what did you talk about with him?

ANDRUS: He was saying that there's a great opportunity for linemen because they only have like 8 on scholarship, I think. It's a great opportunity to play early and they said they really like me. I definitely want to give them a good look.

TOM: Do you think this visit helped you get more comfortable with the coaches? Since you live in Arizona did this help make a better connection with the coaches?

ANDRUS: I think it helped me a lot to get to know the coaches better. Coach Funk was at my school a couple times so I'm familiar with him. It was good for me to get on campus though and see everything.

TOM: You said you have been out to places like Florida State and USC, how did this visit compare to those?

ANDRUS: It's definitely way up there. It was the biggest stadium I've ever seen, and I had a really good feeling about it. The whole atmosphere, the college town which I like, and the area was good. Talking to all the coaches and seeing the opportunity to play there, it was really good.

TOM: I know Michigan fans are curious, now that Nebraska is in the Big Ten, your brother Todd signed with the Cornhusker in last year's class. Is that going affect on you at all?

ANDRUS: I'm going to give them a look, but just because he's there doesn't mean that's where I'll go. I want to find the right opportunity for me and take a look at all these schools.

TOM: Do you think this visit helped Michigan at all, and when do you plan on making your final decision?

ANDRUS: For sure, I was really impressed with everything. I could definitely see myself playing there. I don't know when I'll make my decision, just whenever I feel right. I will probably take official visits and then decide after my senior season.

TomVH: Weekend Visitor List

TomVH: Weekend Visitor List

Submitted by TomVH on June 17th, 2011 at 11:27 AM

This is the weekend of offensive linemen for visits. Here's who I've confirmed:

  • Illinois OL Jordan Diamond: I already reported that he took a quick visit before the Sound Mind Sound Body camp to Ann Arbor. He'll be making his way up to MSU and then probably back to Michigan one more time before they head home.
  • Texas OL Trey Keenan: Had always planned on making it up to Michigan over the summer. I spoke with him awhile back, you can read it here.
  • Tennessee OL Blake Bars: Originally from Michigan.
  • Arizona OL Andrus Peat: He'll be in on Sunday, also heading to Notre Dame.
  • Pennsylvania OL Chris Muller: Has Penn State as his leader, and Penn State fans were surprised he didn't publicly commit to them on his recent visit.
  • Ohio WR Dwayne Stanford: The non offensive lineman that's visiting. I spoke with Dwayne a few days ago about the upcoming trip. His teammate Adolphus Washington will not be on the visit with him.

Camp starts on June 19th and runs to the 23rd. I've confirmed some campers already, but I'll hold off on those until it gets closer to Sunday.

TomVH: A Few Quick Recruiting Updates

TomVH: A Few Quick Recruiting Updates

Submitted by TomVH on February 14th, 2011 at 8:58 PM

The Michigan coaches are back to work, and they're moving pretty fast. Here's a few new updates from tonight:

QB Cyler Miles (6'4", 215 lbs) Denver, Colorado: Miles is from the same high school as 2011 LB Leilon Willingham, and has been in contact with the Michigan coaches recently.  

Coach Funk talked to me about the facilities and their interest in me. They haven't offered yet, but they said they want me to be their number one quarterback for this class. I might try to make it up there this summer, I'll have to talk to my parents about it, though. Leilon told me how great the facilities were when he went there, and how they were talking about me.

Miles has offers from ASU, Colorado, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt. He's also hearing from LSU, Washington, Arizona, and FSU. Miles said academics, football tradition, good coaching, and the offense will factor into his decision. Here's an interview he did this past year.

OL Andrus Peat (6'6", 270 lbs) Tempe, Arizona: Peat was offered by Michigan tonight, and told me he is interested in hearing more from the coaching staff. His brother, Todd, just signed with Nebraska this past year, and will be pretty difficult to get. Andrus has offers from almost everywhere already, and says he has no leaders. Michigan would have to do quite a bit to land him at this point, I'll have more from him later.

OL Seaver Myers (6'6", 290 lbs) Friendswood, Texas: Seaver is a big offensive lineman that has also been in contact with the Michigan coaches, but no offer yet. He told me that he's very interested in Michigan, and wants to hear and see more from them.

I've been building the relationship with Coach Funk, and we've been getting to know each other lately. I sent him my highlight tape so we'll see. The tradition at Michigan is unbelievable and the program is legendary. Michigan was always my second favorite team behind Texas growing up, I couldn't tell you why though.

Distance might play into things for Myers, and was open about that. He did say that if the Michigan campus blows him away and he feels comfortable then he would probably be ok with it. If Texas offers they will be the team to beat, he is also very interested in TCU, and Texas A&M outside of Texas and Michigan. You can watch his highlight video here.

WR Bryce Treggs (5'10", 157 lbs) Bellflower, California: Keep an eye on Treggs, he told me he has been in contact with the Michigan coaches. He likes the spread offense, and has been hoping to hear from Michigan.