A Look at 2011 Recruiting: Offensive Line

Submitted by TomVH on April 27th, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Offensive line and defensive line depth are at the forefront of everyone’s mind when it comes to this year’s recruiting class. While Michigan has some quality players in place, the need is there to fill out the depth chart on both sides of the ball. Here’s a look at who Michigan is in on right now, with a little insight to each situation.

We’ll start with the offensive side of the ball, the defensive line will be in a separate post:

Anthony Zettel

West Branch, MI 
Offensive Guard
6’4”, 260 lbs.

Michigan stands in great position for Zettel, who now holds around 11 offers. He’s a Michigan fan, but is making sure that it’s the right fit. This has been the case with a few recruits already, and holds true with Zettel, as well. Anthony has said that he will commit to a school when he feels it’s right, and doesn’t have a set timeline. I would imagine this could drag out for a while, unless he gets that feeling. He’s been to Michigan plenty of times, so you’d have to imagine he’s waiting for the season to unfold, to see how Michigan performs. We’ll have to wait and see, but Michigan is still in good position here. Anthony's junior highlight film is here.

Tony Posada

Tampa, Fl
Offensive Tackle
6’6”, 320 lbs.

Michigan fans haven’t heard too much about Posada, but neither has anyone else. He’s been relatively quiet in his recruitment, but has said that Michigan is one of his favorites. Tony doesn’t currently hold an offer from any of the big three schools in Florida. If Miami offers, then there will be some stiff competition. The key will be to get Tony on campus, and it might need to be for an official visit. Michigan is in good shape, but it could turn out to be a dog fight depending on who offers. Here's a quick clip of Tony pushing people into the end zone.

Andre Yruretagoyena

Scottsdale, AZ
Offensive Tackle
6’5”, 265 lbs.

I’ll first start by giving everyone the proper pronunciation of Andre’s last name. It's "eeh-dru (rolled r)-etha-go-yehna. Andre lives around 20 minutes from me, so I should have some film on him once his season starts. I’ve been in contact with Andre quite a bit, and he really doesn’t know where he wants to go. The more than likely top three for Andre is (in no order) Michigan, USC, and Oregon. He holds offers from the first two, and Oregon will likely be on the way soon. USC has really caught Andre’s attention, and the one and only Ed Orgeron is doing a great job recruiting him. Being from Arizona, getting an offer from USC is a big deal to Andre.

Oregon has appeal because one of Andre’s parents resides relatively close to campus. Michigan holds an advantage that might not be able to be matched, and that’s his former teammates, Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh. The key here, again, will be to get Andre on campus. He should have a better idea of where he feels most comfortable after his visits. Michigan is in good shape here. Andre's highlight film is actually fun to watch, which is usually not the case for linemen. He's regularly throwing what looks like small children to the ground.

Trai Turner

New Orleans, LA
Offensive Guard
6’5” 330 lbs.

Trai is a monster prospect out of Louisiana, and is currently sitting with 13 offers. This one will be a little tricky for Michigan. Trai has told me that he probably won’t choose a school that he’s never seen in person, and he’s not sure if he’ll be able to make it up to Michigan. The math there looks bad. He wants to make a decision relatively soon, so Michigan could be on the outside, if he can’t make it up to Ann Arbor. Turner struck up a relationship with 2010 Michigan commit Carvin Johnson, and is very high on Michigan. I have a sneaking suspicion that if LSU or Alabama were to offer, he would choose between the two. If Michigan can get him on campus, there will be a legitimate shot. Trai also has an impressive highlight video.

Jonah Austin

New Orleans, LA
Offensive Tackle
6’7”, 310 lbs.

Jonah is essentially the same story as Trai, since they’re teammates, and share the same opinions. He’s very high on Michigan, but it would be hard to choose a school that he hasn’t seen. Both Trai and Jonah took a visit to Alabama together, and are obviously very close to LSU. Austin does not have an offer from either LSU, or Alabama, yet. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and it will ultimately come down to who offers, and if they can visit. Jonah's not just a snappy dresser, he's also a good football player.

Jordan Walsh

Glen Ellyn, IL
Offensive Guard
6’4”, 275 lbs.

