Insights on our OL from a former college OL player

Submitted by WindyCityBlue on September 18th, 2018 at 3:18 PM

Hello all.  I'm in the orthopedic industry and there a lot of former football players in the industry.  Last week at conference, I met a former Auburn OL from the late 90s, early 00s.  Nice guy.  I mentioned that I'm a big Michigan fan, and said he really likes Michigan too.  He played against us in the 2001 Citrus Bowl and was very complimentary of our program, especially our DL. 

Anyway, he's somewhat of an OL junkie, in that when he watches football, he focuses most of his attention on OL technique and execution.  Apparently, he often doesn't care about the score outcome of the game - he really enjoys watching a good OL at work.  So I naturally asked him about our OL, and surprisingly he's watched a lot of our games over the years because of Harbaugh.  His thoughts:

  • For many years until recently, he thought our OL were way too undersized for the big ten.  He didn't comment on if this was an RR or BH thing, just that he favored size (over athleticism) for the type of game that works well in the big ten.
  • He thought the earlier years of Harbaugh lacked sufficient talent to be the quality Michigan should expect.  He did remark that HS rankings for OL mean absolutely nothing.  He laughed that he was decently rated out of HS and didn't even get drafted.  He specifically mentioned a couple of our players from a couple years ago.  He thought they was grossly over-rated from HS rankings.
  • He thinks we have all the pieces to be a really good OL this year.  He likes Warinner a lot and says he's one of the best.  He watched the ND and Western game and said our OL is playing MUCH better than in the past few years.  I said "well, what about our tackles?".  His reply is that all OL have a weak link, you just have to scheme around it.  He's seeing that this year with most of play calling this year.
  • OL is a brotherhood where everyone on the line has to be in sync.  At Auburn, the OLs did everything together (i.e. roommates, meals, etc.) and often times did things separately from the rest of the team to create that brotherhood bond.
  • Overall, he thinks we'll probably have the 2nd best OL in the big ten by the end of year.  Just stay the course.  I'm not sure I'd agree with him here.
  • Last un-related thing: he fully admitted that Auburn (and most other schools) back then was pretty corrupt.  Apparently, they fed him this "food" that he had to eat.  No clue what it was and it tasted like shit, but was required to eat it.  Found out later, it was full of banned substances.

Anyway, thought I'd pass it along.



September 18th, 2018 at 3:44 PM ^

Yea. I get it. I actually thought about not posting it (I met the guy last week and wanted the post it right away).  As mentioned, lots of football guys in ortho, including 

-our very own Jarrett Irons 

-the COO of Stryker, Tim Scannel, played at ND

- Brian Rattigan, former ND linebacker, is an ortho surgeon

- Zack Kustoc (Former NW QB) is/was a Medtronic spine rep.

And this is just the tip of iceberg.

MMB 82

September 18th, 2018 at 10:58 PM ^

Doximity has him listed as a PM&R currently practicing in Reno, NV. (but his current hospital affiliation is Mayo Clinic in Phoenix?). He went to med school at University of Colorado. Dat boy was wicked smart- I remember SI published his college transcript as a Biomechanical Engineer.


September 18th, 2018 at 10:22 PM ^

Whoa, very cool about Jarrett Irons. Did not know that.

And yeah, tons of sports guys go into ortho. Eric Heiden's an orthopedic surgeon now, and a very good one according to my neighbors and others around here.

Also, about the corruption: yep. In my opinion, with some experience on the basketball side of things, most people who aren't involved with it have almost no idea of the level of corruption. It's staggering - except that it's everywhere, so it's actually not at all staggering, it's just business as usual.

yossarians tree

September 18th, 2018 at 3:24 PM ^

Force feeding banned substances? That's creepy as hell and disturbing. I've long thought MSU has been roiding up its players since Mork came on. There are obviously rage issues. Is this just a case of everyone does it and wink-wink? I would be extremely disappointed if that was institutional at Michigan. 


September 18th, 2018 at 4:08 PM ^

I think use of PEDs in college football is an area where all major programs look the other way.  When folks on the internet get into slap fights over some programs being unethical with the retort being, "ALL programs cheat"; this is the part where that statement is true.  Where it's not true is with regards to the extent that some programs will go to entice players to enroll at their university.  Enter the bagmen.


September 18th, 2018 at 4:30 PM ^

The roidz thing sounds like junk. Can't imagine with liver toxicity concerns that they'd be crunching up a bunch of d-bol in the food in a way that ensured proper cycling was happening. Much better to just inject the right amounts of the right steroids for each position group for their needs (strength or mass) and then cycle them off when appropriate. 


September 18th, 2018 at 6:19 PM ^

A good friend of mine played QB at a mid-tier D1 school and started three years.  He is the nicest guy in the planet so I believeed him when he told me everyone takes stuff they aren’t supposed to take - if you know what I mean.   He did say kickers and punters got drug tested the most 


September 18th, 2018 at 3:24 PM ^

Interesting, thanks for sharing. For what it’s worth, I think metrics generally bear out that OL recruiting rankings have less reliability than any other position (though they still mean something).


September 18th, 2018 at 3:26 PM ^

He watched the ND and Western game and said our OL is playing MUCH better than in the past few years.  I said "well, what about our tackles?".  His reply is that all OL have a weak link, you just have to scheme around it.  He's seeing that this year with most of play calling this year.

Hooray?  I would be more interested in his opinion on the OL of some of our competition, because while I agree that you scheme your gameplan to circumvent your weaknesses, I'm not sure I see as many weaknesses in the likes of Wisconsin or the Buckeyes.


September 18th, 2018 at 4:24 PM ^

The Stockwell cafeteria was the first place I ever saw two grown women kiss each other. 

I don't believe the story about the roids. That's too overt. Maybe the mystery substance was some sort of roid-like protein paste? 

BTW, lack of o-line cohesion this time of year is common. Have any of you seen the left tackle for Florida State, for example? He makes Runyan Jr. look like Jake Long. 


September 18th, 2018 at 6:40 PM ^

Re the FSU LT -- I saw about 3 plays of their game vs 'Cuse, the dude got turnstiled on 2 of them.  It was literally two half steps back, turn body, frantically wave hands at DE racing by.  Then I heard this morning on ESPNU that he's a multi-year starter.  Then they said the RT is the real problem on that line.

And we think we've got problems. Woof.


September 18th, 2018 at 7:22 PM ^

Here's an article about the FSU OL. It says that they're playing a 3rd string LT and all 3 have really been guards.