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.