Walsh has to be considered one of the better linemen in the Midwest, if not the country. He currently holds roughly 15 offers that range from Michigan, to Arizona, USC, Wisconsin, and Boston College. Walsh has been to Michigan several times, and was recently up for the spring game. Notre Dame has not offered yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time before they do. They have an extra boost that Walsh’s former teammate, Chris Watt, is currently on the Fighting Irish roster. If (when) they offer, I would have to think they have a good shot at landing him. My feeling is that Michigan is near the top of his list right now, but will need to do some work to snag him.

Greg Robinson (not that Greg Robinson)

 Thibodaux, LA
Offensive Tackle
6’5”, 295 lbs.

Robinson has been fairly quiet with his recruitment, despite boasting offers from the likes of Michigan, Alabama, LSU, and USC. I would expect Robinson to choose the home town team, LSU.

Aundrey Walker

Cleveland, OH
Offensive Tackle
6’5”, 350 lbs.

Aundrey is a mammoth lineman that hails from...Glenville. Walker has been to Michigan a few times, but he’s from Glenville. I just can’t put it on paper (or the internet) that Michigan is in a good position. Michigan will likely not make the cut, and if they do, you and I will probably both look like this. So. moving on.

Guys without offers to keep an eye on

From reading this, you’re probably not that optimistic about our chances with a lot of these linemen. Not to worry, since these are the prospects currently with offers. Michigan is still evaluating a lot of athletes, and it’s typically thought that offensive line is one of the harder positions to scout. Most of the offers that have been given out are to the top tier guys, and were given out to stay even with the competition. If you recall from every other year, there will be changes in rankings, and certain prospects will grow, or have break out years. See: Patrick Omameh, Taylor Lewan. So, here’s a look at a few guys to keep an eye on, if offered.

- Willie Beavers

o Southfield Lathrup, MI

o 6’5”, 300 lbs. Offensive Tackle

- Chris Bryant

o Chicago, IL

o 6’5”, 330 lbs. Offensive Guard

Here's film of Chris at the Michigan Football Showcase.

- Matt Frazier

o Kankakee, IL

o 6’4”, 280 lbs. Offfensive Tackle

Matt's junior film is here.

- Kody Woods

o Indianapolis, IN

o 6’3”, 295 lbs. Offensive Guard

A picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, I'm speechless.

- Jalen Schlachter

o Corunna, MI

o 6’6”, 270 lbs. Offensive Tackle

- Chris Boles

o Toledo, OH

o 6’4”, 315 lbs. Offensive Guard

There will obviously be more added to this list, as the recruiting season goes on. I think Michigan has done a good job, so far, with recruiting offensive linemen. They’re handicapped in a few areas, but have a few things working in their favor as well. As with other prospects, it’s going to rely a lot on how well the Wolverines perform on the field.



April 27th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

This is great Tom. We need a lot of bodies on the O-line in this class; as you said it's a tough group to evaluate and it's hard to develop them. Hopefully we'll snag some of these guys once the season rolls around!


April 27th, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

If we can get Zettel, and one other OG, that would be solid. Then, highly rated OT's should see that we didn't bring in a single OT last year and we don't yet have any this year. Any OT that comes in for this class has the fast track to at least 2 years as s starter.


April 27th, 2010 at 5:02 PM ^

...for the Spanish speakers/linguists on the board.

1. Is Yruretagoyena a combination of two last names? For instance, I once worked with a guy from Puerto Rico whose parent's last names were Vega and Torres. His last name was Vegatorres (not Vega-Torres). Even if not the case, looking at Yrueta and Goyena as two distinct words helps me to pronounce it as per the provided pronunciation guide.

2. Does the pronunciation -etha for -eta indicate a particular Spanish dialect?


April 27th, 2010 at 8:33 PM ^

I don't know of any spanish dialect that ever pronounces 't' as 'th'. Maybe there is one but, I'm not aware of it.

His name sounds eastern european to me.

[EDIT: For the record, I'm Latino and fluent in Spanish. Neg away]


April 28th, 2010 at 3:18 PM ^

...implicitly but I also trust my Google skills.  So I googled Yrureta and Goyena and got a lot of results with Spanish given names.  Also, while not fluent in a Slavic language, I did take two years of Russian at Michigan.  Y is -yu in transliterated Russian (Yuri, for instance).  -Ee is transliterated as E (Ekaterina, for instance).

As J. Lichty states, in Spain, some dialects pronounce Z as -th. So Alvarez becomes Al-VAR-eth instead of AL-va-rez.  And yes, my great-grandparents emigrated from Asturias and their last name was Alvarez.

Bottom line, given the fact that Andre Y is from Arizona and Yrureta and Goyena appear to be Hispanic surnames, I'm going to stick with my initial analysis.  Two Hispanic surnames put together to form one. 


April 28th, 2010 at 5:24 PM ^

You didn't ask about 'z', you asked about 't'. I also said it was possible. But if you're going to go with Arizona's hispanic population as a presumption for a dialect as a lead for your theory then does it really make sense to look toward castillian dialects over latin american dialects?

Anyway, If you like your theory, then stick with it. It costs me nothing so I'll be paying it no more mind. 

Still sounds eastern european to me.


April 27th, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

I think a lot of us are kind of wondering what has been going on with Zettel. I think everyone was kind of hoping he would drop before the season. Is MSU our main competition for him?

Also, does anyone think it might help us with Walsh that ND already has picked up 4 guys for the O-line this year? I know he visited the spring game; he would be a great pick-up.


April 27th, 2010 at 5:14 PM ^

call him "Pancake".

He flattened just about every single guy he came in contact with in the video. I particularly loved the downfield block where he hit one guy and that guy went flying into a second guy. Sort of looked like picking up a 7-10 split.


April 27th, 2010 at 7:49 PM ^

Wow, that picture of Kody Woods makes me really want him. Rivals lists him as a center, probably because they have him at 6'0". However, you have him as a guard and 6'3", and those three inches make a big difference. If he's taller and can play guard, he looks like a mean SOB.

Hopefully one or two of those in-state guys pan out, they could be nice additions if the guys up top go elsewhere.

EDIT: Jalen Schacter has offers from MSU and Wisconsin, so he's probably worth going after whether or not we get the top guys, and certainly so if we don't.


April 28th, 2010 at 7:40 PM ^

If he can only play Center then I don't think we should take him since we took an OC last year.  Pace is probably also small for OG, so I don't think we should have guys in back to back classes who can only play that one position.  However, someone like Khoury who can play OC or OG wouldn't be a bad idea.


April 27th, 2010 at 7:47 PM ^

I know you can't always include everyone, but are there good reasons for not including guys like Cyrus Hobbi, Michael Bennett, Matt Hegarty, Bobby Hart, Brandon Shell, and Zach Debell? Some of those guys are long-shots, obviously, but I figured Hobbi and Bennett would be included here, too. Just curious. Thanks.


April 28th, 2010 at 1:00 AM ^

I didn't include them because I don't think we'll get them. I forgot about Debell, though. He should probably be added.

Bennett will most likely choose Ohio State, unless we can show him that OSU has stocked up already on OL. I could be wrong, but I don't think Hegarty has an offer, and neither does Shell, who I don't think will come out of the south. 

Hobbi was iffy. I haven't talked to him, but I have a feeling he'll be staying somewhere closer to home. 


April 28th, 2010 at 12:22 PM ^

Good stuff, TomVH.

I like these better than the Q/A's, plus it shows off your writing skills more.  Do more of it.

As for UM and the OL, we have 8 guys who are top prospects that have eligibility through 2012 with half of those having even more eligibility. I dont think OL is as dire a need as others say. That said after taking just one guy last year, it'd be nice the see a handful of OL recruits. I like the position Rodriguez and company are in as far as OL on the team and how they're pursuing the OL recruits in this year's class. Should be interesting to follow.

Keep us updated, TVH!!

Fresh Meat

April 28th, 2010 at 12:58 PM ^

I know Matt Frazier and his family, I lived in Kankakee for 10 years.  I'm no talent evaluator, but I do know that Matt is a really good kid who will work his butt off.  If the team determines he is talent worthy of an offer, he would stay out of trouble and work hard.